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Formation of Sudan’s new joint security force s0parks mixed reactions

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RSF units prepare to be deployed in Darfur on 19 January 2021 (ST photo)June 19, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sovereign Council’s decision to establish a joint force to maintain security in the capital sparked mixed reactions among the Sudanese people and some political forces.

The Sovereign Council on 17 June announced the formation of a joint force involving the army the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen, the police and armed groups to maintain security and order in the capital and other big towns.

The decision comes after the spread of criminal activities and violence in the capital Khartoum.

However, the formation of the joint security force triggered fears, especially since they are not trained to maintain security in cities.

Also, the participation of the notorious RSF militiamen was not welcomed due to their bad record of human rights violations.

The ruling coalition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) did not issue an official position on this decision which is largely rejected on social media and portrayed as a further breach by the military for the transitional constitutional document.

A member of the FFC Leadership Council, Haider al-Safi, told Sudan Tribune that the political coalition has not taken a position of force so far.

"We will hold our regular meeting tomorrow and we may discuss a unified position," he added.

But this did not prevent Mohamed Esmat of the United Unionist Party from describing the decision to form the joint force as "strange, flawed and suspicious".

This decision is a prelude to "situations worse than some can imagine," stressed Ismat in a post on his Facebook page on Saturday.

Last Tuesday, the head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Sudan UNITAMS, Volker Perthes said he encourages the international community to support the Sudanese police which had been weakened by the ousted regime as it focused on the repressive security apparatus and various militias.

"The police are the most appropriate body to protect civilians. Preparations are underway with them for training programmes to be held in Khartoum and Darfur. In the future, we will expand it to include the Two Areas and eastern Sudan," told reporters.

The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) officials reached by the Sudan Tribune preferred to not comment on this decision for the time being.

For his part, Mohamed Hassan Haroun Spokesman of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi welcomed the formation of this new force.

Haroun said they would take part in its operations pointing to the need to curb the insecurity.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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