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Hemeti acknowledges Sudan gov's failure to protect the people of West Darfur

April 29 - 2022 KEREINIK / EL GENEINA / KHARTOUM
Deputy Chairman of Sudan's Sovereignty Council and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' Dagalo, giving a speech in 2019 (Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua)
Deputy Chairman of Sudan's Sovereignty Council and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' Dagalo, giving a speech in 2019 (Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua)

The Deputy Chairman of Sudan's Sovereignty Council, Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' Dagalo, acknowledged the complete failure of the state in its duty to protect the people of West Darfur in a series of attacks that killed at least 200 people, for which he blames 'both sides'.

Addressing a Ramadan Iftar, he said that the martyrs of Kereinik 'on both sides' are victims of malicious schemes, 'behind which engineers are standing'.

Hemeti confirmed the decision by the Attorney General to form a higher committee on the situation in West Darfur without the participation of all organisations and forces, to identify the perpetrators and the causes of the events.

At least 200 people, including children, have died in several days of violence in West Darfur, which is widely attributed to attacks by Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which have grown out of the ‘janjaweed’ herding militiamen that carried out a genocide against non-Arab African Darfuri farmers under the regime of ousted dictator Omar Al-Bashir.

The RSF, which are commanded by Hemeti, have been accused of exploiting, inflaming, and blaming ‘inter-tribal conflicts’. Since the ousting of Omar Al-Bashir and the subsequent military coups, violence in Darfur has again increased.

Other shortcomings

Hemeti also acknowledged other shortcomings of the government but defended his position regarding the slow release of anti-corruption committee members and the tensions with UNITAMS.

He acknowledged the state's shortcomings in Khartoum and added that "in the center of Khartoum, between two rivers, we still drink from polluted water wells", referring to the ongoing drinking water crisis in the capital.

Hemeti denied any involvement in, or connection to, the disruption of the legal procedures to release arrested members of the Empowerment Removal Committee*, who had been detained for months despite the lack of evidence.

The Deputy Chairman also indirectly commented on the tensions between the Sudanese military coup government and the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), which replaced the joint
United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). 

Hemeti said that the UNAMID mission had a mandate for the construction of roads, "but they ate them outright".

Relations between the government of Sudan and UNITAMS have been strained over recent weeks, with Sovereignty Council Chairman Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan even threatening to expel UNITAMS Head Volker Perthes from Sudan for 'interference'.

The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok at the end of 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.


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