Sudanese Citizens Have Mixed Reactions On Military Call for Youth

As fighting in Sudan enters its third month, the Sudanese military leader, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has reiterated his call for young people to take up arms against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, or RSF.

Some citizens see the call as a national duty.

“People have the right to take up arms, so they are able to defend themselves and their country,” said Abdulazeem Ishaaq, a Sudanese citizen in Khartoum.

Ishaaq told VOA he had encouraged his son Mohammed, 32, to join the army and contribute to defending the country.

He said al-Burhan’s call was overdue. Citizens, he said, “should collectively take up arms to defend their country. … While establishment of a civilian government remains valid, right now all must stand alongside the military to defend the country.”

The United Nations has said at least 3,000 people have been killed and 2.8 million people have been displaced in the conflict.

Khadijah Muatez, 35, a mother of three boys and two girls, said the call to arms would place more young people in harm’s way, and that they would not be well trained.

“This means we are going to witness growing numbers of orphans and widows across the country,” she said, “and women will be the ones taking the burden of all the responsibilities.”

This week, a Sudanese military official showed some video of dozens of people in civilian clothes parading in one of the military barracks in Omdurman.