Editorial: Mere suspension by the AU might not force Sudan’s hand

All attention has shifted to Sudan, especially in Khartoum, where a standoff between civilians and the military is taking on dangerous dimensions.

It has forced the African Union (AU) to suspend Sudan’s membership to force the military’s hand so that it hands over power to a civilian government.

A civilian uprising led to the ouster of long-serving President Omar Bashir.

The development of events in Khartoum and Darfur are of direct interest to Rwanda where it has a peacekeeping presence. It was among the first countries to deploy troops to Darfur in 2004 to protect civilians from armed groups, especially the infamous Janjaweed, a pro-government militia.

With only three infantry battalions, the Rwandan force has been able to make a difference in Darfur where the Janjaweed no longer pose a serious threat, but they do in Khartoum.

The Rapid Support Force (RSF) is alleged to be behind the violence in the city that claimed over a hundred people this week. Many dead bodies were fished out of the River Nile, a stark reminder of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

It is said that the RSF is actually the Janjaweed, a mere change of name and its commander is actually the one holding the reigns in Sudan. The Janjaweed defied the world, especially the AU, for long that mere suspension from the Union might not mean much. But definitely, a more serious crisis is emerging that will need special measures to deal with it.