June 05, 2021
File – The commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemetti) | Photo: Wikimedia
By Sudan Tribune
KHARTOUM – The commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemetti” said he is a victim of political machinations, stressing he played a determinant role in the ouster of the former president and supported the December Revolution in Sudan.
“I am the only person in the Security Committee who resisted plans by the dignitaries of the former regime. All of them were working to disperse the (pro-democracy) sit-in,” Hemetti said in remarks at a memorial service for a commander of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi in Khartoum on Friday.
“Without us, al-Bashir would have been in power so far. We arrested him and put him under house arrest,” he further said.
The SRF leader who is also the deputy head of the Sovereign Council suffers a lack of popularity and continues to face accusations of killing pro-democracy sit-inners in Khartoum in June 2019 three months after al-Bashir’s ouster.
Hemetti denounced machinations by unnamed circles saying they are working to diabolize and belittle him to the point of questioning his Sudanese nationality and military rank.
“They believe that leadership positions should be restricted to certain parties and certain people,” he said.
“They were meeting together to break up the sit-in. I was the cause (of the change) and supported the people, but now I have become an enemy of the people.”
Hemetti was speaking 24 hours after a huge rally in Khartoum on 3 June calling to bring to justice the responsible for the attack of 3 June 2019 on the pro-democracy sit-in by security forces where his militiamen allegedly killed and rapped protesters.
In the past, he made several statements denying the RSF’s involvement in the attack. He said his forces were deceived and used by the Islamist officers without the knowledge of their leadership.
Hemetti had been hailed after the ouster of the former president for his public statement on 9 April 2019 when he declared that his forces were outside Khartoum to protect the people not to attack them.
But the participation of his forces, three months later, in an attack on the peaceful sit-inners tarnished his image and his participation in the transitional authority remains contested. Also, he and his brother are accused of controlling several gold mines and obscure businesses.
The Supreme peace council recently appointed Chems al-Din Kabbashi as the head of the government negotiating delegation for the peace talks with the SPLM-N al-Hilu, replacing Hemetti who is no longer part of the process.
Following Hemetti’s statements on Friday, the head of the Sudanese army media service and the RSF spokesman released separate statements dismissing purported divergences between the army and the militia group.
“These are baseless reports aiming to create strife among the forces of the military component,” said the Sudanese army.
“The Rapid Support Forces are an integral part of the people’s armed forces, they will remain the protector of the revolution,” reads another statement issued by the RSF.