Sudan’s top commander says the military is committed to civil rule. WGN Radio 720

Khartoum, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s top commander declared on Friday the military’s commitment to a civilian-led government. This was clearly a bid for international support, days after brutal fighting between his army and powerful militia groups derailed the country’s hopes for a democratic transition.

In his first speech since Sudan was embroiled in civil war almost a week ago, Army Secretary Gen. Abdel Fattah Barhan promised military victory and ensuring a “safe transition to civil rule” for the vast African nation. Did. But for many Sudanese, Barhan’s claims have come to nothing after 18 months of joining forces with current rivals to seize power in a coup that removed the forces of pro-democracy in Sudan. .

Burhan’s announcement came on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and the month of fasting. In Sudan, a day usually filled with prayers, celebrations and feasts, it was a solemn day as gunshots rang out in the capital Khartoum and the smoke was heavy. Mosques held mass morning prayers inside to protect worshipers from escalating fighting that has killed about 300 people so far.

“I am confident that with our training, wisdom and strength, we will overcome this challenge,” Barhan said in his speech, pledging to maintain “national security and unity.”

“The devastation and destruction and the sound of bullets left no place for the happiness that every person in our beloved country deserves,” he added.

The video marked the first sighting of a barhan since violence broke out in Khartoum and elsewhere in the country.

Explosions and shootings that rocked Khartoum on Friday followed enthusiastic international calls for a holiday ceasefire. Barhan’s forces said on Friday the two sides had agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire after the United Nations and US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken urged a moratorium on escalating violence. Troops also promised to cease fighting for three days during Eid al-Fitr to ensure evacuation and safe corridors. But such a proposed moratorium on fighting has repeatedly collapsed over the past week.

Two generals vying for control of the vast African country are also vying for acceptance by foreign powers seeking to usher in Sudan’s long-awaited transition to democracy. Even as factions led by Burhan and General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo were involved in international negotiations and seeking to establish themselves as supporters of democracy on the world stage, they would jointly seize power in the 2021 coup. seized control and effectively became Sudan’s most powerful leader.

Both Burhan and Dagalo have repeatedly failed to implement agreements to hand over power. This includes his 2019 agreement signed after generals betrayed his longtime despot, Omar al-Bashir, following pro-democracy riots against his rule. . .

The deepening stalemate Sudanese military said on Thursday that it would only accept surrender, ruling out talks with rival Rapid Relief Forces.

The military’s stance has pushed Sudan’s population to the brink and raised the likelihood of a new surge in violence that has opened a dark and tumultuous chapter in the country’s history. There are growing concerns that it could involve neighboring countries such as Egypt and Libya.

In Sudan, both the military and the RSF (Rapid Support Forces) have a long history of human rights abuses. The RSF grew out of Janjaweed militias accused of widespread atrocities when the government sent them to quell an insurgency in the Darfur region of western Sudan in the early 2000s. Sudan’s top commander says the military is committed to civil rule. WGN Radio 720

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