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Did the forces of “freedom and change” cause the outbreak of fighting in Sudan?


Did the forces of “freedom and change” cause the outbreak of fighting in Sudan?

Perhaps some leaders of the “Freedom and Change – Central Council” did not know that the sentence they launched in public seminars, which says: “Either framework or war”, will be taken by the opponents of that agreement as evidence that the civil forces are the cause of the war raging in Sudan, since April (April), between the army and the “rapid support” forces, in which heavy weapons were used, which led to the death of hundreds of citizens, the wounding of thousands of others, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands, in addition to a large number of missing persons.

Sudanese political analysts point out that the security and military reform workshop, which was among the five issues discussed before the signing of the final agreement between the “Freedom and Change – Central Council” and the military, is the reason for igniting the April war. They say that the supporters of the former regime and the “National Accord” group that supported the October 25 coup are promoting that the forces of “Freedom and Change – the Central Council Group” are the reason for the outbreak of the war, and they criticize its failure to condemn the violations committed by the “rapid support” forces during the war.

Other analysts went on to say that it was the framework agreement that triggered the war. Because it is the most active political force in the Sudanese scene, pointing out that the role of the head of the United Nations Mission in Sudan, Volker Peretz, constituted interference in internal affairs, which they likened to a new colonialism, and some demonstrations took place calling for his expulsion from the country.

Khaled Omar Youssef, spokesman for the political process and Minister of Presidential Affairs in Hamdok’s first government (SUNA)

Civil forces are not the reason

The head of the United Nations Conference on Minorities, Ambassador Tariq al-Kurdi, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “From the events that we experienced in Sudan in the previous period, some say that freedom and change – the Central Council is the cause of the war, but by going back a little, We ask: Who benefits from the chaos and war in Sudan?

Al-Kurdi continues: “If we say metaphorically that the forces of freedom and change are the cause, then what can they benefit from the war? These forces came up with the framework agreement document, and it is a human act subject to error and right, and certainly there are deficiencies, but the agreement was able to find a solution to the political blockage, As the only one proposed and represents a solution to the problem experienced by the country. And if there were political entities that had a solution other than the framework agreement, they should have presented it in the political arena or for the Sudanese people to evaluate the best theses.

Al-Kurdi added that all the provisions of the framework agreement lead to things that found a consensus among the majority of the Sudanese people, which is the need for a civilian government followed by free and fair elections in which the people decide who will rule them, in addition to addressing five issues: dismantling the empowerment of the previous regime, the Juba Peace Agreement, and the East issue. Security and military reform, and transitional justice.

Al-Kurdi explained that “the outcome of the agreement is two things: reforming the military institution, including the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the armed forces, but the difference occurred in the details, and the Forces for Freedom and Change – the Central Council, which succeeded in signing an agreement with the military forces that dominate the country, cannot That war erupts in Sudan, and whoever claims that does not read the reality properly.

Al-Burhan and “Hamedti” in one of their meetings before the outbreak of the conflict (AFP)

Conflict between the military

A spokesman for “Freedom and Change”, Shihab Ibrahim, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the April war is between two military parties. And since we represent the civil party in the political equation, our responsibility, therefore, is political, not partisan.

Ibrahim explained that “the forces of freedom and change alerted to the possibilities of military conflict from an early age, and they were putting solutions on the table of the military for the existence of one army.” He added, “The crisis of the military conflict is a result of the multiplicity of armies, which was exploited by the former regime to block the path to any political solution after the October 25 coup, and led the situation to war.”

Ibrahim continued, “The former regime is the first accused of reaching the stage of war,” considering that launching the charges against the “Central Council” group is an attempt to isolate the civil forces that initiated the political process, to consolidate the control of the military elements.

And if the “Freedom and Change – Central Council” group does not meet with consensus by the Sudanese people, then it can be said that it represents more than 50 percent of it, and includes “the glorious youth of the December Revolution,” in addition to other revolutionary forces, and presented theses to solve the Sudanese problem. And followed methods of democratic political action based on different opinions, visions and strategies.

This is confirmed by the head of the United Nations Conference on Minorities, Ambassador Tariq al-Kurdi, explaining that “there is no consensus in political action, but there is a transitional period with certain programs that lead to elections in which the people choose who will rule them.” And he continues, “There is no party or political body that finds consensus among the people. Even the army does not represent the Sudanese people, and as a result of its practices in the processions rejecting the October 25 coup, a rift appeared between it and the people, but this does not mean that the people will stand against the army.

Plumes of smoke rise after a fire in a warehouse south of Khartoum on Tuesday (AFP)

“Quick Support” law

Before the fall of the June 30 regime, the relationship of some political parties and forces with the “rapid support” forces was not good, including the “forces of freedom and change.” And because politics has no constant enemy or friend in it, the relationship turned from hostility to friendship, and the commander of the “rapid support” forces, Muhammad Hamdan Daglo (Hamidati), and the leaders of the Central Council parties, agreed on the necessity of civil rule in Sudan, the return of the military to the barracks, and the accountability of the leaders of Ex-order spoilers, and other issues.

After the signing of the framework agreement on the fifth of last December, and the holding of 5 workshops prior to the signing of the final agreement, which was scheduled for the date of last April 6, voices were raised rejecting the security and military reform, given that the civil forces are not qualified to talk about this matter.

The strong relationship between “Rapid Support” and “Freedom and Change – the Central Council Group” was rejected by some resistance committees and other political parties, which considered that Hamidti participated in the October 25 coup, and therefore the coup and its consequences, i.e. the framework agreement, must be overthrown. “Quick Support” by “militia”.

However, the Kurdish ambassador said that “we must call things by their proper names”, and asked about the meaning of the word “militia”, and to whom does it apply legally? He said, “(Rapid Support) exists by a law approved by Parliament, and Hamidti is the vice president of the state. Is he from the militias? He added, “(Rapid Support) was able to introduce vehicles to the capital with the knowledge of the military and political leadership, and in the recent period thousands of officers were graduating from colleges.”

Al-Kurdi indicated that “Hemedti tried to appear that he was with democracy, and hijacked the revolutionary discourse, and he committed war crimes in Khartoum and other regions. Can it achieve democracy?” He pointed out that “the Sudanese army also committed crimes by using aircraft that led to the deaths of civilians.”

Al-Kurdi believed that “the hijacking of the December revolution is a big problem, in which all political parties participated,” but he added: “I believe that the youth of the Sudanese revolution are light years ahead of all political parties in Sudan, intellectually and politically, and seek to change the face of Sudan.”

The struggle for gold

A member of the Sudanese Communist Party, Siddiq Farouk, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the struggle of some countries over gold is one of the main factors for igniting the war, not the Central Council Group, stressing that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to promote the idea that The “Freedom and Change” group is responsible for the outbreak of war, “but this matter is a matter of ashes in the eyes.”

Farouk added, “We must understand the contexts of the (freedom and change) forces, their stages, and their various components. Most of its components had not previously classified (rapid support) as a militia, but the Umma Party, under the leadership of Sadiq al-Mahdi, and some other forces, dealt with it before the revolution in 2018-2019 with this classification, and the communists united them in the session of the Central Committee April 2019 called for the necessity of dissolving This militia is with other militias, from the popular defense and others, and its demobilization, and the need for the establishment of a single professional army, but the majority of the forces of freedom and change saw dealing with the reality of the existence of (rapid support) as a military component.

Destruction of a house that was hit by an artillery shell in the Al-Azhari neighborhood, south of Khartoum (AFP)

The role of the “Brotherhood”

Farouk made it clear that after the 2021 coup, the head of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, revealed his ties with the Brotherhood organization, by adopting decisions that would restore them to power, violating the decisions of the committee to dismantle the empowerment of their regime, which created a rapprochement between Hamidti and the forces of “freedom and change” that are isolated from power. by the coup.

Analysts believe that since the formation of the government of former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, it has been targeted by the arrows of criticism, and the political incubator has been preoccupied with conflicts that weakened the government, which made it easier for the military to control files that belong to the civilian government. This allowed the supporters of the former regime to promote that the citizen enjoyed security, stability and a decent life during their era, in contrast to Hamdok’s era, which witnessed a rise in the prices of goods and services, to the point where the citizen became unable to provide his most basic needs.

On this matter, Muhammad Abu Zaid, head of the “Just Peace Forum”, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The period of rule of the forces of freedom and change is one of the most unsuccessful periods of Sudan’s rule, and it witnessed a security, economic and social deterioration, during which the country was torn apart and fragmented.” He added, “The forces of freedom and change failed even to maintain their alliance, and their first and second governments failed to complete the transitional period.”

Abu Zeid concludes, saying: “I believe that the war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces is a result of their miserable rule and political practices.”