People are supporting the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in their “tragic war” with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) because they believe it is a “dignity battle,” the country’s diplomat in Türkiye said.
Nadir Yousif Eltayeb, the ambassador of Sudan to Ankara, told Anadolu in an exclusive interview that the “tragic war” has a silver lining in that the Sudanese people are standing by the army in unity and support “because they feel that this is a dignity battle for them… to be or not to be.”
“That is why, all the people regardless of tribe, ethnic origin, or political affiliation, everyone is united behind the army. The war now is for the army to prove that it is the main controller of security and to provide security for the people of Sudan as a whole,” according to the ambassador.
The RSF does not represent any regional or even political dimension as they are merely a small clan that believes “they can rule the country by force,” Eltayeb said.
There is no political affiliation from other parts of Sudan to this group, and no support from even western Sudan, Darfur, where they belong, and their own tribe, he said, pointing out: “I don’t think this rebel movement has any chance or any opportunity to have any political role in the future, which is why I feel that Sudan will come out of this more strong and more united.”
He claimed that “they lost nearly 80% of the forces during this period of war” as the armed forces advanced in Khartoum and the RSF retreated from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
He noted that the war began on April 13 when the RSF attempted to attack the Marawi airbase in northern Sudan, and the army managed to control the situation.
For the first two weeks of the war, the army successfully destroyed RSF forces, particularly their bases and command and control centers, he said, adding that the rebel group used civilians as human shields to avoid further army attacks.
“They try to hide in citizens’ homes. This prolonged the war because the army was also careful not to harm the people and ordinary citizens. If they attacked the rebels in these civilian areas, the casualties among ordinary people would have been high. That is why the army has remained cautious and is now advancing slowly but confidently to rid Khartoum of the rebels,” he said.
Regarding the possibility of negotiations to resolve the conflict, he said in the Jeddah Forum, that the warring parties held direct discussions for humanitarian causes and a cease-fire, but the RSF broke the agreement and did not adhere to the conditions.
“Unfortunately, they did not respect the cease-fire seven times,” the ambassador said, adding that they also violated another Jeddah Forum condition that “they would withdraw from civilians’ homes, which they never did.”
That is why the government now has a condition, he said, adding, “First, the RSF forces should withdraw from civilian houses, and then we can talk about a cease-fire for humanitarian (assistance).”
People need humanitarian aid
Sudanese people are suffering, particularly in terms of food and medicine, he said, adding: “We are very grateful to Türkiye for providing humanitarian assistance. Last week, we received about 65 tons of medicines, mostly for kidney and cancer patients. We are very thankful for this initiative.”
He emphasized the importance of this humanitarian effort, highlighting support from friendly nations such as Qatar. However, he believes that the international community must still step in as the need will increase as conflict continues.