Sudan anti-war front organizes in Addis Ababa
Kabbashi says peace talks to resume in Jeddah
Sudanese political parties, professional associations, resistance committees, and civil society held a preparatory conference in Addis Ababa over the last several days, ahead of the launch of a formal anti-war coalition.
The coalition aims to build popular opposition to the war and pressure the two warring parties to chart a course toward peace. Former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was among those who attended the coalition’s inaugural meeting Saturday.
The group, which goes by the name Civil Front to Stop the War and Restore Democracy, has been organizing for several months. The four-day Addis Ababa conference, October 21-24, represent an important step forward for the coalition.
Tayeb Al-Malikabi, a member of the communications committee of the Civil Front, told Asharq al-Awsat, “The meeting’s agenda focuses on preparing for the general conference of civil forces, outlining a common political vision to be agreed upon, as well as developing clear structures for the front.”
Similarly, Misbah Ahmed Mohammed, the head of media for the National Umma Party and a prominent figure within the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), told Radio Tamazuj, “The goal of this meeting is to prepare for the general conference of the Civil Front, which is expected to be held in the first half of November.”
During the first six months of the war, the anti-war movement so far has failed to gain momentum. Several factors are working against it, including:
the disunity of the anti-war stakeholders;
organizational delays and practical problems;
arrests and suppression of gatherings by anti-war activists;
prevalence of the warring parties’ propaganda online, drowning out anti-war messaging; and
widespread belief in a military solution (“victory is near”) on both sides.
As reported by Sudan Tribune, participants in the meeting include the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), several former Darfur armed groups including JEM-Sandal, the Republican Party, political groups from eastern Sudan, professional groups such as the Elected Journalists Syndicate, the Steering Committee of the Bar Association, the Teachers Committee, the Port Workers Union, University Professors Union, women’s organizations, and peace activists from Darfur and Kordofan.
In total there are about 80 participants. The coalition chose the date October 21 for its inaugural session because it is the anniversary of the October Revolution that toppled the military junta of Maj Gen Ibrahim Abboud in 1964.
Videos of the conference are available on this Facebook page.
Kabbashi extracted from General Command
The deputy commander-in-chief of the Sudan Armed Forces, Shams al-Din Kabbashi, has left the Armed Forces headquarters in central Khartoum where he was besieged since the war began, according to videos published yesterday by the military media.
Kabbashi met with commanders in Wadi Saidna and Karari yesterday, before leaving for Port Sudan, where he reunited with Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, who was himself trapped at the Armed Forces headquarters until his extraction in August.
This development coincides with reports that negotiations could resume in Jeddah between RSF and SAF later this week. In a cell phone video of Kabbashi speaking to fellow officers in Wadi Saidna yesterday, the deputy commander-in-chief said, "We received an invitation to go to Jeddah to resume negotiations. Our delegation will leave and the negotiations will begin Thursday, inshallah.”
In a separate video (above) released through official channels, Kabbashi pledged to defeat the rebellion, saying the army is “waging a battle against rebellion and treason.”
SAF did not say how Kabbashi had traveled from the army headquarters to Omdurman. RSF propagandists offered different explanations for how he had left General Command, including claiming that he dressed as a woman, disguising himself under an abaya and niqab (face veil), in order to make his way through RSF territory.
After al-Burhan’s departure from the headquarters in August, we mapped three possible routes, including by helicopter, by road through enemy territory, or by river.
Sounds of heavy fighting were reported today, October 22, around General Command.
Army mobilizes thousands in al-Fasher
SAF claims to have graduated as many as 4,000 new recruits into its ranks yesterday in al-Fasher. They will join the 6th Infantry Division, where a parade and celebration was held, culminating with an oath of loyalty to the Armed Forces, according to SUNA, the state-run news agency. The Commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Major General Mohamed Ahmed Al-Khader Saleh, addressed the celebration, hailing the new batch of “lions and knights of the West.”
“Today’s graduation represents a message and a practical statement to all those who claim that there are no military recruits in North Darfur.”
Despite the army’s relatively weak position in Darfur on the whole, its position in North Darfur is somewhat stronger, particularly in the capital, al-Fasher. Both RSF and former Darfur armed movements are also present in al-Fasher.
Ayin yesterday published a moving tribute to Halima Idris, a reporter for Sudan Bukra, who died while covering the conditions at a hospital in Ombada, after being run over by a vehicle belonging to the Rapid Support Forces.
“Halima did not rest during the long months of war in the Sudanese capital,” a family member told Ayin. “She focused on covering events, humanitarian conditions, and the health system. She created good relationships with workers in the medical and humanitarian fields thanks to her convivial personality.”
RSF shelled al-Manara Water Station in Omdurman yesterday, October 21, according to SUNA, the state news agency. This led to the station temporarily stopping work. Al-Manara Water Station is one of the main water stations in the Omdurman region, especially Karari Locality. “Its cessation will expose the entire locality to thirst. This heinous crime is added to a long list of atrocities that the rebel militia has been committing,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
SAF Commander-in-Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan issued a decree retiring Maj Gen Mohammad Alawi Kuku Mukhair, a military intelligence officer, and relieving him of his position as chairman of the Joint Supervisory Committee for the Abyei Area (Sudan side). This follows an appearance by Kuku in an RSF video announcing his defection along with other SAF troops to the RSF ranks.