Changes in army leadership, Sovereign Council amid continued clashes in Sudan 

Shaimaa Raafat
4 Min Read

The southern and eastern areas of Omdurman have been witnessing non-stop heavy clashes between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese army since Friday.

The fighting centered in the radio and television circle, and explosions were heard in the surrounding areas.

Eyewitnesses reported Saturday that the city of Nyala, South Darfur state, witnessed fierce battles around the perimeter of the command of the 16th Division of the Sudanese army, causing deaths and injuries among civilians.

On the ground, the Sudanese army said in a statement that “the rebel militia [RSF] tried to attack the command of the 16th Infantry Division in the city of Nyala, and was countered.

It pointed out that “its forces suffered significant losses to the SRF, hundreds of victims and wounded, dozens of armed vehicles were destroyed, and a large number of snipers were eliminated..

The chairman of the transitional sovereign council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, issued a” constitutional decree relieving Rapid Support commander Mohammed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti) from his post as deputy chairman of the council” (currently the highest political authority in the country), and decided to appoint Malek Akkar to that post.

The sovereignty council was formed from civilians and military personnel in August 2019, following the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir, and was entrusted with the task of leading the country during a transitional phase leading to a democratic transition and the handover of government to an elected civilian authority.

From her side .The government of South Sudan has stressed that it is playing a neutral role in efforts to stop the fighting in Sudan, after Khartoum protested that it hosted an envoy from the Rapid Support forces.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, has been playing a mediating role through the East African State Development Authority (IGAD) in an attempt to resolve the conflict between the RSF and the army.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that it had sent an “official note of protest” to the Juba government to express its “strong protest and surprise” for the visit of one of the advisers to the commander of the RSF, Mohammed Hamdan Daglo “Hemedti” this week to South Sudan.

Youssef Ezzat, Hemeti’s envoy, held talks with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and officials from “IGAD” in Juba on Wednesday, to confirm at a press conference later that the RSF are ready to participate in any step taken by Kiir to achieve peace in Sudan.

Kiir held several talks with Burhan and Hemeti, and also hosted an envoy of Burhan in Juba on the eighth of May.

“The idea of mediation requires the participation of all parties to the same extent,”it added.

About a thousand people have been killed since the conflict broke out in Khartoum in mid-April and fighting continues despite several ceasefire agreements.

The United Nations warned that it expects more than a million people to flee to neighboring countries this year, while Juba announced on Friday that more than 60 thousand people have crossed the border into South Sudan so far.

The UN mission to Sudan announced on Saturday that the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sudan Volker Peretz will travel to New York, where he will present the UN secretary-general’s quarterly report on Sudan to the Security Council on Monday.

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