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Qatar emir receives Sudan General 'Hemedti' in Doha

Mohamed Hamdan Daglo met with Qatar's Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani [Amiri Diwan]

Date of publication: 1 February, 2021

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Sudan's General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, widely known as Hemedti, briefed the emir on the latest developments in Khartoum and thanked him for Qatar's support.

Sudan's General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, one of the most influential political figures in the country, met with Qatar's Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha on Sunday, the emir's office said in a statement.

Daglo, widely known as "Hemedti", briefed the emir on the latest developments in Sudan and thanked him for Qatar's continued support, especially in backing peace efforts in Darfur.

"During the meeting, they reviewed brotherly relations between the two countries and means of supporting and strengthening them, in addition to the latest regional and international developments," the Amiri Diwan statement said.

On Saturday, Hemedti met with Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani to discuss the border crisis with Ethiopia and its controversial Renaissance Dam project.

Hemedti arrived in Doha on Saturday, marking the first visit by a Sudanese official to the tiny Gulf state since the overthrow of Omar Al-Bashir in 2019.

Hemedti is a senior member of the joint civilian-military sovereign council that currently governs Sudan as part of a fragile democratic transition. 

He also heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a controversial descendant of the Janjaweed militias of Darfur. Activists accuse Hemedti and his forces of the torture and killing of protesters.

Hemedti's visit to Qatar follows rapprochement between Doha and a number of Gulf Arab states.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, key backers of the Sudanese transitional regime, led a punishing economic and diplomatic blockade of Qatar until an agreement earlier this month.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi's support for and financial backing of Khartoum may have led Sudan to shun relations with Qatar.
 
In April 2019, Sudanese officials reportedly rejected a visit from a delegation led by Qatar's foreign minister.

Khartoum later said it did not receive the delegation as it had not been informed of the visit ahead of time.

"Qatar has led a conspiracy against the Transitional Military Council that was formed after Bashir was removed, when it sent its foreign minister to visit Sudan without notifying the leadership in Khartoum," said Hemedti, who at the time was the deputy leader of the military council that solely governed Sudan before a power-sharing deal with protest leaders.

The paramilitary chief later admitted to "boycotting" Qatar.

"We admit that we were wrong... and we are supposed to welcome them like others," he was quoted as saying by The Sudan Tribune.

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