On Sunday, Sudan’s army issued a statement accusing the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of breaking into Somalia’s embassy in Khartoum and an office belonging to the United Nations (UN). The army further claimed that the RSF looted both the embassy and the UN office, as violent clashes between the two sides continue to escalate across the East African nation.
The RSF, a paramilitary force that operates under the command of Sudan’s military, has been a key player in several conflicts in Sudan, including the ongoing conflict in Darfur. The force has been accused of committing human rights violations, including rape and torture, by both international human rights organizations and the Sudanese opposition.
The Sudanese army’s accusations against the RSF come at a time when the country is facing a political crisis, with the military and civilian factions at odds over the transitional government’s future. The Sudanese military took control of the government in a coup in 2019, following months of protests against long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir.
Since then, the country has been led by a transitional government, which was supposed to pave the way for democratic elections. However, the military and civilian factions have been at loggerheads over the composition and powers of the transitional government, with the military seeking to maintain its grip on power.
The situation in Sudan has been further complicated by the involvement of foreign actors, including Ethiopia and Egypt, in the ongoing dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The dam, which is being built on the Blue Nile, is a source of tension between Ethiopia and downstream countries like Sudan and Egypt, who fear that it will affect their water supply.
Against this backdrop, the accusations against the RSF are likely to heighten tensions further, with the Somali government yet to comment on the situation. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called on Sudanese warring sides to end the conflict through dialogue, but it remains to be seen whether his calls will be heeded.
The situation in Sudan is complex and fluid, with multiple actors and interests at play. However, the accusations against the RSF highlight the need for a resolution to the political crisis in the country, in order to prevent further violence and instability.