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Sudanese army reiterates “irreversible dissolution” of paramilitary forces

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June 8, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Monday dismissed reports about the renaming of the Popular Defense Forces (PDF) to the Reserve Department, stressing that its dissolution is an irreversible decision

PDF fighters file photoAn internal note by the Sudanese army on 4 June said that the PDF has been renamed the Reserve Department. Also, after its spread, in social media, the army issued a statement saying that the Reserve Department has no relation with the notorious paramilitary force because it was established after its dissolution.

Reacting to the criticism raised by the dissemination of the document, the General Adviser of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Brigadier-General al-Tahir Mohamed Abu Haja issued a second statement on Monday asserting that the PDF has been disbanded adding its "dissolution was irreversible".

“The armed forces confirm that this news is not true, and there is no existing body that represents what was contained in the false circulated information which intended to offend the military institution in a way that serves the agenda of the enemies of the country.”

He further said that SAF is reorganizing and restructuring its armies according to the requirements of the current political change, which provides to eliminate "manifestations of unprofessionalism and loyalty" to unpatriotic entities or to establish any bodies that violate its pledge to the Sudanese people.

On April 17, 2019, the Transitional Military Council - before its dissolution - issued a decision placing the PDF and the Popular Police under the authority of the Sudanese army.

The Popular Defense Forces were established by ousted President Omar al-Bashir months after the Islamist 1989 coup and were placed under the authority of the president.

The militia which recruited Islamists elements to fight the rebel SPLA in South Sudan during the first years of the regime, gradually turned into a paramilitary force to defend the former regime.

(ST)

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