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Asharq Al-Awsat Profile: General Mohammed al-Dabi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- When Mohammed Ahmad Mustafa al-Dabi — a former Lieutenant General in the Sudanese army with extensive experience in military intelligence – was chosen for the post of head of the Arab League observers in Syria, a number of human right organizations denounced and protested this choice. They denounced his appointment because of the belief that he was deeply involved in the crimes that were committed in the Darfur region in Sudan, where he worked for an extended time as representative of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to quell the rebellion in 1999, which spread throughout Darfur in 2003. The Sudanese opposition groups, particularly the Darfur armed movements, accused him of being one of those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

General Al-Dabi, who is 63 years of age, and who is closely linked to President Al-Bashir, comes from north Sudan tribes where he was born in the city of Barbar north of Khartoum in February 1948. He graduated from the Military College as a lieutenant in 1969, the year the late Sudanese President Jaafar Numayri seized power (1969-1985). He served in the Military Intelligence Department on 30 June 1989, the day Al-Bashir seized power through his notorious coup against the democratic regime. He continued to work in the military intelligence until 1995 when he assumed the post of director of foreign security in the Sudanese security agency, serving from July 1995 until November 1996.

General Al-Dabi advanced through the ranks in the security agency, and President Al-Bashir appointed him vice chairman of the staff of military operations, the period that witnessed the fiercest battles between the Sudanese army forces and the [Sudan People’s] Liberation Army rebels.(former south Sudan rebels who have recently gained independence in the South Sudan State). He remained in that post until February 1999 when President Al-Bashir appointed him as his representative in Darfur to be in charge of security with the powers and jurisdictions of the president before the declaration of rebellion in Darfur in 2003.

Between 2003 and 2004, Al-Dabi served as Sudanese ambassador to Qatar. He then returned to Sudan and again assumed the post of representative of President Al-Bashir to Darfur. Following the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 1592 in 2005 under which an international investigation committee was formed to investigate into crimes perpetrated in Darfur, the International Criminal Court [ICC] issued an arrest warrant against President Al-Bashir on charges of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. This was followed by the issuance of another memorandum accusing him of genocide in Darfur. These resolutions were behind the appointment of Al-Dabi as national coordinator of the Sudanese campaign opposed to the ICC resolutions.

In 2007 Al-Dabi assumed the post of commissioner of the security arrangements for Darfur, a year after the signing of the Abuja peace agreement with the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Mani Arkoi Minawi, which later rejected the agreement and declared resumption of the rebellion. Al-Dabi returned to Sudan and served as ambassador in the Foreign Ministry in August 2011 and stayed in that post until he was appointed by the Arab League as head of the Arab observers. He has assumed this post despite the opposition of human rights organizations.