The Power Struggle in Sudan: An “Existential” Conflict Between Two Generals and Their Respective Armies.
The ongoing conflict between Sudan’s two most powerful generals, each supported by a formidable force, has turned into open warfare just 18 months after they collaborated to overthrow Sudan’s transition to democracy.
Civilians are becoming victims of this deadly struggle for power. An analyst, Hamid Khalafallah, has pleaded with his fellow Sudanese to avoid this fight, stating that they are simply collateral damage.
As of Monday, almost 100 civilians had already lost their lives, with the toll likely to be higher.
This deadly battle is the outcome of a vicious power struggle between Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the army chief and de-facto head of the country, and Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as “Hemedti,” who leads the powerful Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group.
Initially, both generals were allies who conspired to derail Sudan’s transition to democracy.
Since the outbreak of fighting on Saturday, both men have refused to negotiate a truce and have engaged in verbal attacks with each other.
Sudan is a resource-rich nation that has been devastated by kleptocratic rule. The fighting is a significant setback just four years after the popular uprising that led to the ousting of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir.
This power struggle is a legacy of Bashir’s divide-and-rule policy, leading to a fragmented and factionalized security force.
The fighting has already claimed the lives of 97 civilians, with hundreds injured. The chaotic scenes of fighting are unprecedented, with tanks, artillery, and warplanes operating in densely populated areas of the capital.
The conflict could result in further instability for Sudan and the wider region, which is already unstable.