’Use the door, not the window’ - Ambassador tells foreign powers with interest in Sudan war

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 27 May 2024 at 10:46

Khalid Musa, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Sudanese Embassy in Rwanda, believes that regional and foreign powers with interests in Sudan have helped fuel the civil war back home.

Speaking during a recent interview with IGIHE, Musa maintained that the conflict in Sudan was not about the two army generals, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, aka Hemeti, the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

“I would like to correct the narrative that this is not a war between two generals. It is a war between the RSF against the sovereignty of the political independence and people of the country,” he stated.

The war in Sudan erupted in April 2023. It stemmed from a power struggle within the military. According to the United Nations (UN), over 12,000 people have died, and more than 33,000 have been injured as a result of the conflict.

Musa noted that the RSF militia enjoys huge support from machinery recruited from neighbouring countries with backing from a regional power and other foreign actors with interests in Sudan.

“They have recruited mercenaries from neighbouring countries. We have more than 40,000 of these troops coming from Niger, Chad, and the Arab nomads from these countries. Some are coming from South Sudan and Ethiopia. There are some Ethiopians fighting with them. We don’t know whether this is with the permission or knowledge of the government of Ethiopia, but I deny that it is known to the government. Most of these mercenaries were fighting in Libya before. They have moved them all to Darfur. Their ethnic background is Arab nomads. Recruiting mercenaries is one of the main chains of supply for the troops to fight,” he added.

Musa lamented that military supplies from the third parties had prolonged the crisis, perpetuating the suffering of the Sudanese people.

“There is a military supply coming from a regional power that is well-documented in the UN Security Council report. Just five days ago, Human Rights Watch published a detailed report on the atrocities committed by the RSF, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“There is political support from the regional power as well. So, it’s not about the RSF as an independent political and military power. No. They are an agent for a regional power, carrying out their objective to change the political landscape and leadership in Sudan for the benefit, support, and interest of another regional power,” Musa noted.

To end the conflict that has seen the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mentioned severally amid the raging crisis, the ambassador emphasized that the Sudanese government was ready to engage foreign powers with interests in the country’s rich natural resources through proper channels, urging them not to use the window while the doors were wide open.

“They can help stop this war by halting military support and promoting political support. They can create regional peace and stability, but due to political and strategic interests… Sudan is a very rich country in terms of natural resources and geopolitical location. There are many people and countries interested in engaging in Sudan, but there are proper channels for governments to cooperate for mutual interests. If we open the door for you to come, why would you want to go through the window? We would like them to knock on the door, not jump through the window,” the envoy averred.

He emphasized that RSF can’t win the war because they don’t have the "minds and hearts of the people of Sudan."

“They do not have the hearts of the people of Sudan. Now they control four parts of Darfur and the parts they control are still empty, there is no leadership, there is no food, there are no clinics, there are no schools, there is nothing,” he added.

He acknowledged that the African Union (AU) has the capacity to address the conflict in Sudan, but claimed that they lack the political will.

“To be honest, they are lacking political will and not capacity to contribute to peace and stability in Sudan,” he stated.

Musa further maintained that the Sudanese government had not refused dialogue with the RSF, stating that the government is seeking discussions based on previous agreements. He urged the militia to abide by the demands of the citizens, to cease hostilities against civilians, and to disarm.