Sudan: Former Sudan Officials Leave Prison, Raising Questions About Bashir

Sudanese refugees who have arrived in Chad.

Khartoum, Sudan — Amid a shaky cease-fire in Sudan, members of the former regime, including ousted president Omar al-Bashir have left the prison where they were held, raising questions on their whereabouts. Sudan's military accused the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of attacking the prison, while the RSF accused the military of releasing the former leaders.

Ahmed Haroun, a security official for Sudan's former president Omar al-Bashir, announced Tuesday that he and other former leaders were freed from Khartoum's Kober prison.

Haroun told state media Sudan TV the inmates were allowed to leave Sunday after clashes near the prison, which couldn't care for them because of the fighting.

Saudi Arabia's Al Hadath TV rebroadcasted his comments.

Haroun said all inmates lacked basic services, including shortage of water, power, and healthcare. He added that some inmates were injured due to the ongoing exchange of gunfire.

The announcement raised concerns about the whereabouts of other former officials, including Bashir, who was also being held at the prison.

Unnamed military sources told the Associated Press that Bashir, Haroun, and former minister Abdel-Rahim Muhammad Hussein had been moved to a military hospital.

Bashir, Haroun, and Hussin are wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes in Sudan's Darfur region.

Hospital sources confirmed to Reuters news agency that Bashir was at a military hospital.

The Sudan Tribune reports that Bashir and Hussein are at a military hospital in Omdurman, a town next to Khartoum.

Sources at the Alia Military Hospital told VOA that Bashir and Hussein have been held there for more than three months.

Haroun in his Tuesday comments to Sudan TV indicated those released from the prison Sunday were on their own.

He said they decided to take their own responsibility to protect themselves. Haroun added that they stand ready to appear before the law, once there is an operational judicial system in place.

Haroun also declared his support for Sudan's military in the fighting that broke out April 15 with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Sudan's military has denied any involvement in their release from prison and accused the RSF of impersonating the military to release the inmates and loot the facility.

The RSF denied the allegations and claimed the military released the former leaders as part of a plan to restore Bashir to power.

The military and RSF ousted Bashir in 2019 after a popular uprising against his three-decade rule.

Both claim to support a return to democracy in Sudan, but have thwarted efforts to establish a civilian-led government, including a coup in 2021.

Fighting broke out between the two sides over a timeline for integrating the RSF into the military.

The warring has led foreign missions to evacuate diplomats and citizens.

While thousands of Sudanese have fled the fighting, millions are left struggling to survive in war zones as supplies of food, water, and medicine are running out.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.