Special.. Youssef Ezzat Political Adviser to Hemeti for “Morocco Telegraph”: We are unaware of any Maghreb mediation efforts, and war is the worst possible course of action (Dialogue)
The web-based Morocco Telegraph is attempting to update its Moroccan readers on the most recent developments in the Sudanese situation as well as the crisis between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in the midst of a conflict that does not appear to be breaking out any time soon.
I only spoke to “Morocco Telegraph,” Youssef Ezzat, the political adviser to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), in this context, who informed us that the war’s end was brought about by the acceptance of the Sudanese crisis and the involvement of Sudanese patriots in finding a solution.
While emphasizing that war was the worst possible outcome, he reiterated that those who upheld power were responsible for its instigation.
The Sudanese general known as “Hemeti” Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo’s political advisor is Youssef Ezzat. graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Khartoum branch of Cairo University. He received his degree from Winnipeg University in Canada, where he focused on conflict resolution while studying international development.
Given the inability of international mediation to negotiate a durable cease-fire and the lack of signs and data that support the likelihood of a particular party’s resolution of this conflict, what are the prerequisites for quick support to end this war?
We would like to make clear that this war has practically been forced upon us, and that any discussion of ending it must start with an acknowledgment of the larger national issue that has impeded the growth of the Sudanese State since independence. The real success will come from developing a thorough response that deals with the underlying roots of the Sudanese issue. The people of Sudan must be involved in this solution and take the democratic, civil road once more. In order to organize free and fair elections in which the populace selects its leaders, agreement must be made on a civilian government upon which the nation is based.
The prevalence of speculations indicating the likelihood of General Hemeti’s death is the issue that the entire world is currently concerned about. What are your thoughts on this given that you are one of those who is most familiar with it and that it affects both the Sudanese at home and abroad?
General Hemeti is doing fine. He is conducting operations while surrounded by his forces, on the front lines of the warfare, closely monitoring political developments, and interacting with the local and global communities.
What are the positions of North African capitals on what is currently occurring in the Sudan, and are there any signs of a Maghreb mediation to improve relations between you and the military forces?
A number of nations, particularly the Nordic nations, have been contacted about the Sudanese issue by us. As of right now, we are not aware of any Moroccan mediation to help us influence the military.
Are efforts to intervene to mend the rift and put the dispute in the Sudan behind us coordinated with other African Union (AU) actors?
In order to find common ground regarding the causes of the wars that have continued in the Sudan since independence, particularly the current war, which is an extension of the same crisis, we are open to the African space and there is a stated interest on our part to work and coordinate with a number of African Union member States. Therefore, we are grateful for all of Africa’s efforts to find a solution to the current problem. In our opinion, the only way to find a solution is to begin a broad-based political process that tackles the underlying causes of the Sudanese issue.
What is your position on this?
We deplore the current circumstances and the scenario of displacement that came along with the commencement of war, and we hope that this cloud would be lifted as quickly as possible. We will think about building shelters inside the borders of the Sudan if it is impossible to visit neighboring countries. We will talk about this idea on the Jeddah Platform, where we are now taking part to solve the humanitarian issues caused by the ongoing conflict, including those on the border with Egypt and other neighboring States. We request the Egyptian authorities to simplify the visa application process for Sudanese citizens and to acknowledge the unique and challenging circumstances facing our people.
Recent events have been marked by the formation of radical terrorist movements looking to take advantage of the circumstances in the Sudan. How do such developments get handled by the RSF leadership?
The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic movements, like ISIS Sudan, were among the terrorist movements that made up the so-called wide Islamic stream, which has been involved in the fight since its inception. Da ‘ashi Mohamed al-Jazuli, their prince in Sudan, was eventually apprehended by the Rapid Support Forces. Da ‘ashi al-Jazuli confessed to their plot to undermine the political process that was underway before they began the war in the middle of April after his detention. This was done by organizing with the Islamic Army Command.
Is your perspective an interpretation of the official position of the RSF leadership as stated in your most recent article, “Between the Revolution and the Knife Janjaweed”?
Those are not the aims of the article or the title is aimed at the choice of the knife alone to amputate the corrupt body of the old State, but there are other possible options I mentioned in the article, namely the recognition of the national crisis that has endured the Sudan since its independence, linked to the failure to recognize the multitude of the Sudan and the elite’s insistence on continuing to run the State with the old unilateral approach that has left so many wars and led to the separation of a dear part of our country. The current war is inseparable from the causes of other wars and its treatment and cessation requires agreement on comprehensive solutions to the Sudanese problem and to place the country in the path of development, growth and peaceful coexistence. The elite must realize that continuing to lead the state in the old way and denying or ignoring the crisis is what has led to wars and that war, although bad, leads to radical solutions and that is the purpose of the article.
stressed numerous times that RSF does not accept any outside help, either financial or military. Do you still believe what you’ve said up to this point, and do you still believe that the opposite side of the fight is receiving military and financial backing from outside sources?
Izzat: Due to the fact that the State’s official organ is under the control of the regime’s elements that have been in power for the past 30 years, I am unaware of the foreign backing that the other party receives while continuing to use the State’s name in supply and weaponry contracts. The Strategic Army stockpile they held and the camps they took provided the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) with all of their supplies. As a result, they had the equipment necessary to fight the forces of the vanquished remnants.
What strategy do you employ to deal with the RSF media machine on social media?
Social media platforms are home to numerous voices, but they all rely on fabrication and false claims of successes to mislead the people of Sudan. Taking on this means bringing wars back from the dead. This is crucial since the conflict is being fought on the ground, not in the Sudanese media, and the control and position of rapid support are clear in the battle zones.
Since the start of the conflict, you have traveled to a number of nations where, despite the Sudanese army leadership’s request that quick support be referred to as a rebel militia, you were welcomed by Arab and foreign heads of state and authorities. Is that regarded as an open endorsement and a ready source of quick support?
Since the RSF cannot lose its legitimacy by making a decision over which it has no authority, our talks with leaders and heads of State are not intended to secure rapid support. The person who fired the gun’s opening shot is now proving its legality.
They need to be up to that challenge. The remnants of the former regime who control and employ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the war as the last attempt at their return to power Sudanese diplomacy and their desired attempts to stop our movement on the pretext that rapid support is a rebellious force. They do not know that countries receive the leaders of rebel forces. They do not want to stop it. As long as rapid support is a party to the war with their military, all countries seeking solutions need to listen to us and they want States to listen to their narrative and take a stand on their side. Nor are we looking for States’ support for a swift attitude of support to the extent to which they support a comprehensive solution to the national crisis and the historic imbalances that have affected our country and brought it into the spiral of war.
The Sudan has a significant amount of foreign investment, and occasionally diplomatic missions have voiced concerns regarding security. What policies does the RSF follow in this case?
The situation in the Sudan is one of war, and undoubtedly one of any war in which property is damaged and investment operations are disrupted. The Rapid Support Forces responded to these forces and safeguarded embassies as well as companies under the jurisdiction of the Forces. From the first day of the war, extremist elements also targeted diplomatic posts, particularly Western diplomatic missions. The fact that there are less bad security conditions is a natural result of the war they launched inside the capital, but we work to lessen the harm until the conflict is over and things are back to normal in the country.
Your expertise in conflict resolution and international relations is noted on your resume. Do you believe that using force or starting a war is a viable option in desperate circumstances?
The worst choice is war, and I have neither sought nor led swift support for it. Since the crisis is primarily political with well-known causes, I have been working in politics and will continue to do so in order to help our nation through it.
To stop the political process that was underway and was about to come to an end, whereby a civilian government would be constituted and the military would be free, the forces that uphold power and see violence as the only means to achieve them are the ones who started the war. (Army and rapid support) for the development of a unified, professional, national army that is independent of any one Sudanese group or entity and that, at the leadership level, reflects the diversity of the country. That was the outcome we were aiming for, but they forced us into a conflict.