Sudan’s RSF will ‘not allow the killing of young demonstrators from today on’

The commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Gen Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, attends an RSF conference in Nyala (File Photo: SUNA)

KHARTOUM – March 7, 2023

The leadership of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has made several statements referring to justice for pro-democracy activists. Commander Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo urged for the trial of the police officer accused of killing a protester to be ‘fair, transparent, and public’ whilst his brother, Deputy Commander Abdelrahim Dagalo, said that the RSF will not allow the killing of protesters or detention of politicians ‘from today on’.

Hemeti, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, met with the representative of the Public Prosecutor, Justice Mohamed Mustafa, in the presence of Acting Director General of the Police Lt Gen Nasreldin Abdelrahim in Khartoum on Saturday after his return from the United Arab Emirates.

During the meeting, Hemeti directed that the trial regarding the killing of 16-year-old protester Ibrahim Majzoub in Khartoum last week be fair, transparent, and public. He stressed the RSF’s commitment to following the procedures according to the law.

Mazjoub was killed during pro-democracy protests and footage in which a police officer can be seen shooting at the 16-year-old from close range was widely shared on social media.

RSF Deputy Commander and brother of Hemeti Abdelrahim Dagalo said the following during his address in the Friendship Hall in Khartoum: “We say to those in power: hand over power to the people without turning around”.

“From today on, we will not allow the killing of young demonstrators, nor will we allow any detention of politicians.”

Many political opponents of the military authorities have been arrested or detained since the October 2021 coup, in which the RSF was involved.

Many activists have also been and faced fabricated charges.

SAF-RSF split

It seems that the RSF has recently changed course amidst rumours of a split between the Sudan Armed Forces, headed by Sovereignty Council Chairman Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, and Hemeti’s RSF.

Hemeti gave a speech in which he acknowledged that the October 2021 military coup, led by El Burhan and Hemeti, was wrong and admitted that the coup has become a gateway for affiliates of the former regime to return. 

During the speech, he said he will not hesitate “to return to the right track” and withdraw from political power.

Enemy of the revolution

After the speech, the resistance committees stated that they still consider “Hemeti an enemy of the revolution” and “the RSF a militia that must be disbanded and brought to trial for the crimes it committed against the revolutionaries and other people”.

“They are controlling the country’s resources, such as gold and other minerals and the export of livestock, and use the revenues to wage wars in the country.”

Hemeti is a controversial figure and his RSF is held responsible for many atrocities in Sudan, especially in Darfur.