Sudan's head of state denies rift between military and Darfur-linked paramilitaries

Gen Al Burhan dismisses prime minister's televised comments to nation

Sudan's President Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan speaks during a session of the international conference on Sudan which aims to provide financing breathing room for its Prime Minister as he pursues economic reforms in Paris on May 17, 2021. - The French government promised to lend $1.5 billion to Sudan to help it pay off its massive foreign debt, kicking off an international summit aimed at helping the aspiring democracy emerge from decades of authoritarian rule. (Photo by Christophe Ena / POOL / AFP)

Sudan’s head of state denied a rift between the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces after the country's premier said there were splits within the security forces.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told the nation in a televised address on Tuesday that Sudan faced challenges in its shift to democracy, including mending divisions within the military and between the military and pro-democracy activists.

But the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, said there was no disagreement with the Darfur-linked armed unit.

“We’ll never allow a third party to spread rumours and incite divisions,” Gen Al Burhan told senior army officers on Wednesday.

RSF commander Gen Mohamed Dagalo echoed Gen Al Burhan’s comments.

“We have a common goal and a historic responsibility to shepherd the country to safer shores,” Gen Dagalo said. “The enemy is waiting for us to squabble and fight each other.”

Mr Hamdok's comments irked Gen Al Burhan, who leads the joint civilian-military council alongside the civilian-led Cabinet.
Tensions exist between the civilian and military elements of the transitional administration over the boundaries of their authority.

Gen Dagalo is said to have refused to integrate his paramilitary force into the armed forces.

The RSF has its roots in the Janjaweed militia, which fought alongside the army against rebels in the western Darfur region in the 2000s.

The RSF was accused of leading the violent break-up of a sit-in protest outside the military’s headquarters in Khartoum in June 2019.

It denied involvement in the crackdown in which almost 100 protesters were killed.

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