Maj Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Sudan’s main militia, and vice-president of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) has criticised the opposition Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) in a speech to policemen in Khartoum.
Speaking at a Ramadan iftar (breaking of the fast) on Monday, Hemeti said that the TMC will not hand the entire government to the AFC “which can become part of it if it wants”.
He said, “We have been deceived by the slogans of the AFC and now they have confirmed the truth of their intentions. The AFC is not looking for partners but for symbolic participation.”
Hemeti accused the AFC of seeking to change all state organs, including the Rapid Support Forces militia and security and civil services. “Yet, we are more popular than them and we will distribute power according to mass weight,” he said.
He waved-off the option of early elections and stressed that the door to negotiation should not be closed but that other forces should be involved.
AFC rejects Hemeti’s speech
The AFC announced their rejection of the language used by Hemeti.
Wajdi Saleh of the AFC leadership told a press conference in Khartoum on Monday evening: “The country cannot tolerate the spasm, so we will not deal with emotions,” and stressed that they will not accept any elections until the conditions of the country have been restored, at the end of the transitional period.
Saleh confirmed that they will increase the strikes and civil disobedience actions if the TMC continues to refuse handing power to civilians.
He said that the general strike came after the inability to agree with the TMC, stressing that there is no other way but to escalate to achieve the objectives of the revolution.
He stressed the lack of breakthrough or new proposals on the negotiation.
On Tuesday, the African Union envoy to Sudan, Mohamed Ould Labbat, called on the TMC and the AFC to work quickly to resume negotiations on the transition to civilian authority.
The AU envoy warned of the failure of the negotiations, saying: “The Sudanese have two options: either to lead to chaos or the path of peace and negotiation.”
He called on the TMC and AFC to avoid tension and the need to create an atmosphere conducive to partnership between the two parties, mutual respect, and ease of escalation.
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