Sudan Factions Form New Alliance as Splits Deepen From Main Bloc

Head of the Sudan Liberation Movement and governor of Darfur Mini Minawi (L) and head of the Justice and Equality Movement and Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim (C), as well as other political leaders, hold a conference entitled the "National Consensus Charter of the Forces of Freedom and Change" in Sudan's capital Khartoum, announcing the formation of an alliance separate from the country's main civilian bloc, on October 2, 2021. (AFP)
Head of the Sudan Liberation Movement and governor of Darfur Mini Minawi (L) and head of the Justice and Equality Movement and Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim (C), as well as other political leaders, hold a conference entitled the "National Consensus Charter of the Forces of Freedom and Change" in Sudan's capital Khartoum, announcing the formation of an alliance separate from the country's main civilian bloc, on October 2, 2021. (AFP)
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Sudan Factions Form New Alliance as Splits Deepen From Main Bloc

Head of the Sudan Liberation Movement and governor of Darfur Mini Minawi (L) and head of the Justice and Equality Movement and Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim (C), as well as other political leaders, hold a conference entitled the "National Consensus Charter of the Forces of Freedom and Change" in Sudan's capital Khartoum, announcing the formation of an alliance separate from the country's main civilian bloc, on October 2, 2021. (AFP)
Head of the Sudan Liberation Movement and governor of Darfur Mini Minawi (L) and head of the Justice and Equality Movement and Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim (C), as well as other political leaders, hold a conference entitled the "National Consensus Charter of the Forces of Freedom and Change" in Sudan's capital Khartoum, announcing the formation of an alliance separate from the country's main civilian bloc, on October 2, 2021. (AFP)

Several political factions including ex-rebel groups announced Saturday the formation of an alliance separate from Sudan’s main civilian bloc, in the latest sign of splits marring the country’s transition.

The announcement at a ceremony in Khartoum came as Sudan reels from fragmentation within the Forces of Freedom and Change, an alliance which spearheaded protests that ousted president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, AFP reported.

Sudan has since August 2019 been run by an administration of military generals and civilians from the FFC through a rocky transition marked by economic woes.

Splits have deepened within the FFC in recent months, and support for the transitional government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has waned in large part due to a raft of tough economic reforms.

Saturday’s ceremony included political parties as well as the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction led by Mini Minawi and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of Gibril Ibrahim.

“We want a united FFC,” Minawi said during the ceremony.

“We urge the people on your side who pretend they are from the FFC to sit with us and listen to us,” he added, addressing both the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the prime minister.

Hamdok did not attend Saturday’s ceremony.

In early September, he was at the signing ceremony for an alliance of other factions within the FFC that also called for unity, calling it a “step in the right direction.”

Neither Minawi nor Ibrahim took part in that signing.

In October last year, Minawi’s SLM faction and Ibrahim’s JEM were among rebel groups that signed a peace deal with the government to end long-running conflicts under Bashir.

Minawi was named governor of western Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region in May, while Ibrahim was appointed finance minister last February.

On September 21, the government announced thwarting a coup attempt by military officers and civilians who it said were linked to Bashir’s regime.

The country has been grappling with protests in east Sudan by key tribes opposed to the October peace deal.

Protests have also erupted in major cities including Khartoum condemning the military coup attempt and calling for civilian rule.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.