A week ago, the deputy chairman to the Sudanese Sovereignty Council and commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, issued a controversial decision to form a joint force that includes members from his own force, the army, the armed signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement, in addition to the police, and the General Intelligence Service (GIS). The decision clarified that this force aims to resolve “the insecurity chaos in the capital and the states, as well as impose the prestige of the state.”
AlTaghyeer: Amal Mohammed al-Hassan
“This joint force must not see the light of day.”
Thus declared Sa’ti al-Hajj, member of the Central Council for Freedom and Change, firmly, regarding his position and the vision of his party, the Nasseri Unionist Party, in regards to the decision issued by the deputy chairman and RSF commander, Lieutenant-General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti”, to form a joint force to resolve the chaos in the capital and the states.
Al-Hajj considers the decision “dangerous” and “unconstitutional”, bearing no “legal basis”.
He pointed out that internal security is the work of the state police and not within the jurisdiction of the Rapid Support Forces, the Sudanese Armed Forces, or the intelligence services.
A number of parties seem to share the Nasseri party its fears.
The Communist Party issued a statement accusing the Sovereign Council of usurping the powers of the Council of Ministers, and likening the joint force to the force that broke up the sit-in in-front of the General Command on June 2019.
Despite this rejection; the joint force has indeed seen the light and has already commenced its work.
According to a senior police officer, one campaign includes about 220 individuals distributed among 20 “Thatcher” four-wheel drive pick-up trucks, with each car containing “11” agents; each force represented within every Thatcher.
The officer –who preferred to remain unidentified— revealed to AlTaghyeer that “the campaign missions are divided between stationing and patrolling.”
Police source: Reports of looting have dropped to zero after the deployment of the joint forces
The officer explained that the campaigns that were launched in the city of Bahri saw all participating personnel complying with the police’s command, led by an officer ranked “brigadier general” who happens to be the director of the Bahri local police.
He added that a police officer bearing the rank of colonel could be assigned to follow-up on the forces, and indicated that the highest rank in the forces supporting the police is the rank of captain.
The source confirmed that the campaign, which began a few days ago, proved effectiveness immediately with the absence of reported looting in a number of police stations in Bahri locality (for Monday and Tuesday, compared to one report on Wednesday).
He pointed out that the number of reports in one section before the start of the joint force’s work ranged between “6-8” reports; all reports of looting and kidnapping.
Regulars and Impostors
The source revealed that, in a large number of reports, the persons accused had usually been described as government agents.
“Citizens were filing reports against members of the regular authorities that were riding in cars carrying no number plates.”
The police source acknowledged their inability to arrest any of the offenders in these reports before.
He stressed on the effectiveness of the joint forces, which he said are necessary to deal with cases in which there are suspected criminals impersonating members of the regular forces.
“When suspects impersonating regular forces are arrested, it is easy to deal with them in the presence of the joint force, and they are immediately referred to the party they pretend to be affiliated with.”
The police officer is of the opinion that the joint forces are not hijacking the role of the police; rather supporting it in light of the police’s weak capabilities and its inability to cover all localities at the same time.
The source emphasized that this weakness contributed to the spread of crimes with impunity.
He went on to explain that police squad cars were encountering swathes of what is colloquially known as “Niggers” gangs in the area but were worried about intervening due to insufficient staffing and “police officers being disallowed the use of force.”
Reviving the Operations Authority
To Sa’ti al-Hajj, the presence of members of the General Intelligence Service among the components of the joint force is an attempt to breathe life back into the Operations Authority, which was affiliated with the previous regime’s now disbanded Security and Intelligence Service (NISS).
Al-Hajj believes that the Rapid Support Forces’ rasion d’etre ended with the fall of al-Bashir’s National Salvation regime, adding that “there is no justification for their continuity in political or military life.”
He stressed on the need not to grant the Rapid Support Forces tasks to be carried out outside of the tasks they were formed for.
“It is better to direct the budgets that will be granted to this joint force to train the police and provide them with aid,” he added.
According to an informed intelligence source, the intelligence service’s role is limited to information exclusively, and not to military activities; stressing that the joint forces are mainly composed of police forces backed by other forces.
Intelligence source: Insecurity incidents negatively affect diplomatic missions and investors
In his testimony to AlTaghyeer, the source pointed out to the growing violent insecurity incidents were caused by individuals impersonating armed movements, and stressed the need to tackle this phenomenon to in order to protect the citizens and their property.
Regarding the accusations leveled by the parties, the source said that the parties “have no background on the joint forces, their composition, or their tasks!”
The intelligence source defended the joint forces by saying that the role of the forces is much needed with the increase in crimes and the use of weapons in a capital city that was the most stable in the past.
He pointed to the impact of these crimes on diplomats and investors, stressing that the state will be harmed if it does not rush to put an end to these violations.
The source called for encouraging the work of the joint forces, and calling on the state to take more security measures.
His thoughts on the matter correspond with those of the Executive Director of the Presidency of Security Arrangements in the Justice and Equality Movement, Jamal Hamed, who confirmed the existence of lawlessness in the capital and the states, causing the citizens to live in a state of insecurity.
Hamed told AlTaghyeer that there are cars roaming without number plates, and referred to the accusations leveled against parties affiliated with the armed movements in the infamous assassination of Dr. Magdi al-Rasheed.
The director confirmed the escort of a prosecutor from the joint forces, and the presence of representatives from the movements, in the event that any criminal claims to belong to them.
“This is verified immediately.”
The legal expert Nabil Adeeb supported what Hamed said by saying that the joint forces are intended to confront the intrusions carried out by parties claiming to belong to a regular party or armed movements.
Adeeb stressed the inability of the police to deal with the intrusions carried out by regular and armed parties, considering that their ability to tackle crime committed by individuals claiming affiliation to armed forces the joint force’s solitary justification for its existence.
“Other than that, military forces are not permitted to follow crime,” he added.
The Egyptian «Scenario»
The political analyst Salah al-Doma however, described the joint forces as “tampering” and “circumvention”, and considered that it was a method reminiscent of the era of the deposed National Salvation regime.
Political analyst: The joint force is a re-enactment of the Egyptian scenario and the solution is to summon the authority of the masses
In his interview with AlTaghyeer, al-Doma accused the government of evading the entitlements of implementing the Juba Peace Agreement, describing the decision as a “leap in the dark.”
Al-Doma added that what is happening now and the consequences that will happen later are the implementation of the scenario drawn up by the deep state, the military council, and the intelligence service.
According to the political analyst, the scenario was reminiscent of the Egyptian experience in the way the military seized the reins of power.
He described the initiative by the Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok as being of no value, and described him as “a deer watching predatory animals eating its children without having the ability to do anything!”
To him, the way out of an “Egyptian scenario” is for Hamdok to talk transparently with the Sudanese people and tell them that the soldiers have taken over and activated the deep state and the security apparatus, adding that “the solution is to invoke the authority of the masses.”
Between the refusal of the joint forces, and the justifications for their presence promoted by all the regular agencies, the question remains about the extent of their effectiveness in establishing security in the capital, Khartoum, and the states, where looting incidents perpetrated by infamous “Nine Long” gangs are a plenty, and whether their cause of being is really to resolve intrusions or hijack the civil authority.