Sudan’s Army Chief and President of the Transitional Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has urged world powers to designate the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) as a terrorist organisation.
Alluding to the paramilitary group’s ties with Wagner mercenaries, Burhan also called for the RSF’s sponsors outside Sudan’s borders to be targeted.
Burhan warned that war in his country could escalate into a regional war and called for international pressure to be placed on the RSF.
Speaking at the UN following a string of foreign trips, the Army Chief averred, “The danger of this war is now a threat to regional and international peace and security as those rebels have sought the support of outlaws and terrorist groups from different countries in the region and the world.”
“This is like the spark of war, a war that will spill over to other countries in the region,” he added.
“Regional and international interference to support these groups is crystal clear by now. This means that this is the first spark that will burn the region, and will have a direct impact on regional and international peace and security.”Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15, 2023, after the collapse of a plan to integrate the army and the RSF, led by Burhan’s former Deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is known as Hemedti.
Both sides blamed the other for starting the war that erupted in the capital Khartoum and has spread to other parts of the country including the western region of Darfur.
According to reports, the ongoing war has resulted in the death of at least 7,500 people. It has also displaced more than five million people and is threatening to destabilise the region.
Urging the international community to designate the RSF as “terrorists,” Burhan said, “They have committed all sorts of crimes that give grounds for such a designation.”
“Those who have supported killing, burning, raping, forced displacement, looting, stealing, torture, trafficking of arms and drugs, bringing mercenaries or recruiting children – all such crimes necessitate accountability and punishment.”Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Moroevor, Burhan asserted that he was “committed to our previous pledges to transfer power to the people of Sudan with great national consensus and consent.”
“The armed forces would leave politics once and for all,” he noted.
RSF Leader Voices Commitment To A Peaceful Resolution
Shortly before Burhan’s speech at the UN, RSF leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo disclosed in a video message that his forces were fully prepared for a ceasefire and comprehensive political talks to end the conflict.
“Today, we renew our commitment to the peaceful process to put a halt to this war,” Hemedti said.
“The RSF are fully prepared for a ceasefire throughout Sudan to allow the passage of humanitarian aid … and to start serious and comprehensive political talks.”Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo
Previous assertions by the army and the RSF that they are seeking a solution to the conflict, as well as announcements of ceasefires by both sides, have failed to stop the bloodshed and the deepening of a humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
Saudi Arabia and the US have tried to secure a lasting ceasefire in Sudan, but the process stalled amid parallel international initiatives in Africa and the Middle East.
The United States earlier this month imposed sanctions on RSF leaders, including senior commander Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, the brother of the group’s leader, over alleged abuses including the killing of the governor of West Darfur.
The U.S and other Western powers have also been strongly critical of Burhan.
READ ALSO: Zelenskyy Meets Biden At The White House