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Top Sudan general calls coup a 'mistake' and vows to hand over power

In this April 30, 2019 file photo, Sudanese Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the military council speaks at a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan.   -  
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One of Sudan’s top generals who led a coup against the country’s transitional government in 2021 has called the takeover a 'mistake.'

In a speech delivered on Sunday, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the country’s paramilitary known as the Rapid Support Forces, said he regretted the move.

"In the school of life, I learned a lot," the head of country’s paramilitary known as the Rapid Support Forces said.

"One of the most important lessons is that the old path of Sudan is unfair and regrettable. So when I saw young men and women of the glorious December Revolution, I did not hesitate to stand with them against injustice of the defunct regime, its tyranny and corruption. I wanted to share their desire to change for the better and build Sudan," he claimed.

"I tried as much as I could and got hurt at the time and made mistakes sometimes. The most recent mistake was the 25th October coup. What I found out from day one was that it would not lead to what we first wanted, to be a way out of political congestion. But that it would, unfortunately, become a gateway for the return of the former regime. This prompted me not to hesitate to return to the right thing and I sincerely want to leave political power and hand it over to a transitional civilian authority," the general - who is also known as Hemedti - said in the televised address.

Political turmoil

Sudan has been plunged into turmoil since the country’s leading military figure, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, led a coup in October 2021 that derailed the country’s democratic transition after the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

In a motion seeking to end the impasse, Sudan’s military and one of the country’s main pro-democracy groups, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, signed a framework deal on December 5th vowing to install a new civilian government and remove the military from power.

The deal only offers a rough outline of how the country will resume its transition to democracy and has been rejected by several major political forces.

It also ducked sensitive political issues concerning transitional justice and details concerning military reform. Dagalo and Burhan have both promised to hand over power to another civilian government after the coup, but it’s unclear when or how.

In Sunday’s speech, Dagalo reiterated this. He said he wants to "leave political power and hand it over to a transitional civilian authority."

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