Sun, 01 Oct 2023

Sudan's Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces Attack Weapons Factory

Voice of America
09 Jun 2023, 16:05 GMT+10

WASHINGTON - As the fighting in Sudan enters its eighth week, the two sides in the conflict are battling for control of a military industrial complex in southern Khartoum.

Yousif Eizzat, the political adviser of the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces, RSF, says that their fighters have captured the country's largest ammunition depot and weapons factory in Yarmouk and that it is under the control of General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

"RSF are controlling 90% of Khartoum, and maybe today after controlling the military industry, it's almost like 95%. That's the current situation on the ground," he said. "This is the biggest factory for bullets, for weapons and also the biggest storage for the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Khartoum. This is a strategic storage for SAF for weapons, for bullets, for all the [military] equipment."

Eizzat also said the SAF are trying to prolong the street battles in the country's capital with the aim of strengthening their position before returning to a peace process in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that is being led by the United States and the host country.

VOA's request for comment from representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces went unanswered. VOA also reached out to Sudan's ambassador in the United States and didn't get a response.

Sudan's permanent representative to the United Nations, Al-Harith Idris, called on Saudi Arabia and the United States to put pressure on the RSF to make a commitment to abide by the results of the indirect negotiations with the SAF in Jeddah.

Idris told VOA's Al-hurra Arabic TV channel that the SAF has reservations about negotiations as long as the rebel forces do not abide by the cease-fire.

Eizzat said the RSF is not ready for talks with the government of Sudan, adding that the talks in Jeddah will not end the violence in the country.

"There's no negotiation with them (the Sudanese government). And those who want to continue on, it's because they're from the old regime and they want to come back to power and they want the RSF to sit with them as a government and the RSF as rebels and that will never happen," he told VOA.

Nearly 2 million people have been displaced by the conflict, according to the latest U.N. figures, including 476,000 who have sought refuge in neighboring countries of Egypt, Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Sudan's permanent representative to the United Nations said aid agencies have started delivering relief to residents of Khartoum. "We are in contact with the Office for Relief Coordination (OSHA), which allocated 18 million dollars three weeks ago, and then launched a campaign to raise two billion dollars,' he told Al-hurra's TV channel.

This story originated in VOA's English to Africa Service.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA's Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the South Sudan In Focus radio program.

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