Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces, said Thursday that the paramilitary force is fully prepared for a ceasefire and to enter into comprehensive political talks to end the conflict with the army.
Dagalo, known as Hemedti, made these statements in a recorded video message addressed to the United Nations General Assembly and published by the Rapid Support Forces shortly before the army commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, delivered a speech to the General Assembly in New York.
Hemedti said that a federal system in Sudan is the most appropriate to govern the country.
Hemedti called for the establishment of a new Sudanese army “to build a professional military institution that distances itself from politics and protects the constitution and the democratic system,” as he put it.
Hemedti said that the armed forces were the ones who ignited the war that has been going on since mid-April, and wanted to undermine the political process, adding that “we had no choice but to defend ourselves after the army attacked us.”
He explained that the war caused “unprecedented” destruction in Sudan, especially Khartoum, and created a humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
The Rapid Support Commander pointed out that his team engaged “sincerely” in the negotiations hosted by Saudi Arabia in Jeddah and put forward a vision to stop the war.
He explained that this vision includes reaching a long-term ceasefire agreement, reaching a civil democratic system of government based on fair elections, and involving the largest possible political base from all regions of Sudan.
He continued that the issues of a political solution are inseparable from the issues of sustainable peace, “which requires the involvement of all armed struggle movements and stakeholders from conflict areas,” he said.
Hemedti, head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council and army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, described him as “speaking falsely on behalf of Sudan,” considering that he is “lack of legitimacy.”
Al-Burhan is visiting New York to attend the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly.