Al-Siddiq Haftar, the eldest son of the Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, said that his meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Sudan’s Transitional Military Council Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, was not not “of a political nature.”
An armed conflict between rival factions of the military government of Sudan began on 15 April 2023, when clashes broke out across the country, mainly in the capital city of Khartoum and the Darfur region. As of 23 April, at least 420 people have been killed and more than 3,700 injured.
Hemedti, whose paramilitary group the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has been fighting forces of army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, was alleged to have met with Al-Siddiq Haftar earlier this month, according to a report by the British newspaper The Guardian on Sunday.
However, Haftar’s son explained, in statements to Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, that he visited Sudan at the request of the Sudanese football club Al-Merrikh Sporting Club, which named Al-Siddiq Haftar as honorary president. Last February, Benghazi hosted a match between the Sudanese club and Egypt’s Zamalek at the Benina Martyrs Stadium.
Al-Siddiq Haftar, whose father leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), said his trip to Sudan was in response to invitation by Al-Merrikh club presidency. Haftar’s son said he had a briefing meeting with Hemedti during his encounter with the club’s officials.
Haftar’s son denied reports, which surfaced at that time, that made donations to the club. He said he “promised to help the club obtain sponsors who could provide the required support.”
He reaffirmed that his visit to Sudan “was specific to getting named honorary president of club,” which he says happened as symbolic appreciation for “the hospitality” during the club’s match with Zamalek in Benghazi.
Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Hemedti’s rival, have also denied that the Haftar family had any contact with the RSF leader. He told Saudi news channel Al-Arabyiah a few days ago that Haftar contacted him personally and confirmed that these allegations are “intended to create discord and strife between the neighbors”.
The Libyan army’s General Command also denied “supporting one party against another in Sudan,” expressing “its willingness to play a mediating role between brothers in Sudan to stop the fighting,” according to a statement LNA’s spokesman, Major General Ahmed Al-Mismari, via Facebook.