The visits of the rebel leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, to neighboring African countries in the east of the continent did not raise as many questions and astonishment as his visit to the Republic of South Africa. The visit was arranged at a high level by a group of international public relations companies, and Abu Dhabi harnessed its diplomatic relations. For the purpose of marketing the man in the continental ocean, commodifying him in the political market in the region, and displaying him on the shelves of the store open to the pioneers, who are some of the heads of state in the region, and having the street vendors display him on the side of the road with the bloat of the political markets despite their great depression.
Question: Why South Africa and how? The answer includes some details. Last September, government parties in the capital, Pretoria, began presenting to President Cyril Rama Vuza ideas about whether it was possible for South Africa to enter the club of initiatives on the war in Sudan, against the backdrop of the visit of the Vice-President of the Sovereignty Council, Malik Agar, to South Africa. Last July, he met with President Rama Fosa and conveyed to him a message from the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, about the war and the situation in Sudan and ways to solve it.
The Horn of Africa branch of South African intelligence adopted the idea and proposed it through the president’s security advisor and former official in charge of the Horn of Africa region, General (TINYIKO G HLUNWANE), and President Rama Vuza agreed, and he felt his country’s ability to achieve something in the Sudanese file after its success. – In coordination with Washington – in signing the agreement between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray Liberation Front after a brutal war, and the peace agreement was signed in the capital, Pretoria, on November 3, 2022.
From here, a committee headed by President Rama Fauza’s advisor, Mr. Helo Ngwane, began moving in the countries of the region and contacting the leadership of the African Union and the countries of the region related to the Sudanese issue. In Addis Ababa, it briefed Mr. Moussa Faki, President of the African Commission, on the initiative. The President’s Advisor Rama Fausa’s committee also met with the Commissioner Political Affairs: Chairman of the Nigerian African Peace and Security Council, Bankole Adeo. Contacts and meetings were also held with the leadership and secretariat of the IGAD organization in Djibouti.
Setting the atmosphere
Advisor Rama Foza and his delegation made contact with officials in Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad and South Sudan for the purpose of notifying and preparing the atmosphere to present the initiative and listen to different points of view. The delegation visited Libya and held separate meetings with officials in the capital, Tripoli, and with Haftar’s group in Benghazi, as well as a tour that included the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Qatar.
All these movements culminated in an (Egyptian-South African) consensus via telephone calls between President Rama Fawza and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi regarding the situation in Sudan, and the South African initiative found listening ears and a welcome from Cairo.
To this extent, things were normal, but the turning point that occurred was that the South African delegation in charge of conducting communications met in the Ethiopian capital with Dr. Abdullah Hamdok, the former prime minister who had just been chosen as head of the “Taqaddum” group, and the proposal to meet with Hamdok came from Parties supporting the rebellion in the UAE and Addis Ababa presented it to the Pretoria delegation.
Attracting financial support
According to diplomatic reports in the Ethiopian capital, the discussion that took place with Hamdok and his group was passed on to the “shameless” leaders of the Central Council and the rebels and their allies. Hamdok’s group informed the Emirati side of the details of the meeting and what took place in it, and the way in which the South African delegation sought to capture the different opinions. The Sudanese political forces and neighboring countries and how to integrate them; In preparation for the official launch of an initiative by President Rama Vuza after his security and political team prepares its concepts.
It was clear from the beginning that South Africa – according to what President Rama Foza's envoy and envoy kept repeating – did not want to work alone on the Sudanese reconciliation issue, nor did it want to bring together the army commander and the rebel militia leader, but rather wanted to work on a comprehensive initiative that brings together the components of conflict, war, and political forces. and society in Sudan. An initial idea was also put forward with a specific and clear meaning. It wants a partner to work with it, especially from countries neighboring Sudan or in the region. It also wants to ensure success in attracting financial support to meet the cost of restoring conditions to what they were before the war, and for reconstruction in Sudan if peace is approved and a comprehensive reconciliation is signed.
Against this background, the joint plan of the UAE, Addis Ababa, the Hamdok Group, and other international parties was to contain the South African initiative in its infancy, and to drag President Rama Fauza into another square until his initiative meets all the required concerns, and to shift his country’s general position from complete neutrality in this ongoing conflict and war. To a position that approximates his role as a mediator, and at the same time a supportive role, albeit indirectly, for the desires that serve the interests of international and regional powers.
The process of containing the initiative and exploiting its climate and trends was arranged by heating the lines of communication between the UAE and South Africa directly through the president’s office, while Hamdok and his group continued to work on preparing and qualifying the capabilities of the rebellion and its leadership to play the required role, in addition to coordinating movements and communications with the countries of the region, Western circles, and Western ambassadors and officials. To circumvent the South African initiative and turn it into favor of their alliance with the rebellion, and to exploit Pretoria’s insufficient familiarity with the details and dimensions of the armed conflict and war in Sudan.
Hamdok's group sought to prepare incorrect perceptions and misleading definitions of what is happening in Sudan, especially focusing specifically on the clear instruction to South Africans of the necessity of ruling out the idea of all Sudanese political forces participating in the initiative or marketing the idea of completing a comprehensive national reconciliation that does not exclude anyone or the Sudanization of the reconciliation project. The truth is what happened in South Africa with the last minute of the apartheid era, the liquidation of its regime, and the victory of the free will of the people of South Africa.
Hence, several parties moved to blockade the initiative proposed by South Africa, and Emirati and European groups and parties within the African Union worked to stick closely to the South African initiative.
Given the presence of other backgrounds related to the nature of the political environment, South Africa’s foreign policy orientations, and its excessive sensitivity to the nature of conflicts on the continent, it was easy to include the topic of the visit of the rebel leader (Hemedti) to Pretoria to listen to him and evaluate the situation.
Especially since it received Sudanese Vice President Malik Agar, just as it had previously done with opposition and rebel leaders in African countries – such as receiving President Rama Fawza, leader of the Polisario Front in October 2022, and leaders of opposition movements from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Libya, Rwanda, and from countries in West Africa. In addition to the history of visits by the late former Sudanese rebel leader John Garang and the leaders of his movement, it is possible to receive Hemedti in the same context without tarnishing the face of the initiative.
Invisible parties and influential figures
It can be said that the growth of political and economic relations between South Africa and the UAE was not the only factor that contributed to overcoming many obstacles in order to place Hemedti’s visit on the agenda of President Rama Vuza and to deal directly with his office. There are other factors in which unseen parties and influential figures played a role, She works in the field of international public relations to win South Africa in favor of the play that is intended to be presented on the political stage, and to make it a prelude to formulating a new political reality in Sudan. The appearance of the rebel leader was nothing but a faded image and shadows on the show curtain that will be removed after achieving the goals and achieving the goal.
It is also no secret that money belonging to the rebel militia was deposited in accounts with banks in South Africa and was transferred from the Emirates. In order to diversify, cover and camouflage the sources of expenditure on war and its accessories.
Information and accusations have previously circulated in the media, and have not been denied by their authors until now, that the UAE intelligence deposited money in 2021 in secret accounts in a South African bank for the benefit of former Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, former Foreign Minister Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, and Khaled Omar Youssef – Minister of Council Affairs. Former ministers.
According to the investigation and reconnaissance of the truth of what happened, the security team in Pretoria, which raised the issue of the initiative, worked on contacts with the countries of the region, reconceived it, and is working on this file, was completely absent from Hemedti’s visit, and was not aware of it, as he only attended the meeting with the South African president. The official spokesman and media official in the presidency, who was sitting to the north of the president, and another female employee, were the ones who drafted the news issued by the presidency. Others did not appear in the picture, and they are representatives of the British-Emirati public relations company that arranged all of Hemedti’s visits to the countries of the region.