The ongoing military pseudo political crisis in Sudan comes after months of escalating tensions between the Sudan’s military commander General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Paramilitary Rapid Reation Forces (RRF) leader headed by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagallo aka Himetti who also sits on the post al Bashir ruling body known as the Sovereignty Council alongside other nominated individuals. This followed years of political unrest since the 2021 coup.
On the Sovereign Council, Hemetti works under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, a career soldier who is disciplined and predictable. Hemedti is a former militiaman, businessman and politician. He controls gold mines and independent connections with Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel However, the person to watch within the RFC militia is Major General Abdulrahim Hamdan Dagallo, Hemedti’s brother and the one who runs the militia on a day-to-day basis. He is an emotional, gang-ho lose canon whom Hemedti himself can’t fully control. Abdurahim is the chairman Junaid Group, a family conglomerate that is into gold mining, transport, tourism, infrastructure, iron and steel. The Dagalo brothers have been accused of some form of state capture Sudanese edition. Abdurahim defends their business that they need money to donate to the public.
Hemetti and Abdurahim are said to have about 1000 of their close relatives in the RRF, including over 10 at the rank of Lt. Col and above. But their tribe, the Rizeigat tribe from Darfur is responsible for nearly all the officer corps.
When it comes to strength, the army has tanks, fighter jets, and the numbers, but my money is on the RRF.
Between Hemetti and Gen. Burhan, Hemetti has more foreign support and ruthless commanders. He also has the money to pay off anyone whose loyalty he wants.
🔻How did it all start?
On the morning of April 13, the Sudanese Armed Forces announced that the Rapid Reaction Forces began regrouping and deploying troops in the country’s largest cities, including in the capital Khartoum
According to information from a spokesman for the Sudanese army, these RRF manoeuvres were not coordinated with the central authorities and are a violation of the law.
Representatives of the Sovereign Council convened an emergency meeting to prevent clashes between the army and the RRF.
🔻Who are the Rapid Reaction Forces (RRF)?
The Rapid Reaction Force is the largest paramilitary force in Sudan, led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, Vice President of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, also known by the nickname “Hametti”.
In 2021, members of the RRF teamed up with the military to overthrow Omar al-Bashir, after which power in Sudan passed into the hands of the Sovereign Council, led by the military
▪️Hametti, although not a representative of the national army, took a place in the new government.
🔻 What is the cause of stress?
After the coup, the supporters of the junta and the pro-democracy forces can not agree on the formation of a transitional authority. At the same time, the Rapid Reaction Forces continued to be a separate armed formation.
▪️One of the key topics of negotiations is the integration of the RRF into the country’s army. Due to the lack of progress in the negotiations between the parties, the signing of the agreement on the establishment of an interim government has been postponed several times already.
🔻At the moment
The RRF continues to gather their forces in Khartoum, major cities, and to Meroe Airport, located in the Northern Province of the country. The Army gave the RRF 24 hours to leave Meroe territory.
The media suggests that one of the reasons for such attention to Meroe (which is a zone of influence Hametti) is because there may be a future transformation of the airport into an Egyptian military base – allegedly this is one of the conditions for the support of the Chairman of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, Al-Burhan, by the Egyptian authorities.
In general, the delay in negotiations and Hametti’s decision to mobilize his troops and further domestic political escalation after mass protests can be seen as an attempt to negotiate political preferences within the transitional government.