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Sudanese fear a devastating civil war with increased alert and arming of civilians

With the expansion of the circle of arming and mobilization to join the ranks of the Sudanese Armed Forces, in all cities under the control of the army, within the framework of what is known as “popular resistance,” Sudanese fears of the outbreak of a civil war are increasing.

Ayman Al-Zein, who joined a recruitment camp in the Nile River state in the north of the country, said that he obtained a weapon and began training to shoot to defend the people of the region. Especially women and children, what he called “violations” by the Rapid Support Forces, according to what was reported by the Arab World News Agency.

Smoke rose as a result of clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum (Archive – AFP)

He added: “We are now ready and prepared for any eventualities if the rebels advance into our region. We will defend ourselves and our honor with all our might.”

What is known as the “popular resistance” is active in mobilizing people and training them to carry weapons in areas controlled by the army. Thousands joined its ranks in the Nile and Northern states in northern Sudan, in Sennar, Gedaref, Kassala and Port Sudan in the east, and in the White Nile in the center of the country, to participate with the armed forces in their battle against the “Rapid Support” forces.

Al-Zein said: “Most residents of the city of Shendi (in the Nile River State) responded to the nation’s call… Everyone carries their weapons all day, even in markets and shops. We expect a (rapid support) attack at any moment; Especially after they were able to enter the city of Wad Medani easily and without significant resistance.”

Various areas on the outskirts of the capital, Khartoum, witnessed intense raids by Sudanese army warplanes yesterday (Saturday), targeting positions controlled by the Rapid Support Forces.

The Sudanese Radio Dabanga news website said: “Drones and warplanes flew over the neighborhoods of Khartoum, east and south of the Belt, which were targeted by aircraft with explosive barrels… The Rapid Support forces responded with ground anti-aircraft weapons, in addition to using mortars that targeted the vicinity of the General Command and the Signal Corps.” .

Wad Madani’s scenario

Al-Zein points out that he decided to take up arms and defend the people of his area, for fear of repeating the scenario of the city of Wad Madani, the capital of Al-Jazeera State in central Sudan, which the Rapid Support Forces took control of last month, following the army’s withdrawal from it.

The Rapid Support Forces took control of Al-Jazira state a few days ago, and tightened their grip on 4 out of 5 states in the Darfur region located in western Sudan, including army divisions and headquarters, in addition to their control over large parts of Khartoum and the Kordofan region.

The Sudanese war affected several areas of the country (Reuters)

Sudanese army commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan announced his welcome to the popular resistance, saying: “We will arm them; What weapons we have will we give to them? But it must be codified and registered with the regular forces, so that it does not cause a problem in the future.”

Al-Burhan said in a speech before the army forces, at the Jebet military base in eastern Sudan, on Friday: “Any area where there is a confrontation or where the enemy is expected to go to loot its homes, we will give them weapons, and if they had a weapon, they would bring it.” Sudan is now in a battle to be or not to be, and the people are facing a challenge: to live in dignity or under slavery and colonialism.”

Sudanese Army Commander Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan vowed to continue fighting (AFP)

He added: “The Sudanese people stand with the armed forces, and want to arm themselves and fight to protect the country with the army… The young people who joined the popular resistance, we say to them: Come and fight with the army; Anyone who can carry a gun should come.”

In a video speech published on his account on the “X” platform last Monday, on the anniversary of Sudan’s independence, the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), said that his forces are “determined and capable of pursuing the mobilized coup plotters who are beating the drums of war, wherever they are found in the country.” “Our country.”

He added: “After 9 months of continuous military victories and the defeat of the enemy in Khartoum, Darfur, Kordofan and Al-Jazira, they must publicly acknowledge that they have lost and failed in this war. They must stop being on alert, fighting, and destroying the country, and paving the way for ending the war and starting the political process.”

The “Coordination of Civilian Democratic Forces” (Progress), led by former Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, and the “Rapid Support” forces signed an agreement in Addis Ababa last Tuesday, in order to end the war through negotiation between the two parties to the fighting and the civilian forces.

Taqadum said in a statement following the signing of the Addis Ababa Declaration that the Rapid Support Forces declared its full readiness for an unconditional cessation of fighting through direct negotiation with the armed forces. She described this as a “real opportunity for peace,” saying that she would seek to seize it by “intensifying communication with the leadership of the armed forces, urging them to sit for an urgent meeting.”

However, in his speech before the army forces at the Jebeit base, Al-Burhan confirmed his rejection of the Addis Ababa agreement, saying: “We say to the politicians who signed an agreement with (Rapid Support)… you are wrong… you agreed with a rebel party… with a party that we consider outlaws.” “The world considers it a terrorist group.”

Warnings of civil war

Some warn that arming civilians could lead to a civil war that would plunge the country into chaos that would be difficult to contain.

Among these are Ibrahim Abdel Mahmoud, a Sudanese employee; In an interview conducted with him by the Arab World News Agency, he said: “There is no doubt that arming civilians will lead to a civil war that will destroy everything.”

Abdul Mahmoud believes that the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are behind the calls to arm civilians “to drag the country into chaos,” as he described it.

He said: “(Al-Baraa bin Malik Brigade) – which is one of the (Muslim Brotherhood) brigades that supports the army – is like a skin change for the elements of the former regime. It hides behind popular resistance… and is very dangerous to the security and safety of the country.”

As for Murtada Ahmed, who was displaced from Khartoum to the city of Sennar in the south-east of the country, and from there to Port Sudan in the east, he expressed his extreme disappointment after the army commander’s last speech, because of the “negative indicators” it contained, in his opinion, towards the peace process.

Murtada said: “I began to feel for my passport in preparation to leave the country, after I had been clinging to the hope of stopping the war.”

Ahmed considered that the content of Al-Burhan’s speech and the tone in which he spoke suggested that the war would continue for years to come. Especially after his emphasis on the issue of arming citizens and their involvement in what is called “popular resistance,” which “adds more fuel to the fire and will increase the rate of violence in the country,” according to him.

Sudanese army soldiers during a patrol in Gedaref state in the east of the country (AFP)

He added: “Army leaders want to involve citizens in a military conflict in which they are not a party. We fear that the mobilization and arming of civilians that is taking place now will cause a comprehensive civil war, and this matter must stop.”

Fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in mid-April last year, after weeks of tension between the two parties due to disagreements over plans to integrate the Rapid Support Forces into the army, while the military and civilian parties were putting the final touches on a political process supported by… Internationally.

The fighting led to the displacement of more than 7.2 million people inside and outside Sudan, and the death of about 12,000 people, according to United Nations statistics.

The post first appeared on aawsat.com

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