“Qatar has led a conspiracy against the Transitional Military Council that was formed after Bashir was removed, when it sent its foreign minister to visit Sudan without notifying the leadership in Khartoum,” Hamidati said in a televised interview on a local channel in Khartoum.
Hamidati, who is also commander of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, revealed that the Military Council refused to meet with the Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al-Thani because it was not notified about the visit in advance.
“We were surprised in April 2019 when we were told the Qatari foreign minister was on his way to Sudan,” he said.
“For a while, we wondered about Doha’s behaviour. Then, we made an immediate decision not to receive the Qatari foreign minister and prevented his plane from landing,” Hamidati said in the May 24 interview broadcast on Sudan 24 TV channel.
He described Qatar’s move at the time as a “malicious conspiracy” that was intended to sow discord between leaders and members of the Transitional Military Council.
He suggested that confusion was furthered by elements of the previous regime who falsely claimed the council’s president, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had been made aware of the Qatari visit.
“At that time, Burhan confirmed to me that he was not aware of the visit and we agreed not to receive the Qatari minister,” Hamidati said.
Hamidati stressed that “we have no problem with Qatar. We are not supposed to ditch any countries, but rather build on common interests.”
The Qatari foreign minister’s plan to visit Khartoum came a few days after the Transitional Military Council ousted former President Omar al-Bashir following mass protests against his rule that lasted nearly 30 years.
Doha, which had close ties with the previous regime, has also been a major supporter of Islamist groups in Sudan.
In April 2019, the Transitional Military Council denied news of the visit, but recent statements by the deputy chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council confirmed that it took place.
There are currently no diplomatic relations between Doha and Khartoum, with Sudan accusing Qatar of working to destabilise the country by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamidati strongly denied Qatari media reports that Sudan had sent fighters to support the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, saying Khartoum has not sent “any mercenaries to fight in Libya.”
He said the false reports were part of a media campaign against the Rapid Support Forces that worked to protect protesters from Bashir’s ousted regime.
“The allegation of the existence of fighters from the Rapid Support Forces in Libya is false and baseless,” Hamidati said, stressing that “the presence of Sudanese forces in Yemen aims at supporting the legitimacy. We are not mercenaries.”
Hamidati spoke about his efforts to mediate between Libyan rivals during a visit by the GNA’s deputy prime minister to Khartoum, but added that “some Libyan parties did not accept our initiative.”
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