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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Sudan Army Chief Burhan Spotted Exiting HQ First Time

Sudan’s Army Chief, General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, emerged in a video shared by the army on Thursday from the Khartoum army command compound. This marked his first public appearance since the onset of a conflict over four months ago.

The conflict involves clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for control of the capital and major cities. Diplomatic attempts at mediation have failed as both sides remain convinced of their victory. Although the RSF has held ground in Khartoum, the army has utilized air power in an attempt to dislodge the paramilitary forces.

The ongoing conflict has resulted in significant civilian casualties and displaced more than 4.5 million people according to the United Nations. In the recently circulated video, General Burhan was shown at the Wadi Sayidna air force base in Omdurman, conveying encouragement to cheering soldiers.

This video appearance coincided with the RSF’s attack on the Armored Corps base in southern Khartoum. The RSF claimed to be blockading the army command base, apart from which the Armored Corps base is the only other major army installation in the capital.

The circumstances under which General Burhan was able to leave Khartoum remain unclear. The army also controls bases in Omdurman and Bahri, including the well-protected Wadi Sayidna air force base.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the RSF, has previously criticized Burhan for reportedly being in hiding. While the conflict has already led to dire humanitarian consequences, the onset of the rainy season exacerbates the situation, with reported outbreaks of diseases like measles, acute watery diarrhea, malaria, and dengue fever.

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