The writer and researcher specializing in African affairs, Musa Sheikho, warned that the Sudanese arena will witness a new approach in the context of the ongoing conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, by adopting the method of liquidating and assassinating the political and military leaders on both sides.
He explained – in his interview with the “Beyond the News” program on (6/15/2023) – that the recent developments in the states of Darfur would prolong the war, which increases the catastrophic situation, in light of the collapse of the peace agreement that was concluded. With the armed movements and factions in it.
This comes against the background of the killing of the governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abkar, and the army accusing the Rapid Support Forces of assassinating him after his kidnapping, which the latter denied, calling for an investigation into the incident, which it condemned and confirmed that it came in the context of a tribal conflict that it accused the army of fueling.
The battles continue between the tribal militants in the states of Darfur, causing more deaths and injuries, and causing difficult living conditions that prompted civilians to flee.
Sheikho believed – in his speech to the program – that the liquidation of the governor of Darfur may open a door for other assassinations, by following the method and approach of those who do not want the situation to calm down and return to the political track, in order to deliver messages to those who take supportive positions for any of the two parties, as was the case with the murdered governor of Darfur.
The researcher in African affairs considered what happened as a dangerous indication of a more complex future, which opens the door to no return in Sudan, with the peace train deviating quickly from the tracks of the Sudanese, which is something that if everyone does not pay attention to it – as he put it – there will be no room for rectifying matters and dealing with them later.
The UN Mission to Support the Transitional Phase in Sudan condemned the killing of Abkar, describing it as a heinous act, referring in a statement to eyewitnesses who reported the involvement of the Rapid Support Forces in it. It also called for the perpetrators to be brought quickly to justice and not to expand the area of violence in the state.
The European Union also condemned the liquidation of the Wali of West Darfur, describing it as a horrific, brutal crime. His ambassador to Sudan, Aidan O’Hara, said that the protection of civilians and access to aid are essential, stressing that those responsible for violations will be held accountable sooner or later.
In turn, writer and political researcher Hafez Kabir stressed that the deterioration of the situation in Darfur cannot be understood in isolation from the history of the tribal conflict in it, while acknowledging that the scene in Khartoum casts a shadow over these developments.
In his interview with “Beyond the News”, the political researcher attributed the situation in Darfur to being out of control due to the removal of the state’s cover from the scene in the region, with the overlapping of the borders separating the tribal structure and the affiliations of its people to the official institutions such as the army, police and rapid support forces.
He held the chief of the army responsible for the assassination of the governor of West Darfur, because he did not provide the necessary protection for him. He also saw that the scene would deteriorate further in light of the continued absence of the civilian parties, and the faltering of the peace agreement due to the division of its parties in terms of supporting the two parties to the conflict.
For his part, the Sudanese writer and political analyst Abdel Majid Abdel Hamid believes that the situation in the states of Darfur indicates the laxity of the hand of the central state in them, and the existence of executive and security holes that ultimately led to these unfortunate conditions.
He considered – in his interview with the program – that the army’s inaction in resolving matters in Khartoum is one of the reasons for the aggravation of the situation in the states of Darfur, and that despite the decline of the military threat after the defeat of the “rebel forces”, this has turned into a security threat that requires firmness and a swift resolution.
The writer believes that if things continue without that decisiveness, the crisis will escalate in light of the fragility of the state, and Sudan will be in the wind before a hot fall.