Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met in Cairo powerful Sudanese military General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo on Monday, whose forces have been accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown on protesters.
In his first official visit to the Egyptian capital, the deputy chief of Sudan’s military council widely known as Hemeti, “presented the latest developments on the current situation in Sudan”, the Egyptian presidency said.
Sisi, the former general turned president, reiterated Egypt’s “strategic support” in maintaining “the stability and security” of its neighbour Sudan, the presidency added.
Cairo has been a steadfast ally of Khartoum’s military leaders after long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled on April 11 after months of protests.
Hemeti, commander of the Rapid Support Forces – the feared paramilitary group accused of war crimes in Darfur under Bashir – has also shored up support from Gulf allies, meeting with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in May.
Triggered in December with the tripling of the price of bread, the protests in Sudan quickly transformed into a challenge to the Bashir regime, in power for 30 years.
Demonstrations continued after his ouster to demand civilian rule.
On June 3, at least 127 protesters were killed and scores wounded in a raid on a sit-in at the epicenter of the demonstrations, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.
A joint probe by prosecutors and Sudan’s ruling military council showed that security forces, including an RSF general, took part in the raid on the protest camp — despite having no orders from their superiors to do so.
Hemeti has consistently denied that his men were involved in the crackdown, which triggered international outrage.
The general’s meeting with Sisi comes a day after Sudanese police fired tear gas at scores of protesters demanding an independent probe into the June raid.
On July 17, Sudanese protesters and ruling generals signed a power-sharing deal that aims to form a joint civilian-military ruling body which in turn would install civilian rule.