Sudan's Al Burhan removes RSF head 'Hemedti' as deputy of Sovereign Council

Fighting in country has killed more than 800 people and displaced 840,000

Gen Mohamed Dagalo has been removed from his post as deputy head of Sudan's ruling Sovereign Council. Reuters
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Sudan's army chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan took the long-anticipated step on Friday of removing Rapid Support Forces chief Gen Mohamed Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, from his post as his deputy on the ruling Sovereign Council.

Gen Al Burhan also appointed Malik Agar, the leader of an armed group that signed a peace agreement with the government in 2020, as Gen Dagalo's replacement..

The changes come more than a month after the two generals began fighting for control of the country, following disputes over the RSF's integration into the army and the transition to civilian rule.

On Friday, the capital Khartoum and sister city Bahri came under renewed air attacks, worsening an already dire humanitarian situation.

At least 800 civilians have died so far because of the conflict, the Sudan's Doctors' Union said.

More than 70 per cent of hospitals in conflict zones have also been left out of service. The World Health Organisation has criticisied the looting of tonnes of supplies in the country.

On Friday, the UN Refugee Agency said that more than one million people have been displaced by the fighting including at least 843,000 internally.

About 250,000 people have also fled to neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Chad.

Sudanese civilians say chaos has gripped the country and police are nowhere to be seen since fighting broke out on April 15.

"Nobody protects us. No police. No state. The criminals are attacking our houses and taking everything we own," Sarah Abdelazim, a 35-year-old government employee, told Reuters.

The RSF has been accused of committing sexual violence and looting banks, gold markets, hospitals and homes. They have denied the accusations and released videos showing their men arresting looters.

The paramilitary force say that some people wear RSF uniforms and steal to make them look bad.

Some witnesses said the RSF were stealing vehicles and setting up camps in people's homes, Reuters reported. The RSF has also denied this.

Updated: May 19, 2023, 11:17 AM