Sudan’s Paramilitary Leader Hemedti Addresses Fighters in First Video Appearance Since Conflict Erupted
Sudan’s paramilitary force has shared a Twitter video featuring their leader addressing fighters, marking his first appearance since the conflict erupted in April.
In the footage, Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, widely known as “Hemedti,” appeared visibly thinner, and commentators observed an unusual posture of one of his arms, leading to speculation about a possible injury sustained during the war. The conflict is part of an ongoing power struggle between Hemedti and Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the military, vying for control of the nation.
During his speech, Hemedti reiterated his familiar rhetoric against Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, expressing his readiness to agree to a peace deal within 72 hours if there were a change in the army’s leadership.
Notably, Hemedti’s ascent to power stemmed from his involvement with the Janjaweed militia during the Darfur conflict, a group accused of ethnic cleansing. The RSF (Rapid Support Forces) was established under former President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted following public protests in 2019. Hemedti backed al-Bashir’s removal as a strategic move to position himself more prominently, but his alliance with Gen Burhan dramatically fell apart three months ago.
As the conflict unfolded, the RSF occupied bases in various residential areas of Greater Khartoum, including Bahri, Khartoum, and Omdurman, which often came under airstrikes.
In the five-minute address, Hemedti reserved particularly harsh criticism for Yasir al-Atta, a high-ranking army officer leading operations in Omdurman.
He also offered an apology to the Sudanese people, stating that the “disaster of the war” was imposed on the RSF rather than initiated by them. Furthermore, he vehemently denied that members of the RSF were involved in the alleged mass looting in Khartoum and other locations.