Armed Movements Fragmentation Controversy

Muawad Mustafa Rashid

The fragmentation of the armed movements raises concerns about the possibility of the ability to achieve stabilization in the areas that have witnessed civil strife that lasted for almost three decades.

According to estimates, there are more than 87 armed movements in Sudan, 83 of which are in the Darfur area.

Observers suggest that the proliferation of the armed movements is a result of old politics adopted by the Islamic Movement regime during its 30 years of the rule which was ended by a popular uprising in April 2019. The Islamic Movement regime used to penetrate the main armed movements and ignite the conflicts inside it to make it easy to contain and control them.

However, the adaptation of appeasement and power-share encouraged several armed groups to depart their main entities and form new factions or independent movements which have no real influential existence on the ground, but it form a security threat and hinder any efforts for finding out an ultimate solution to the civil war crisis.

Most armed groups have no specific systematic vision. It exploits the weakness of the central government and tries to impose the reality of forces in certain areas considering that there are more than 2 million pieces weapons in Darfur only.

The present government’s approach to finding superficial solutions which do not address the fundamental issues in the conflict areas is the main reason for the proliferation of rebellious armed movements.

According to Juba Peace Agreement security arrangements officials, several armed groups announced their split from its main entity and formed independent movements but it does not have troops on the ground.

The main concern is in the widespread of weapons among the citizens which the ousted regime distributed to them to defeat the armed groups a matter that led to the formation of tinny armed groups which do not affect the ground.

It is high time to work out an emergency plan to implement the security arrangements item stipulated in Juba Peace Agreement despite the apparent difficulties liked to the current political reality.

Despite the signature of the Juba Peace Agreement, the security situation in Darfur is still fragile and that is evidenced in the recent bloody clashes which took place in West and South Darfur States in the last few months claiming the lives of more than 5 thousand unarmed civilians including women and children.

Observers wonder if the problem is originally due to a defect in the Juba Peace Agreement and its security arrangements or due to the security vacuum after the exit of the UNAMID which took place in 2020 or whether the issue is related to the intrinsic tribal differences which were not addressed in Juba Peace Agreement.

Some experts suggest that the problem lies in the Juba Peace Agreement itself because it did not take into account the enormous contradictions that exist on the ground, especially the issue of power-share.

Since the signature of the Juba Peace Agreement between the government and the armed movements, the issue of the security arrangements remains a continuing controversy, especially the issue of integration of the armed movements’ troops and other forces.

The delay in implementing the security arrangements made it easy for an area like Darfur to breed more armed groups a matter that threatens the peace process and brings us back to square one.

The existence of armed forces outside the umbrella of the Sudanese Armed Forces is a strategic mistake as it will encourage tribal and ethnic polarization,  a matter that will lead to the establishment of dozens of similar militias.

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