Chairman of the Sudanese Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in Doha on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
This is Al-Burhan’s third trip abroad since war broke out in Sudan in April.
Late last month, he flew to Egypt, followed by a visit to South Sudan this week.
Al-Burhan received a red carpet welcome in Doha on Thursday.
It is believed that with his trips, Al-Burhan’s is now aiming to secure regional support against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and legitimacy for his rule.
Al-Burhan’s troops have been fighting the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces since April 15, 2023.
According to an estimate from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the war between al-Burhan and his former Deputy, RSF Commander, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, has killed at least 5,000 people.
The war has also displaced more than five million people, recent figures from the United Nation’s International Organisation for Migration shows.
A statement from the Emiri Diwan, revealed that al-Burhan discussed “the latest developments in the situation and challenges facing Sudan” with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Sheikh Tamim echoed his call for broad peace negotiations between all of Sudan’s political forces and a lasting end to the fighting, the statement noted.
In comments to reporters, al-Burhan said, “the armed forces reassure the Sudanese people and the entire world that we are continuing to complete the transition to democratic civilian rule after the defeat of the rebellion.”
“The priority … is how to end the rebellion and defeat it,” he added.
The official Qatar News Agency reported that al-Burhan left Doha in the afternoon.
Rapid Support Forces Dissolved
Meanwhile, late on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, al-Burhan issued two decrees dissolving the RSF and revoking the RSF Law that legitimised the Rapid Support Forces.
The RSF has long maintained its legitimacy based on a 2017 law enacted by the parliament loyal to ousted President Omar al-Bashir.
This law dictated that the RSF’s role was to support the Sudanese army and subject it to the Armed Forces Law but to be under direct command of the President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the army.
In July 2019, following the fall of the Bashir regime, the Transitional Military Council, headed by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, made substantial amendments to the law.
These changes removed Article 5, which classified the RSF as governed by the Armed Forces Law, effectively making it an independent force separate from the army.
Sudan’s ruling Transitional Sovereignty Council noted in a statement that the decree was “based on the repercussions of these forces’ rebellion against the state, the grave violations they committed against citizens, and the deliberate sabotage of the country’s infrastructure.”
The decrees instructed the General Command of the Armed Forces, the General Secretariat of the Sovereign Council, and other relevant bodies to implement the decisions.
The decrees came while the United States imposed sanctions on senior Commander, Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, the brother of RSF leader, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo.
Announcing sanctions on Wednesday, the US Department of Treasury said that under Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, RSF fighters “have engaged in acts of violence and human rights abuses, including the massacre of civilians, ethnic killings and use of sexual violence.”
Many of the abuses took place in the Darfur region of Sudan, it said.
Speaking to a news agency on Thursday, Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo called the sanctions against him “unfair.”
He also said that Al Burhan did not have the legitimacy to dissolve the RSF.
Al Burhan has already removed Mohamed Dagalo from his role as Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s ruling, military-led Sovereignty Council.