Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Lieutenant General Yasir Al-Atta, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese army, has publicly dismissed appeals for a ceasefire with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group during the holy month of Ramadan.

This announcement comes in the wake of a plea from the UN Security Council urging both sides in Sudan’s protracted conflict to halt hostilities ahead of Ramadan. The conflict, which has endured for 11 months across various regions including Khartoum, Darfur, Kordofan, and Al-Jazira, has precipitated a dire humanitarian crisis.

Speaking on Saturday to graduating Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) forces in Kassala, Al-Atta addressed the ceasefire entreaties, asserting that the military and the populace would not accede to a truce imposed by external parties. He underscored Sudan’s military chief, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s stance, asserting that a ceasefire with the RSF remains untenable due to their perceived moral bankruptcy and disregard for legal norms.

Al-Atta delineated precise conditions for any prospective ceasefire: the RSF’s evacuation from occupied territories in Darfur and Kordofan, their withdrawal from Khartoum, and the relinquishment of military hardware. He stressed that negotiations would only commence upon the fulfillment of these terms, and that such discussions would solely revolve around legal accountability, potentially involving dismissal or reintegration based on individual legal determinations.

During his address, Al-Atta vehemently opposed any prospective political role for the “Daglo family,” alluding to RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Daglo and other senior RSF figures. He contended that the Sudanese people should determine political leadership post-conflict, rejecting negotiations as a means of determining political hierarchies. Furthermore, he emphasized the RSF’s incompatibility with the core values of the Sudanese armed forces, such as honor, integrity, and impartiality.

Expressing gratitude to international entities and states, regardless of their stance on the conflict, Al-Atta reiterated the Sudanese military’s commitment to fulfilling the populace’s will, defined as “defeating the RSF and building a modern Sudan.” Additionally, he called for the establishment of an emergency government to bolster the war effort and facilitate the reconstruction of areas liberated from RSF control. JEM leader and Finance Minister, Gibril Ibrahim, stood alongside Al-Atta during his speech, seemingly endorsing his assertions.

In a parallel development, Al-Atta renewed accusations against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), alleging direct UAE support for RSF actions, including killings, looting, and violence against civilians. He utilized inflammatory language to characterize the UAE leadership as an “evil state” and “princes of ruin.” Al-Atta maintained that these violations occurred despite international oversight from various organizations.

Furthermore, he asserted that the UAE instigated the conflict to further its interests in Sudan, including control over ports, agricultural land, and mineral resources, ultimately aiming to assert control over Sudanese state institutions. These accusations have precipitated a diplomatic rift between Sudan, the UAE, and Chad, with Al-Atta asserting that the UAE provided weapons to the RSF via Chad, exacerbating tensions in the region.

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