Analysts are concerned after a dozen Arab tribal leaders from Sudan’s Darfur pledged allegiance to RSF which is engaged in a conflict against the army.
This allegiance could significantly impact the balance of the ongoing conflict, which has lasted for months.
The conflict between Sudan’s Army Chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan and Rapid Support Forces head Hamdan Dagalo has wreaked havoc on Darfur.
There is growing concern among experts that an expanding ethnic divide may lead to an escalation of violence.
Leaders representing seven prominent tribes in South Darfur state released a video on Monday, calling upon their respective members to abandon the army and instead join the RSF.
Veteran local journalist Abdelmoneim Madibo speaking to media said that the announcement would have a “massive impact” on the war in Sudan, which has killed nearly 3,000 so far.
Madibo added that this would divide South Darfur between “Arabs and non-Arabs.”
Darfur is home to a quarter of Sudan’s population and the army and the RSF have long wooed young men from the region to fight for them.
Analysts are quick to point out that war has not yet impacted the makeup of the forces, which are made up of both Arab and non-Arab groups.
Sudan’s army has several high-ranking officers from Arab Misseriya and Rizeigat tribes among their ranks.
But the leaders of both tribes called for supporting RSF in a video released on Monday.
Experts say this announcement carries enormous weight as the tribal leaders act as the government in the region and that the army holds no real power.