Sudanese general, Senior General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, has warned that the U.S. and Europe may be in for a refugee crisis if they don’t support the country’s regime under the new military government.
Dagalo said Europe and the United States have little choice but to back the latest government to halt a refugee crisis – and he noted that Sudan’s borders are kept under control by the military, which is facing criticism for staging a coup.
His comments came as his country is experiencing political turmoil. Sudan’s military leaders took control of the government in October and placed civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest, drawing international condemnation.
According to a deal between the military and civilian government last week, Hamdok was reinstated to his post, but the agreement failed to quell pro-democracy protests in Sudan and frightened western allies.
“Because of our commitment to the international community and the law, we are keeping these people together,” he said in Khartoum, the country’s capital. “If Sudan opens the border, a big problem will happen worldwide.”
Those remarks highlight the growing wariness the international community has toward refugees. In recent years, the EU has struggled to resolve the issue of how to distribute migrants within the bloc and has become reluctant to take on many new migrants. During the Trump administration, the U.S. drastically cut its refugee intake, then raised it earlier this year.
Dagalo urged Europe and the U.S. to put aside their fears and look to him and Burhan as sources of stability, pointing to Sudan’s large refugee population. Over one million refugees from other countries live in Sudan, according to the United Nations. As reported by the UN, more than 7 million people have been displaced within the Sudan and South Sudan, either within the countries themselves or throughout the entire region.
International circles do not trust Dagalo, who is the deputy to Sudan’s top general Fattah al-Burhan. Dagalo, as commander of the country’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, has long been associated with war crimes and other atrocities, particularly in Sudan’s Darfur province.
Dagalo denied the allegations through a translator, stating that he was the victim of “fake news” campaigns.
In general, allies are wary of the Sudanese Army because they have yet to fulfil their promise to step back from politics and allow the country’s fledgling democratic movement to take root following the ouster of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
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