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Egyptian president Sisi meets feared Sudanese strongman Hemedti

Sudanese strongman Hemedti is accused of involvement in massacres of protesters [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 July, 2019

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has met Sudanese strongman Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who is also known as Hemedti and widely suspected of involvement in massacres.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met in Cairo on Monday with powerful Sudanese military general Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, whose forces have been accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown on protesters.

In his first official visit to the Egyptian capital, the deputy chief of Sudan's military council, widely known as Hemedti, "presented the latest developments on the current situation in Sudan", the Egyptian presidency said.

Sisi, who overthrew Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in a 2013 military coup, reiterated Egypt's "strategic support" in maintaining "the stability and security" of its neighbour Sudan, the presidency added.

Cairo has been a steadfast ally of Khartoum's military leaders after long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled on April 11 after months of protests.

Hemedti, commander of the Rapid Support Forces - the feared paramilitary group accused of war crimes in Darfur under Bashir - has also shored up support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

He met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in May.

Read more: Sudan’s revolutionaries must remove Hemedti by any means necessary

Triggered in December by the tripling of the price of bread, the protests in Sudan quickly transformed into a challenge to the Bashir regime, in power for 30 years.

Demonstrations continued after his ouster to demand civilian rule.

On June 3, at least 127 protesters were killed and scores wounded in a raid on a sit-in at the epicentre of the demonstrations, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.

A joint probe by prosecutors and Sudan's ruling military council showed that security forces, including an RSF general, took part in the raid on the protest camp - despite having no orders from their superiors to do so.

The investigation absolved Sudan's ruling generals of guilt and was rejected by the Sudanese opposition.

Hemedti has consistently denied that his men were involved in the crackdown, which triggered international outrage.

The general's meeting with Sisi came as Sudanese protesters were gunned down by security forces in the central Sudanese town of Obeid.

On July 17, Sudanese protesters and ruling generals signed a power-sharing deal that aims to form a joint civilian-military ruling body which in turn would install civilian rule.

Talks are to resume Tuesday to iron out remaining issues between the two sides.

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