Paramilitary forces' threat to form parallel gov't fuels concerns about fragmentation of Sudan

Clouds of smoke rising from a post belonging to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) after a drone attack launched by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), in Khartoum, Sudan. [Xinhua]

Concerns about the risk of fragmentation in Sudan began to loom larger after the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo stated his intention to form a parallel government.

In an audio speech posted Thursday evening on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Dagalo threatened to establish a parallel government in Khartoum and RSF-held areas if the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) declared a government in Port Sudan, the capital city of the Red Sea State in eastern Sudan.

In reaction, several political entities warned against the danger of forming two governments in areas controlled by the two warring parties in Sudan.

"There are reports about the intention to form a government in Port Sudan and another in Khartoum. If such a thing happens, it would actually mean the division of Sudan into two states," Jaafar Hassan, a spokesperson for the Central Council for the Forces of Freedom and Change, said Friday on X.

He urged the two parties to stop such moves and immediately return to Jeddah negotiations for a cease-fire.

Mohamed Hassan Al-Taishi, a former member of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council, echoed Hassan's opinion in a post on X, stating that "underestimating wars and their causes led to the worst armed conflict in the history of our country, and deliberate underestimation of the risk of division will inevitably lead to fragmentation."

He added that it is a national necessity to resist the formation of regional governments like the ones where the remnants of the former regime and their supporters are active.

Meanwhile, Khalid Omer Youssef, the deputy head of the Sudanese Congress Party, described the RSF commander's statements as "very dangerous."

"Sudan seems to be heading toward division at a rocket speed," he said on X on Friday.

"All forces willing for peace must unite to end the war through negotiations to maintain the unity of our country," the party leader said, noting that saving Sudan depends on ending the war and moving towards real and fair peaceful solutions.

The Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, in the meantime, voiced in a statement on Friday its categorical rejection of the unilateral establishment of any government before reaching a comprehensive political deal.

"We hold the party which intends to take this step responsible for its repercussions on the unity of the country, its territory, and its people," the statement said.

As the clashes between the Sudanese warring parties just completed their fifth month, the RSF still controls large areas in the capital Khartoum, and some western areas, while the SAF controls large areas in northern, eastern and central Sudan.

The deadly clashes, which broke out on April 15, have resulted in at least 3,000 deaths and more than 6,000 injuries, according to figures released by the Sudanese Health Ministry.