Tuesday 2 July 2019

How An Ex-Janjaweed Commander Now Calls The Shot In Sudan

General Mohammed ''Hemedti'' Hamdan Dagalo
In Classic Rock Music there is a line that says “Meet the New Boss, Same as the New Boss” in a song by the legendary British Rock Group The Who. When it comes to the TNC (Transitional National Council) in Sudan, the above mentioned line is very apropos.

To briefly recap the situation on the ground, after several months of protests inspired by the government increasing the tax on bread and other controversial moves the Sudanese Armed Forces removed Omar Al-Bashir from power. There has currently been not one but two Military Councils in power preparing the way to return power to civilian authorities in Khartoum. The proposed pace of change not considered to be quick enough to the protesters that are still out on the streets.

The current leader of the TNC in Sudan is General Mohammed ''Hemedti'' Hamdan Dagalo. His name should be on the proverbial tip of the tongue of most Intel Analysts. He is known to be the commander of the Janjaweed Militias. You remember the ones that committed Genocide in Darfur, Provided Fighters for Seleka when they ousted the Government of the Central African Republic and unleashed Hell on that impoverished nation.

The Sudanese Military appears to be taking one play from the efforts of former President Bashir. They are concerned about their image in the United States and appear to be pulling out the stops to be seen in a positive light here in Washington.  We should remember how Khartoum hired SPB Global to represent them when the Obama Administration began the process of gradually lifting sanctions against the country the Military had to think how can we advance this process?

Recent filings with the US Justice Department show that the TNC has retained the services of a Canadian Firm Dickson & Madson to represent them here in Washington. The stated goal of this contract is to lobby both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the US Government and the  agencies to support the TNC as it prepares to return the reins of Government to Civilian Authorities. This seems simple and straightforward enough.

But there is some controversy as well. Recently social media outlets were showing images of a former member of the United States Congress James Moran a Democrat from the Commonwealth of Virginia speaking at a rally in Khartoum. During this speech he espoused the values of General Hemedti as a strong leader and stated that Sudan does need security to deal with emerging regional issues. Notwithstanding his appearance has drawn consternation from Sudanese Diaspora living here in the United States.

Clearly palms were greased on some level  in order to get Mr. Moran to change his position. There was a protest in Washington at the Sudanese Embassy to protest the Darfur Genocide. There was an image taken  of Mr. Moran being arrested with George Clooney. Isn’t it interesting to see how time flies? Or how people can be bought and sold on a whim?

It does make one wonder how long it will be for people to start asking how long it will be before the call for investigations under the Hatch act will be made?

 Written By: Scott Morgan

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