Hemeti resurfaces: A twist in Sudan’s unfolding saga

Khartoum (Caasimada Online) – In an unexpected development, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, Commander of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has surfaced publicly for the first time in over two months.

Amid rumors of serious injury, his appearance has sparked renewed interest in the ongoing Sudanese conflict.

The public saw Hemeti’s robust form via a video published on RSF’s social media channels.

The footage features the RSF commander, all smiles, in the driver’s seat of a technical vehicle, basking in the triumph of his return as his soldiers enthusiastically raise their weapons in the air.

Switching gears, the video cuts to Hemeti dressed in military fatigues, gripping a microphone, and rallying his men, adorned in their headdresses, readying their firearms.

Hemeti’s address to the nation

Hemeti apologizes to the Sudanese populace – men, women, young, and old – for the grim situation plaguing their nation during his spirited address.

He lays the blame squarely on the “associates of the deep state” and those attempting a coup, including army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Islamist officials aligned with the military.

RSF officials have implicated the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) as being under the control of radical Islamists and veterans from Omar al-Bashir’s regime.

Al-Bashir, the autocrat who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was ousted following a public uprising in 2019.

Hemeti’s address carries a potent message to the SAF. “If you want a quick solution to this situation, you have to change this aggressive leadership… if you do, we will solve it in 72 hours,” he pledges.

Directing his comments to Yasser Alatta, the third-highest-ranking commander in the Sudanese army, Hemeti dismisses Alatta’s dare to Kenyan President William Ruto to bring Kenyan soldiers onto Sudanese soil.

“You know us well, and you know what we are saying are not empty words,” Hemeti warns, “It is serious talk. So you have to leave behind these value-less speeches.”

RSF: Peace advocates or war criminals?

Despite misconduct accusations, Hemeti staunchly defends the RSF, claiming they are “peace lovers” with no desire to inflame a war in Sudan.

Caasimada Online reports of the “Dagalo” markets – named after Hemeti – suggest otherwise. These markets, notorious for selling inexpensive goods often plundered by the RSF, are sprouting across Sudan.

Sudanese businessman Yaslam Altayeb, a hostage of the RSF for 15 days, relays a troubling account of his captors’ actions.

He claims that the RSF cordoned off Khartoum’s Sharq al-Nil hospital’s top floors for urgent medical attention to a high-ranking leader, allegedly Hemeti. This claim is further substantiated by multiple military sources inside and outside Sudan.

Earlier this week, a human rights recorder from El-Geneina in West Darfur told about witnessing RSF and associated Arab militias gunning down civilians.

It appears that the non-Arab Masalit community was the main target of these brutal attacks.

As we delve into the fourth month of the war between SAF and RSF, the UN reports a staggering displacement of more than 3.5 million people internally and across borders.

Essential infrastructure is dwindling, with over 80% of Sudan’s hospitals out of use and 23.5% of the required funding for humanitarian aid received this year.

In these uncertain times, Hemeti’s reappearance has undoubtedly stoked the embers of Sudan’s ongoing political and military turmoil.