Morning of the war.. as if they don’t know

By Salma Hamad

Who fired the first bullet?
A question I will answer by recounting events and incidents witnessed by many employees of the Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.
On that difficult morning of April 15, 2023, paying attention to the timing of these events is the key to the truth for anyone who sincerely wants to know the answer to a question that has been frequently repeated by certain parties and personalities!! It was a dark morning for every Sudanese, but it was darker for me.
A group of workers at the Sudan Broadcasting Corporation had the bad luck to be in that (shift) on that terrible Saturday morning.
They arrived at the Corporation’s gate at around *7:30* and were surprised by the large increase in the number of rapid support forces present on the authority’s street and entrances. They noticed that they were in a state of complete readiness, and that the rapid support personnel were searching all vehicles entering the Sudan Broadcasting Corporation and ask employees about their cards, which is a task usually carried out by employees of the Security and Safety Department (Rapid Support was doing this for a short period after April 2019. Then things returned to normal)
On that day, the morning of April 15, 2023, everything was different. There was a significant increase in the number of troops and in the number of combat vehicles, which increased until it covered the entire street from in front of the Blue Nile Building at the end of the street overlooking the Nile to the Omdurman Youth Center after the intersection. They were all in a state of readiness. Even the combat vehicles that were accustomed to being at the Corporation’s gate were fully alert and prepared, as they were the ones that had been crouching at the entrance to the Corporation, turned off and partially covered for the past four years. All of this made them feel that something was going on, and they became apprehensive in fear. Although, some of them attributed it to the fact that they were perhaps waiting for a visit from a senior leader.
The employees entered and as soon as they settled in their offices or behind their devices, they were surprised by members of the Rapid Support, ordering them to leave the studios and offices and line up outside. This happened around eight o’clock and a quarter. The worker were in wonder, asking the Rapid Support personnel: What is there? Their response was: (You will find out in a little while.) After a while, and while the Rapid Support members were still standing (disposed) the sounds of ammunition rang out in the distance from the second bank of the Nile (in Khartoum), then the sounds of beatings and shelling increased and varied. All of this and the Rapid Support personnel refrained from answering any questions. They even prevented them from talking to each other and rebuked them (forbid talking). After that they led them and gathered them (the Corporation workers workers) in the main courtyard of the Corporation, and the sounds of bullets, shelling, and explosions reached them, increasing their fear and confusion. Then they ordered the non-technical workers to leave and ordered the drivers to return them to their homes.
They asked the residents of Amd Rumman and Bahri to take their fellow Khartoum residents with them because the situation in Khartoum does not allow them to go there now.. but as they said *(It’s only a matter of a few hours*) and things will be stabilized. They were confident that their surprise of the armed forces and their plan, which they thought was well-crafted, would give them victory within hours, and after that they would be the new rulers and residents of Khartoum.
I will not continue narrating the facts and events of that terrible day to the employees of the Corporation. Perhaps, some of them will talk later about the terror and humiliation they faced that day. Whether those who were allowed to leave by the Janjaweed or those who were taken prisoner to face more horrors.
What concerns us today in order to get the answer to the famous question is the timing of these events, and how the Rapid Support Forces positioned inside the Corporation, and began their movements to support their planned coup and their declared war, perhaps hours before seven o’clock in the morning. The workers arrived at seven o’clock to find those forces in full readiness and steadiness. At that time, the workers coming from all parts of the capital, Khartoum, its various outskirts, and its three cities had not heard any sounds of ammunition while they were coming from Khartoum.
(Al-Azhari, Al-Salama, Jabrah, Al-Sahafat, Al-Barari, Arkawit, and Al-Maamoura.) And from Bahri (Al-Droshab, Haj Youssef, Al-Halfaya, Al-Mawsa’a Street, and Al-Shabiyah) and from Omdurman (Al-Thawrat, Ambdat, Old Omdurman, and Al-Fatihab)
All the workers in that historic shift were surprised when they arrived at their workplace by the readiness and increasing numbers of the Rapid Support Forces in their ranks, without realizing the reason “at the time”. They all lined up (forcedly) outside their offices and studios, and they were witnesses to the zero hour, the outbreak of war, and the sound of fire and bullets.
The Rapid Support Forces were the only ones who were not surprised. They were the only ones who were at the height of their readiness and alert, and they were the only ones who initiated the attack.
Then members of the political side of the Rapid Support Forces (Taqaddum) ask with all impudence: Who ignited the war and who fired its first bullet? As if they don’t know.

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