KHARTOUM (Reuters) – The deputy leader of Sudan’s military council voiced his enthusiasm for democratic elections in front of an audience of tribal leaders and senior diplomats on Saturday, while seeking to deflect blame for violence in Khartoum this week.
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and deputy head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) delivers an address after the Ramadan prayers and Iftar organized by Sultan of Darfur Ahmed Hussain in Khartoum, Sudan May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
The clashes threatened to derail the council’s talks with an alliance of protest and opposition groups pushing for a swift transition to civilian rule after the fall of former President Omar al-Bashir last month.
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the youthful leader of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has emerged as the most prominent member of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that ousted and arrested Bashir following months of protests.
Dagalo, widely known as Hemedti, has considerable power. His RSF are deployed across Khartoum, and he is close to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which between them pledged $3 billion in aid to Sudan late last month.