When Sudan’s protest leaders signed a preliminary power-sharing agreement with the ruling military council in early July, they had no choice but to shake hands with the man many of them accuse of ordering a massacre just a month earlier.
Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, a paramilitary commander from Darfur who is widely known as Hemedti, has emerged as Sudan’s main power broker in the months since the military overthrew President Omar al-Bashir.
He boasts tens of thousands of paramilitary forces who have spent years battling insurgents across Sudan as well as rebels in Yemen on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Experts say he can draw on his family’s vast livestock and gold mining operations in Darfur, as well as funding from Gulf Arab countries, to buy the support of tribal leaders and other local elites. That could be the recipe for a new patronage system like the one that kept al-Bashir in power for three decades…
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