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Special for Africa ExPress
Massimo A. Alberizzi
Milan, 21 April 2023
Fighting rages on in Khartoum between the regular army of the president, General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, and his deputy, peer and coup-maker Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo ‘Hemetti’, who leads the Rapid Support Forces, i.e. the former Janjaweed.
The three-day truce promised for the Eid holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan, did not hold. And the cannons have resumed thundering as rumors of the imminent evacuation of the foreigners multiply. Many of their residences have been stormed by the belligerents. This is not the first time cease-fires have been proclaimed that are regularly violated.
Yesterday a video emerged confirming what was written by Africa ExPress that the Italians gave logistical support and trained the paramilitaries of Dagalo
Interviewed in August 2022 for the New Sudan Facebook page , the RSF leader says: “We are supported above all by the Italians. We therefore thank the Italians, especially from a technical point of view. They could continue for two years with us”.
And further the RSF leader says: “Their training has helped us a lot because it is specialized in the fight against terrorism and illegal immigration. Thanks to the European Union and Europeans in general. We are committed to them and on behalf of the world.”
“We must not forget that we are now playing a humanitarian role in the desert. We have subsidies for fuel (it seems from the context perhaps paid by Italy, ed) and we have to control a vast territory”, says the RSF leader.
A human rights activist well known to Africa ExPress, but whose name we do not wish to reveal in order to protect her safety, made a very harsh comment on the phone from Khartoum: “The Italians have helped to create a monster. You have trained the Janjaweed, criminals who have now attempted a coup and are massacring the civilian population”.
General Dagalo’s men are known for the atrocities committed in Darfur in the first decade of the year 2000. Arabs, nicknamed janjaweed (a term that more or less means ‘devils on horseback’), stormed African villages, burned huts, mercilessly murdered men, raped women shouting “Dirty nigger now I’m going to give you an Arab baby”, kidnapped little girls and turned them into sex slaves, and forcibly conscripted children.
With little foresight, Italy had decided to entrust the cutthroats with the task of controlling the borders of northern Sudan with Egypt, Libya and Chad so that they would not let through the migrants who every day from sub-Saharan Africa try to reach the Mediterranean.
Complaints of violence, including murderous abuses, did not move the Draghi government (author of the idea) or even the next one, showing all the limitations and failures of ‘let’s help them at home’ or ‘let’s send them home’.
The warnings of those who denounced the filibustering nature of this uncontrollable mob were not even heeded.
Africa ExPress had reported that on 12 January 2022, our services colonel Antonio Colella, together with four of his loyalists and an unidentified woman from an Ngo, had been in Khartoum.
The group had met Dagalo and with him had planned the operations of the Italian instructors who shortly afterwards began their work with the Janjaweed in a military camp in El Obeid, 400 kilometres south of the Sudanese capital.
But the most incredible thing is that the Janjaweed also received logistical and military aid from Russia. Dagalo, in fact, granted the mercenaries of the Wagner group, which refers to the Kremlin, the exploitation of gold mines in the north of the country. So Italians and Russians together to teach the cutthroats to wage war seriously.
“Dagalo’s men”, explains the human rights activist, “now control a good part of the Sudanese capital, but they have no commanders to keep them disciplined and give them orders. They have a licence to kill anyone, to rob and loot. They are opportunists, more criminal bandits than people with a political objective”.
But who are the people with? “The people are neither with Burhan nor with Dagalo. Rather they want a civil government away from the warlords. According to Ali Baba, one of the stringers of Africa ExPress, the RSF have major logistical difficulties. “Many have come from outside and now have problems with supplies. They are also running out of fuel. They try to get it from Libya but even for them it is not easy.”
According to the latest information the civilian dead in this week of war were 413 and the wounded 3551, The airport is in the hands of the army and, if all goes well, in a couple of days it could be operational again and thus allow the evacuation of foreigners that several countries, including Italy, are planning.
Last night the intensity of the fighting had decreased and rumours spread that the Janjaweed were retreating: ‘It could be a tactical move. We will see in the coming hours what happens,’ commented Ali Baba. Today may be the day to see whether Sudan will end up in the ravine or will be able to stop sooner.
Massimo A. Alberizzi
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Accuse all’Italia per l’addestramento dei janjaweed: “Avete creato un mostro”