Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 January 2020

Sudan's Gen Mohamed Dagalo vows to stick to power-sharing deal

Deputy head of Transitional Military Council denied his forces were involved in crackdown on protesters

Sudan's General and Vice President of Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo discussed the agreement in a TV interview. EPA
Sudan's General and Vice President of Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo discussed the agreement in a TV interview. EPA

The general considered to be Sudan’s most powerful player stressed his commitment to a power-sharing deal after the overthrow of Omar Al Bashir.

Gen Mohamed Dagalo on Monday said he would adhere to “every single letter” of the agreement.

Gen Dagalo signed the 18-page transition agreement with opposition alliance representative Ahmed Rabia on Saturday. The deal lays out how the country will be governed for the next 39 months until elections can be held.

The agreement between the Transitional Military Council and Sudan’s main opposition alliance, the Force of Freedom and Change, establishes a joint military and civilian council to act as a collective president.

It also forms a 300-seat civilian legislature as the country charts a course after Mr Al Bashir was removed from office in April after nearly three decades in power.

“We will stick to every single letter we have agreed on,” Gen Dagalo told the BBC on Tuesday.

“Even without the agreement, we have to work in this direction because it’s in the country’s interest. We have to carry out the agreement, stick to it and support it."

Protests had erupted in Sudan at the end of 2018, culminating in a long sit-in outside the army headquarters before the military council and protest leaders hashed out an agreement.

Gen Dagalo is the deputy head of the military council and commands the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary outfit whose genesis is in a tribal militia that fought rebels in the western Darfur region in the 2000s.

He blamed misinformation for reports that his forces were involved in the deaths of more than 100 protesters on June 3, when security moved to clear a sit-in.

Gen Dagalo said others had driven a wedge between the protesters and his paramilitaries.

“Investigations and information gathering are under way to determine who is behind spreading the false claims that the Rapid Support Forces turned from protectors to killers,” he said.

Building consensus will be difficult if answers are not found in the investigation into the deaths, which sparked international outcry.

But Gen Dagalo said he wanted to bring the Sudanese people together and build an “inclusive” society, without himself at the helm.

The country is still in turmoil, however, from an economy destroyed by Mr Al Bashir and fighting in pockets across the nation where rebels have refused to recognise Saturday’s agreement.

The former president appeared in a courtroom outside Khartoum on Monday, on charges of illegally possessing foreign currency and accepting gifts.

Questions have been asked in Sudan and internationally if the toppled leader will face justice for crimes related to Darfur and other human rights abuses at the International Criminal Court.

So far, Sudanese authorities have refused to hand Mr Bashir over to The Hague.

“Omar Al Bashir should be tried by Sudanese courts. However, it is up to the Sudanese people to decide,” Gen Dagalo said.

“Accountability is a must and justice must be served.”

Updated: August 21, 2019 06:32 PM