New political dynamic emerges
The culmination of this animosity for the transitional government was the coup on 25 October 2021, also referred to as the Corrective Movement.
The details of the partnership agreement within this coup remained unknown. Nonetheless, it naturally introduced a new political dynamic — which could be seen in the new relationship that emerged between the two army generals.
Hemedti gained more independence in his decision-making and transformed into a rival rather than a mere deputy to al-Burhan. It was apparent to everyone that all issued decisions — particularly those concerning the political process — required approval and signatures from both al-Burhan and Hemedti to carry any weight.
As a result, a kind of dual leadership emerged. Over time, each leader developed their own positions and visions for the political process and their future within it, independent of the other.
Eventually, the dual leadership between the chairman and his deputy evolved into a state of hostility — particularly regarding security and military reforms that involved the integration of the RSF as recommended in the framework agreement.
Read more: Explainer: Why are military forces fighting each other in Sudan?
At this point, without any logical explanation, there was a clear break between the two camps who, seemingly overnight, went from allies to enemies. This conveniently occurred just as the political agreement over the transition to civilian leadership was close to being reached.
Civilians caught between two warring factions
What made matters worse was that the political forces and different segments of the Sudanese people found themselves caught between two warring factions instead of a unified authority.
The army derived its legitimacy from being an established official institution, with its leader serving as the chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC), which technically made him the head of state.
Meanwhile, the RSF's legitimacy stemmed from their leader's position as the deputy chairman of the TSC. The RSF began pushing narratives about their role in the state before and after the fall of the al-Bashir regime to further reinforce their claim to legitimacy.
Regardless of any contempt toward the RSF forces, it cannot be denied that they were established openly and flourished under the auspices of the authority itself, which utilised them to consolidate its influence and maintain its hold on power.
Faced with these opposing claims to legitimacy, ordinary citizens and society at large were thrown into a state of tension. Choosing one side over the other was a risky undertaking that could result in charges of high treason.