The Vice-President of the Sovereign Council of Sudan and leader of the Rapid Action Forces, Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, has stated that his government is ready to "go to war" because of the internal instability in the country that "threatens its very existence".
"If we have to go to war to achieve peace, we will do so," said the number two of the Sudanese military regime, during a ceremony for members of the Rapid Action Forces. The setting for these statements is key to who these threats of war might be directed against. Especially given that these forces, accused of crimes against humanity in the Darfur region, grew out of the Janjaweed militia, the Qadhafi-backed Arab group that declared an open rebellion against the Sudanese government in 2003 and ended in 2020.
However, these clashes between the Janjaweed and the African Baggara tribe still continue to leave violent confrontations in Darfur. Last month alone, local authorities reported 135 dead, some 30 missing and more than 7,000 families displaced in the latest skirmishes between the two tribes in the region.
In any case, Dagalo made these threatening statements while talking about the situation in this region, Darfur, which has been the scene of war for many years. But in addition to the fighting in the region, Sudan's capital has been experiencing months of intense instability since the coup d'état in October last year.
The demonstrations and protests in Khartoum are ongoing and demand the return of civilian government, the transition process begun in 2019 and the removal of the military regime of Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Thus, the statements of the second in command of the Sudanese government also came after three days of serious incidents during protests against the coup d'état in which at least nine demonstrators have died due to police repression, which has already provoked the condemnation of part of the international community.
The deployment of security forces at the demonstrations in Khartoum, including army and Rapid Support Force vehicles, has already been condemned by the international community, including the UN, which has called for an independent investigation into the violence by the Sudanese authorities.
As a result of what happened, Dagalo said in his speech, the country is in an unprecedented situation that "clearly threatens" its "existence and unity". He blamed various actors for "trying to poison the atmosphere in Darfur", attributing to "internal and external agendas" the task of destroying the unity of the country.
At the same time, he called on the Sudanese to engage in a national dialogue that is independent of party interests and reiterated his support for the facilitation efforts that the UN, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in East Africa (IGAD) have been carrying out for months.