Pastor released in Aweil after 6 months in jail without trial.

AWEIL – 15 Jul 2019

A Christian leader was released last week in Aweil State after six months of imprisonment without trial.

South Sudan’s transitional constitution requires detainees to be produced before a court within 24 hours.

Rev. Malong Baak Malong of Jenina Christians’ Tabernacle (JTC) was arrested on 4 January after his church members opposed a government decision to demolish the church buildings in Aweil town over a land row.

During independence celebrations on 9 July, Aweil state governor Tong Akeen Ngor announced the release of the detained pastor as part of activities marking the country’s 8th independence anniversary.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Sunday, the director for criminal investigation department, David Dut said the pastor had been released after several months in jail.

On his part, Pastor Malong Baak applauded Aweil state governor for ordering his release from prison.

“I am now free after my release from prison on 11 July. I thank the governor and I call upon all South Sudanese to embrace forgiveness,” said Malong. The religious leader has called on authorities to guarantee freedom of worship across the country.

Credit: Google maps of South Sudan

Sudanese opposition has many objections to draft Constitutional Declaration.

July 15 – 2019 KHARTOUM

Press conference when the negotiations on a transitional period did not lead to a final agreement.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have many comments on and objections to the draft text of the Constitutional Declaration that was handed over on Friday to the parties negotiating an agreement on a transitional period.

In a statement, the FFC (formerly known as Alliance for Freedom and Change/AFC) said the document is being studied by its members.

The Sudanese Professionals Association said the draft text is not final and is not ready to be signed in its current form. In a press release the SPA said that it had started to study the document on Friday evening, in order to make amendments and formulate objections to parts of the draft.


On Sunday, the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of leftist opposition parties) announced fundamental reservations about the Constitutional Declaration submitted by the African Union and Ethiopian mediators.

The statement said that the proposed Constitutional Declaration does not establish a real transitional civilian authority and is not in line with the Declaration for Freedom and Change.

The NCF confirmed its full commitment to the previous agreement with the military junta, which was included in the resolution of the African Peace and Security Council No. 854. It said both parties must commit itself to what has been agreed in earlier negotiations.

Communist Party

The Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) rejected the draft agreement, saying it does not meet the aspirations of the people, nor does it help to dismantle the totalitarian regime.

The party said in a statement that the agreement would mean that all laws restricting freedoms would stay in place, just as the repressive institutions that played a major role in the dismantling of the Khartoum sit-in on June 3. The draft agreement would not help to find solutions for the civil wars in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile either. It may even aggravate the wars and provoke separatist tendencies since the former regime would in fact continue and that regime committed many crimes in those regions, the Communist Party of Sudan fears.

The CPoS said the draft agreement would not change anything concerning the international and regional agreements made by the previous regime, like staying in the Arab alliance that is fighting in the war in Yemen.

Darfur Bar Association

The Darfur Bar Association commented that “the emergence of self-ambitions” characterises the way the FFC negotiates with the TMC. It denounced the failure of the FFC to restore constitutional rule of law.

The lawyers said in a statement that the negotiations about the division of power between the TMC and the FFC swept the FFC away from searching for justice for the victims of the violent disbanding of the sit-in at the army command on June 3 by the military junta. The lawyers affirmed they were fully committed to support the FFC.

Sudan Power-Sharing Deal Reached by Military and Civilian Leaders

Protesters celebrated in Khartoum on Friday after ruling generals and protest leaders announced a governing agreement.CreditCreditAshraf Shazly/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Declan Walsh

  • July 4, 2019

Sudan’s military and civilian leaders announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement to share power until elections, promising an end to the standoff that has paralyzed the African country since the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April.

The two sides, which resumed talks this week after a monthlong hiatus that included a bloody crackdown by the military, have agreed to form a joint military-civilian authority to run Sudan during an interim period of just over three years, a senior protest leader said.

Power will rotate between military and civilian leaders during the transitional period, a mediator from the African Union, Mohamed Hassan Lebatt, told a news conference in Khartoum. Then, elections are to be held and the military is to return to its barracks, ushering in democratic rule.

“We hope that this is the beginning of a new era,” said Omar al-Degair, a leader of the coalition negotiating with the military.

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, center, known as Hemeti, has been widely seen as the most powerful figure in Sudan since his Rapid Support Forces led a bloody crackdown on protesters in June.CreditYasuyoshi Chiba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, deputy head of the Transitional Military Council, said, “This agreement is comprehensive and does not exclude anyone.”

[Read about how the power-sharing deal came about.]

A military general will lead the joint council for the first 21 months, then a civilian leader will lead for 18 months, said Amjad Farid, a leader of the Sudanese Professionals Association.

The streets of Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city across the Nile River, erupted in celebration when the news broke, according to Reuters. Thousands of people of all ages took to the streets, chanting “Civilian! Civilian! Civilian!”

Young men banged drums, people honked their car horns, and women carrying Sudanese flags chanted in jubilation.

The deal appeared to be the culmination of a popular uprising that started in December with a demonstration against the soaring price of bread, then morphed into a movement that led to the removal of Mr. al-Bashir after 30 years of turbulent and often brutal rule.

After President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s ouster, many protesters were dismayed to see power pass into the hands of his top lieutenants, including officials accused of war crimes.CreditBryan Denton for The New York Times

The two sides also agreed to open what they said was an independent investigation into the violence that began on June 3 when military forces cracked down on protesters, which has led to at least 128 deaths, according to the protesters. General Hamdan, known as Hemeti, has been widely seen as the most powerful figure in Sudan since his Rapid Support Forces led that bloody crackdown.

Under the new agreement, both sides will nominate five members to the council. The 11th member is to be jointly nominated, according to Mr. Farid.

It was agreed that the first leader would be Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of the transitional military council, Mr. Farid said.

Mr. al-Bashir — who was wanted by the International Criminal Court, which accused him of playing “an essential role” in a genocidal purge in the Darfur region — was toppled after peaceful protesters massed for days at the gates of the sprawling military headquarters in Khartoum. They refused to leave even as rival factions of the security forces fought gun battles around them.

Some soldiers deserted their posts to defend the protesters from armed al-Bashir loyalists, who opened fire on them. Gun battles erupted at the protest site, and several people were killed.

It was agreed that the first leader under the power sharing agreement would be Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, front center.CreditAshraf Shazly/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After Mr. al-Bashir’s ouster, many protesters were dismayed to see power pass into the hands of his top lieutenants, including officials accused of war crimes in Darfur. They promised to continue their sit-in until a civilian administration took office.

During negotiations led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, military leaders had presented themselves as supporters of democracy and had taken steps to meet demands for change. The generals moved Mr. al-Bashir into the notorious Kober prison in Khartoum, seized millions of dollars in foreign currency from his home and arrested several of his most senior aides.

But the military refused to hand over power immediately to the protesters.

Mr. al-Burhan moved into Mr. al-Bashir’s old presidential office, and his officers sought to exploit apparent divisions in the ranks of the inexperienced protest leaders, a coalition of professional groups, leftists and small political parties that were marginalized during Mr. al-Bashir’s rule.

Thousands of protesters remained camped out at the gates of the military headquarters in Khartoum, refusing to budge until the military acceded to their demand for a swift transition to civilian rule.

On June 3, soldiers with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces swept through the protest site, raping women, shooting protesters and throwing bodies in the Nile. At least 128 people were killed over several days of violence, doctors said, and hundreds were wounded. The government admitted 61 deaths.

Ethiopia and the African Union, fearing the vast country could slide into chaos, deployed mediators to Khartoum in an effort to bring the sides together.

Link to web article.

Sudan’s military and civilian opposition have reached a power-sharing deal

But the question still remains: Will the agreement fulfill the democratic promises of the Sudan uprising, especially if the military retains control?

By Jen  Jul 5, 2019, 3:50pm EDT

People celebrate in the streets of Khartoum, Sudan after the military and protest leaders announced a power-sharing arrangement. July 5, 2019.
 Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

The Sudanese military and the country’s civilian opposition leaders have reached a preliminary power-sharing deal. It’s the first step toward a resolution after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a coup in April after months of protests — but a lot of uncertainty remains about the future of political power in Sudan.

The preliminary deal, which was reached Friday, would put Sudan under the control of a joint sovereign council, with power shifting between military and civilian leadership over about three years.

The authority will be led by a military leader for the first 21 months, and then a civilian leader would take over for 18 months. After that, the country would hold democratic elections. The sovereign council will consist of five military officials and five civilian leaders, along with one additional civilian, selected and agreed to by both groups.

Talks resumed this week after a month-long standoff between the military and civilian leaders following a June 3 massacre of protesters by Sudan’s security forces, known as the Rapid Support Forces, that left about 100 dead and hundreds more injured. Witnesses also said the forces raped women and robbed protesters during the violence.

An independent investigation on the June 3 crackdown is also included as part of the power-sharing agreement, though there’s little doubt Sudan’s paramilitary carried out the bloody campaign, leading to questions of whether such an inquiry will actually hold the military accountable.

And that’s just one of the many concerns regarding this preliminary deal between the Transitional Military Council — the armed forces controlling Sudan since al-Bashir was deposed — and the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the civilian leadership that’s supposed to be representing the protesters.

There’s a preliminary deal in Sudan. But what comes next?

On Friday, the African Union — which helped mediate negotiations over the past two days— said the Transitional Military Council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change had reached a “consensual and balanced peace agreement towards a democratic transition and civilian rule in Sudan.”

Some in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, cheered the deal — but that jubilation might prove short-lived, as there’s still a lot of skepticism about the agreement that keeps elements of the Transitional Military Council in power.

Niemat Ahmadi, a survivor of the genocide in Darfur and president of Darfur Women Action Group, an advocacy organization in Washington, DC, told me that “giving the military a lead in the first interim period is the most dangerous” part, one that has her and other activists extremely worried.

“There’s no guarantee by the end of the three years that they will surrender the power completely to civilians,” Ahmadi said.

Ahmadi added that the decision to let the military remain in charge feels like a betrayal of the goals of the protest movement, which had advocated democracy and civilian rule.

Those who negotiated the agreement said they believed in the deal, despite some of those concerns. “It is a difficult path, but we’ve tried to convince our people that it’s a success, and we think that it will pave the way to an end of any military rule in Sudan,” Siddig Yousif, one of the main negotiators, told the BBC.

But that will probably do little to assure many in Sudan. Ahmadi told me that, in a “country torn apart by the military, there will not be trust between the people and the government.”

The person who perhaps best represents this is Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — known as “Hemeti” — who is deputy head of the Transitional Military Council. Hemeti is accused of human rights atrocities in Darfur, and he’s the head of the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary group responsible for the violent crackdown against protesters on June 3.

As the Washington Post points out, the agreement doesn’t appear to keep him out of power. Hemeti himself said Friday that “this agreement will be comprehensive and will not exclude anyone.”

There are also concerns about representation in this new transitional government, specifically whether women and marginalized groups, particularly in those regions scarred by conflict, including Darfur — where the Sudanese government carried out a genocide in the 2000s — will be represented in government.

“We are the ones bearing the brunt of the violence, facing sexual harassment and rape, to organize and propel the movement on the street level,” Tahani Abbas, co-founder of the No to Women’s Oppression group who joined the protests, told Channel 4’s Yousra Elbagir. “Why then exclude us when it comes to decision-making?”

These disagreements and the dissatisfaction among civilian groups risk fracturing the protest movement that’s been largely led by middle-class professionals and students, particularly in the capital of Khartoum. That distrust is dangerous — and fomenting it was the “prime method” of the al-Bashir regime, Eric Reeves, a Sudan expert, told me.

“Divide and conquer, divide and conquer, that is how they work,” Reeves said. “This junta may have a new name, it may be called the Transitional Military Council, but it is in its methods, and its ruthlessness, and its capability of violence, it’s every bit as nasty as the al-Bashir regime.”

Another complicating factor to this deal: The internet is still mostly blacked out in Sudan, allowing the state-run media to control the narrative and making it hard to gauge reaction to the agreement. That’s a troubling sign if this is to be a transparent and accountable transitional government.

Freedom, peace, and justice were both the chants and the goals of the Sudan uprising. Doubts persist on whether those aims have been achieved by this deal. Many remain wary that the Sudanese government will commit to its promise to honor civilian leadership — and instead use this agreement to weaken the opposition and consolidate power. A deal in name only, in other words.

“This is not the best agreement possible,” Ahmadi said. “There can always be a better agreement because the people of Sudan have paid the highest price for change.”

“This is not change,” she added. “This is just the status quo.”

Link to web article.

Measles in South Sudan calls for emergency response

Report from Medair Published on 03 Jul 2019

Written by Sue O’Connor, Communications Officer – 3 July 2019

The rattle of pebbles in a dusty soda bottle serves as background noise in the courtyard of Kuajok Hospital in South Sudan as Amel holds her son. She tries to distract one-year-old Agiu with the improvised toy, but he doesn’t seem interested; his body is fighting malnutrition and measles. Agiu is feverish and listless; painful sores around his mouth leave him uninterested in breastfeeding. Amel and at least a dozen other mothers sit outside an isolation tent set up by the staff in the local hospital. The tent is intended for children with measles.

Agiu’s condition is exactly what Medair aimed to prevent as the Emergency Response Team launched a mass measles vaccination campaign that reached nearly 250,000 children ages six months to 15 years. Agiu contracted the disease before Medair arrived in his community; thankfully his mother was able to walk the three hours from their home to access treatment at Kuajok Hospital.

Measles began spreading in early 2019; by May there would be 11 active outbreaks in a country characterised by one of the world’s lowest measles vaccination rates. High rates of malnutrition make South Sudan’s children more vulnerable to infection and complications can be life-threatening. Medair was asked to deliver emergency measles vaccination campaigns in two counties. Gogrial West and Gogrial East are home to nearly 600,000 people living in small villages scattered across hundreds of kilometres. Only a few areas are accessible by roadways; four-wheel-drive vehicles were used to deliver vaccines and supplies, and teams of staff walked hours to reach isolated settlements.

“It doesn’t have to be this way; measles is entirely preventable,” said Natalie Page, Health Advisor for Medair South Sudan. “The children of this country deserve better and should have the opportunity to be protected.”

James Ngor has led the routine immunisation programme for the Ministry of Health in this area for many years. Because of crisis in South Sudan, it has not been possible to implement routine immunisations on large scale. James has seen first-hand how measles spreads quickly.

“Measles always starts in the far areas where people don’t always know about this disease,” said James. “They are a long way from the hospital and many children become infected. For many years people have been on the move and have missed receiving vaccinations.

“Medair’s response is the best I have seen in 20 years,” said James. “You have gone to the very remote villages where people are always suffering. You have stayed to make sure there is full coverage, and you included the older group of children.”

Families like Akon’s were gravely affected by the low rate of measles vaccination coverage in South Sudan. In March, at the beginning of an outbreak in their home area, two of her young grandsons died from the complications of measles. “Every time I see their graves I feel like crying,” Akon said. “They are not here to play with me or to talk to me.” When Medair met Akon and her family, the team ensured that all of the other children received the measles vaccine.

The Expanded Programme of Immunisations (EPI), which includes vaccinations against measles, is offered at Medair-supported health clinics. Medair’s Emergency Response Team in South Sudan is funded by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, UK aid from the UK government, and private donors.

See the source image
An IOM nurse administers a measles to a child in Abeyi, 2016 IOM

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.

Kenya-South Sudan highway to be completed in 2020: official

July 4, 2019 (NAIROBI) – Chinese contractors working on the Kenya-South Sudan highway will complete project by 2020, an official said.

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The principal secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Julius Korir told Xinhua that three Chinese contractors won the tender to upgrade about 248 km of road to bitumen standards on the road section linking South Sudan.

“So far the project is about 30 percent complete and we expect the road to be commissioned in 2020,” he said Monday.

Korir said Kenya is prioritizing the highway, which is part of the East African Community road network so as to boost intra-regional trade.

He said the poor quality of the existing roads has negatively impacted on trade between Kenyan and Africa’s youngest nation.

“Kenyan traders are forced to travel through Uganda in order reach South Sudan, a process that could take up to three days. With the new road, travel time will be cut by at least two days,” stressed Korir.

South Sudan is a strategic partner of Kenya in many areas. The two countries have cultural similarities as many South Sudanese lived in Kenya during the war before independence.

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Muslim Clerics Threaten Sudanese Christian in Egypt…. Convert from Islam fled torture in Sudan.

The Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. (Wikipedia)

Nile River flowing through Cairo, Egypt

June 4, 2019 By Our Sudan Correspondent –

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – Days after Muslim leaders in Egypt came to his apartment to warn him to return to Islam, a Sudanese Christian in Cairo received a death threat by phone last week, he said.

Having fled Sudan after authorities tortured and threatened to kill him if he refused to return to Islam, Al Hadi Izzalden Shareef Osman said he has had to change apartments once again in the face of fresh threats.

On May 27 he received a phone call from someone speaking in Sudanese Arabic threatening to kill him, he said.

“You are infidel and fuel for hell,” the called told him, according to Osman.

It was one of several threats he received in the past month. He recognized the voice as one of the Muslim clerics, both Sudanese and Egyptian, who knocked on his apartment door the previous week, Osman said.

Living in hiding after death threats began last year by radical Muslims monitoring his movements in Egypt, Osman said he was terrified when he opened the door to find the five Muslim clerics ordering him to renounce Christ and return to Islam or face consequences.

“They kept telling me to go mosque, but I refused,” Osman told Morning Star News. “I was afraid and had to relocate from the apartment to another location.”

In a country where at least 2 million Sudanese migrants, including thousands of refugees, already face racial discrimination and resentment from Egyptians embittered by a cracked economy, Osman said his life is in danger for having become a Christian.

The 40-year-old Osman applied for asylum on grounds of religious persecution with the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees when he arrived in Egypt, without success.

“There is no response from UNHCR, and they seem to be unwilling to protect me from this danger,” Osman said. “Egypt is no longer safe for me. I want to relocate elsewhere, I am tired of these threats.”

After unknown persons on Aug. 15, 2018 raided his apartment and seized his passport, he went into hiding, he said. Osman was not at home at the time of the theft and reported it to police.

He had left Khartoum in April 2014 after police from Sudan’s Criminal Investigation Department accused him of apostasy, punishable by death in Sudan. National police arrested him from the streets of Khartoum, covered his eyes with a cloth and took him into secret detention, where they tortured him for three weeks, he said.

Osman said he was suspended from the ceiling while agents poured cold water on him, leaving his left hand permanently damaged.

Ordered to report to their offices daily, Osman said he was repeatedly arrested and tortured in efforts to get him to return to Islam but refused, telling agents he would rather die as a Christian then live as a Muslim. He fled after he was threatened with death if he did not return to Islam, he said.

Osman had begun to examine the Koran in 2005, at the age of 27, after reading about Jesus in the Bible. After studying the Bible, he put his faith in Christ, and by 2007, his family and friends began abandoning him after noting he had stopped fasting during Ramadan and saying Islamic prayers, he said.

Osman worked odd jobs living with Sudanese friends, but when they discovered that he was a Christian, they ordered him to leave, he said. In December 2016, he was baptized in the Episcopal Church in Egypt.

Osman said Sudanese Muslims friends who first took him in told Egyptian Muslims that he had left Islam.

The tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees in Egypt live among the more than 2 million – possibly 4 million – Sudanese who have fled military and political conflict and economic woes in Sudan. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants reports many migrants from Sudan are actually refugees but see little hope in applying for asylum.

Osman’s plight has deepened as Christians in Sudan are hopeful for a more sympathetic government following the April 11 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir as president. The military forced out Bashir, an Islamist and Arab supremacist in power for 30 years, following protests that began on Dec. 19.

Churches joined the opposition after Bashir’s departure and are hopeful for a civilian government that does away with sharia (Islamic law) as the legal framework.

Sudan ranked sixth on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, while Egypt ranked 16th


11 dead as Sudan security forces clash with protesters Africa !

Sudanese protesters write graffiti on a billboard during a demonstration against the military council in Khartoum. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Sudan’s capital and elsewhere in the country calling for civilian rule nearly three months after the army forced out long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir. Picture: Hussein Malla/AP

Africa / 2 July 2019, 08:15am / FAY ABUELGASIM and SAMY MAGDY

Khartoum — At least 11 people were killed in clashes with Sudan’s security forces during mass demonstrations demanding a transition to civilian rule, Sudanese activists said Monday.

Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and other areas Sunday in the biggest protests since security forces cleared a sit-in last month. They called for the military to hand over power to civilians following the coup that ousted longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April.

Nazim Sirraj, a prominent activist, told The Associated Press on Monday that three bodies were found next to a school in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum. The three were shot dead in an area where security forces had barred protesters from marching toward a hospital and had fired tear gas to disperse them, he said. One wounded person died on the way to the hospital in Khartoum, he added.

Sirraj said the total death toll was 11, including one killed in the city of Atbara, a railway hub north of Khartoum and the birthplace of the December uprising that eventually led to al-Bashir’s ouster.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, the medical arm of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded the demonstrations, confirmed the death toll.

Hemeti – the warlord who may control Sudan’s future!

Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo is the vice-president of Sudan’s ruling military junta and, at present, probably the most powerful man in Sudan.

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/ Photo link.

He has the potential to shape the future of a broken country, but as the commander of one of Sudan’s most prominent paramilitary forces, he leaves a trail of human rights abuse allegations from Darfur in his wake and has recently been accused of allowing those same forces to kill demonstrators in Khartoum.

Hemeti has said that the use of force was necessary in Darfur in order to protect its civilians and an “independent investigation” will be launched into the military’s use of violence in Khartoum. Any person who had “crossed boundaries” would be punished, he said.

But he also defended the violence suppressing the protesters, explaining they had been infiltrated by rogue elements and drug dealers, and firm action was warranted.

“We will not allow chaos and we will not go back on our convictions,” he said. “There is no way back. We must impose the respect of the country by law.”

Hemeti and the Sudan uprising

Hemeti was a close political ally of Sudan’s former President Omar al-Bashir, but as protests against the former leader escalated in December, his loyalty soon wavered.

When demonstrations in Khartoum began, Hemeti was the first high-ranking official to express his support, telling the government to “provide services and decent living to the people”.

He said “the corrupt, whoever they are, should be referred to justice,” the state-owned Sudanese News Agency reported on 25 December.

Hemeti switched sides to force the president out of power on 11 April and was named vice-president of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) two days later.

Why is he so powerful?

Although the TMC’s president is Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Hemeti is the one at the forefront of negotiations with Western diplomats.

He is reportedly supported by the politicians who created the Janjaweed, the militia comprising of Arab groups who sowed fear into residents of the Darfur region of western Sudan during the conflict there.

BBC Africa editor Fergal Keane calls Hemeti “the most likely leader of a counter-revolution” and an “outsider” in the military elite.

Another factor behind Hemeti’s power is his support from regional allies: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Stability in Sudan is in their interest and they are very unlikely to impose sanctions on the TMC. However, Saudi Arabia has said it is concerned with developments in the region and urged the two sides to engage in dialogue.

Version:1.0 StartHTML:000000209 EndHTML:000229776 StartFragment:000078192 EndFragment:000229702 StartSelection:000078299 EndSelection:000229651 SourceURL: Hemeti – the warlord who may control Sudan’s future – BBC News

Camel trader to warlord

Hemeti grew up in a Chadian Arab clan, fleeing war to live in Darfur in the 1980s.

War in Darfur broke out in 2003, when marginalised black African clansmen in the region formed a rebel movement against the government. The army fought back, joined by paramilitary forces including the infamous Janjaweed, who were accused of riding their camels and horses into villages, killing the men, raping the women and stealing whatever they could find.

Rapid Support Forces holding guns while driving in the back of a pick-up truck
Image caption Rapid Support Forces are accused of widespread atrocities in Darfur

Since 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been investigating allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. The case involves a range of Sudanese government officials, and both Janjaweed and rebel leaders.

Hemeti’s uncle is Juma Dongolo, a chief of one of the Arab groups which span the Chad-Sudan border.

Hemeti himself dropped out of primary school to trade camels and also offered security to commercial convoys in Darfur during the conflict. He was a savvy businessman and soon became rich, reports BBC Monitoring.

Map of Sudan

In 2003, as the Darfur rebellion began to gather momentum, Hemeti helped mobilise clansmen to fight alongside government forces. This earned him the support of President Bashir.

He became leader of the Border Guards, a group of Darfur militias supporting the government.

In 2013, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was formed to help regular forces fight rebels in Darfur. A year later, the group was recognised by the government as a “regular force”, but critics say it is merely a reincarnation of the Janjaweed.

Human rights abuses

Former President Bashir is wanted by the ICC for the alleged war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

Although he has not been named by the ICC, Human Rights Watch accuses Hemeti of overseeing civilian abuses including “torture, extrajudicial killings and mass rapes” in Darfur as well as in separate conflicts in the southern Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.

Human Rights Watch said that during two counterinsurgency campaigns in Darfur in 2014 and 2015, the RSF “burned and looted homes, beat, raped and executed villagers,” supported by the Sudanese army and Janjaweed militia.

On 19 May 2014, Hemeti said that the RSF was protecting the people of Darfur. He warned that the RSF would “take a firm stance against anyone who tried to undermine the security and stability of citizens”.

Media captionSudan military attacks protesters

Chants about Darfur have played an active role in the latest protests in Khartoum, with demonstrators shouting: “We are all Darfur!” and “Darfur is our home! Revolution! Revolution!”

Despite witnessing Hemeti’s alleged brutality in both Darfur and Khartoum, the unarmed protesters say they will not give up their fight.

Sudan police ‘fire tear gas’ at protesters in Khartoum !

KHARTOUM. 30 June, 2019

Sudan’s security forces have fired tear gas to disperse protesters demanding an end to military rule.

One protester was also reportedly killed as tens of thousands rallied across Sudan to push the junta to hand power to a civilian-led administration.

Women have played a leading role in the protests in the mainly Muslim state
Women have played a leading role in the protests in the mainly Muslim state

The protests are the biggest since dozens were killed in a crackdown on pro-democracy activists on 3 June.

Sudan has been in turmoil since the military ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April.

It followed a popular uprising against his rule. Mr Bashir seized power in a coup on 30 June 1989.

According to the Rapid Support Force (RSF) commander, snipers shot at least five civilians and three members of a parliamentary force during Sunday’s protest.

Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said: “There are snipers who are firing on people, they shot three members of the Rapid Support Force and five or six citizens. There are infiltrators, people who want to jeopardise progress.”

He did not confirm if there were any deaths.

Protesters defied the heavy presence of troops, including the feared RSF, to take part in what organisers had billed a “million-strong” march.

“We are here for the martyrs of the [June 3] sit-in. We want a civilian state that guarantees our freedom. We want to get rid of military dictatorship,” a 23-year-old protester named only as Zeinab told AFP news agency.

Protesters have hailed those killed by the security forces as martyrs

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators near the presidential palace and three other districts in the capital, Khartoum, AFP reports.

Tear gas was also fired in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and the eastern town of Gadaref.

In Atbara city in the north-east, a young protester died of a bullet wound to the chest, the pro-opposition Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.

See also a video on the peaceful protests in the link below: