January 6, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s official military spokesman issued a brief statement on January 4th saying that the opinions made by “analysts and experts” on TV channels did not reflect the position of the army.
The statement raised questions about its significance and to whom it was directed.
Since the military coup on October 25, 2021, several retired generals appeared on TV talk shows to support the coup leaders and explain their decisions. But this is the first time the army react to their statements.
Military sources revealed to Sudan Tribune that some former officers affiliated with Islamists tried to push the army to grip on power after the putsch.
The sources confirmed that the communiqué was part of the efforts of the military leaders to create a suitable atmosphere for the implementation of the framework agreement given that these commentators were perceived as representative of the military’s positions.
The Commander in Chief of the Sudanese army on November 13, 2022, accused the Sudanese Islamists of fomenting a coup before signing an agreement with the Forces for Freedom and Change to hand over power to civilians again.
Retired Brigadier General Khalid Mohamed Obaidallah Fadl al-Seeid – a Fellow of the Higher Military Academy, in an interview with “Sudan Tribune”, admitted there are voices hostile to the signing of the framework agreement.
He said that these zealous retired officers were not paid by the army and expected they would continue to speak whenever they are invited by the media.
“With this statement, the military institution loses media support free of charge,” he said.
Attempts to manipulate the army
Political analyst Ahmed Abdeen says the statement was issued because the army felt an attempt to drive them to favour one side against another, amid the growing political polarization in the country.
“With this statement, the armed forces want to distance themselves from these military commentators and at the same time draw a warning line stressing that their official opinion is not with those hosted by satellite channels and various media outlets,” Abdeen said.
Also, the army intended to send a message of reassurance that those former officers do not represent them, he added.
He noted that the armed forces with their sense of security and intelligence wanted to put an end to those who try to lead them in this direction rather than another.
In November 2022, the army relieved Colonel Ibrahim al-Houry the editor-in-chief of the Armed Force’s newspaper and transferred him to the 12th Division in Sinkat on the Red Sea State.
Al-Houri was one of the fiercest opponents of civil rule. He wrote a series of articles against the 2019 revolution and civilian government.
Al-Burhan, also, relieved his former media adviser Tahir Abu Haja, who used to issue strongly worded statements against the pro-democracy political forces.