Sudan's army chief says Haftar denies supporting RSF; no confirmation on Wagner Group’s involvement

Ahram Online , Saturday 22 Apr 2023

Sudan’s army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, stated on Saturday that General Khalifa Haftar of Libya is not supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by his rival Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, with no evidence of involvement from the Russian paramilitary group Wagner.

Abdel Fattah Burhan
Sudan s army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan AFP


In an interview with the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya, al-Burhan disclosed that he received a phone call from General Haftar in which he denied supporting the RSF. He added, “So far, there has been no confirmation about the Wagner Group's support for the RSF.”

A CNN report published on Friday claimed that the Wagner Group was supplying the RSF with missiles to aid their fight against the army. A claim that was “categorically rejected” by the RSF.

“RSF [fighters] are deployed in residential neighbourhoods and they’re using civilians as human shields; they also attacked stores, banks and governmental institutions,” Burhan told Al-Arabiya on Saturday.

"A group of RSF fighters also raided late on Friday al-Huda prison, the biggest prison in Khartoum with around 8000 inmates; they killed the guards and security personnel and freed all the prisoners," he said.

He added, "I am currently in the command centre doing my duty and will only leave it in a coffin. But nobody knows where the RSF leader is, even his forces do not know where he is.”

“[Fighting] inside cities prolongs the confrontation. Gunmen must leave residential neighbourhoods to end [this] war,” Burhan said, adding that no one “can forecast when and how the [clashes] will end.”

Burhan confirmed that all the airports in Sudan are under “the army’s control" except for the airports in the capital, Khartoum and Nyala, the capital of the state of South Darfur.

The violence broke out on 15 April between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

On Friday, the army announced they "agreed to a ceasefire for three days" for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The World Health Organisation reported on Friday that 413 people have been killed and 3,551 injured since fighting broke out. The death toll includes at least five aid workers in a country reliant on food aid.

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