Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo announces that Sudan’s Transitional Military Council has reached an agreement with civilian protest leaders for an interim governing body on July 5 in Khartoum. (Ebrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty Images)

Meet the TMC, the Body that Can Make – or Break – Democracy in Sudan (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Last week, the African Union mediated an agreement between Sudan’s citizens and opposition parties, on the one hand, and the Transitional Military Council (TMC), the generals who took control after the ousting of president Omar al-Bashir, on the other.

At first, the generals were seen as having sided with the civilians, who, starting in December, had been mounting massive street protests over the cost of bread and other basic consumer goods, the protests eventually graduating to loud discontent over Bashir himself, in power for 30 years. On April 11, the army arrested Bashir.

But soon there were disagreements over what would come next. The TMC said it was interested in working with the civilians to engineer a future form of governance, with all signs pointing to democracy.

But some of those disagreements stemmed from the TMC itself, which is made up of generals from three distinct backgrounds: the military, represented by Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, who, prior to the coup, was inspector-general of the country’s armed forces; the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, represented by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known by his nickname “Hemeti” and the former leader of the feared Janjaweed militia that, with Bashir’s permission, terrorized the restless Darfur region a little over a decade ago; and the National Intelligence and Security Service, also known as NIS, which, it is assumed, is represented – behind the scenes, in typical cloak and dagger fashion – by its head, Salah Gosh.

Burhan is seen as the head of the TMC, and Dagalo as its voice. But there’s more going on among the generals, and The Media Line spoke with Dr. Annette Weber, a senior fellow and Sudan expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, to learn more.

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