Protestors in Sudan earlier this year (Photograph: VOA)
A senior military commander in Sudan has reportedly hired a Canadian lobby firm for $6 million, reports the Financial Times, the latest in a series of deals between African leaders and North American companies.
Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, a member of Sudan’s ruling military council, reportedly signed the agreement with Montreal-based Dickens & Madson last month following months of protests and several hundred deaths in Sudan. The military leader is second-in-command of the military council and heads the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which is also accused of committing human rights abuses in Darfur.
The contract, which was published by the US Department of Justice, states that the lobby group will help secure private meetings with Russian and Middle Eastern leaders, as well as winning funding from Libya and work oil US investment in Sudan’s oil industry.
“Pocketing millions of dollars from, and representing the selfish interests of, ruthless dictators has become a lucrative business,” said Jeffrey Smith, who heads Vanguard Africa. “It’s an upside down world in which priorities are misplaced, the people suffer, and abusive leaders inevitably grow stronger and more emboldened”.