September 16, 2023
In a bold threat issued on Thursday, the commander of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, “Hemetti,” warned that if the army commander forms a cabinet centred in Port Sudan, he would declare another government with Khartoum as its capital.
In recent weeks, al-Burhan, having left the headquarters of the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum, established his base of operations in Port Sudan, the capital of the Red Sea State. This move has also prompted many federal government institutions to conduct their affairs from this coastal city.
Some media reported that the army, along with political factions aligned with it, plans to establish an emergency government centred in Port Sudan. However, this proposal has been met with resistance from political groups opposed to the ongoing conflict, who advocate for the formation of a civilian transitional government.
In a recording shared on Twitter, Hemetti stated, “We have shown great patience with al-Burhan’s unilateral decisions, despite their illegitimacy. We will not permit anyone to represent Sudan and claim legitimacy. Should this situation persist or remnants attempt to form a government in Port Sudan, we will promptly initiate extensive consultations to establish a legitimate authority in areas under our control, with Khartoum as its capital. We will not tolerate the creation of an alternative seat of power.”
Hemetti emphasized that the foremost priority should be the cessation of hostilities and the reunification of Sudan, rather than the establishment of a war-centric government in Port Sudan.
The RSF Commander asserted that the conflict that erupted on April 15 was initiated by members of former President Al-Bashir’s party to obstruct the path to political and democratic transition. He added, “Al-Burhan has harboured long-standing ambitions to become a dictator-president, and he conspired with these remnants.”
He further said that al-Burhan and his allies expected they could swiftly defeat the RSF. He asserted that the paramilitary forces now control a significant portion of Khartoum State and extensive parts of the country.
Hemetti acknowledged that Al-Burhan and members of the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) exert influence over eastern Sudan and regions in the north. Nevertheless, he asserted, “These territories are within our reach should we desire it. We could be in Port Sudan today.”
“After their failure to defeat the RSF and Al-Burhan’s ambition to rule, even if over a portion of Sudan, they have congregated in Port Sudan. This includes NCP leaders and individuals evading justice, all claiming to represent a legitimate authority. Al-Burhan embarks on foreign tours, asserting himself as the head of state despite lacking legitimacy, with the aim of forming a government in a part of Sudan. Despite our control over most of Sudan, we refrain from declaring a government. We seek no authority and remain dedicated to preserving Sudan’s unity,” he said.
Sudan’s Army Commander-in-Chief, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, has been on a series of foreign tours since August, visiting countries such as Egypt, South Sudan, Qatar, Eritrea, and Turkey.
Hemetti strongly warned against the potential consequences of attempting to establish a government in a portion of Sudan and al-Burhan’s continued pursuit of legitimacy. He cautioned that these actions could lead to Sudan’s division.
“Al-Burhan could not maintain his legitimacy at the General Command, from which he fled. How can he claim to govern all of Sudan? Our primary focus now should be ending the conflict and unifying Sudan. Therefore, we must not permit the formation of a war-centric government in Port Sudan.”
He called upon national forces, what he referred to as “honourable armed forces,” and the international and regional communities to counter any endeavours aimed at fragmenting Sudan.