Sudan: RSF Retreat From South Kordofan Stronghold, Military Detentions Across Sudan

13 September 2023

Sudan — The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have reportedly pulled out of Um Ruwaba, North Kordofan, after controlling the town for more than a month. In South Kordofan, eight detainees who had been apprehended on August 18 were killed at an intelligence detention centre in Dalami. Two other people were detained by military intelligence in Blue Nile region and El Gezira state.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) reportedly withdrew from the town of Um Ruwaba, North Kordofan, which had been under their control since last month. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), which entered the town on Tuesday, also reportedly withdrew to Tandelti in White Nile state. Sources told Radio Dabanga that the RSF "pulled out abruptly from the town and dismantled their outpost on the main road".

This sudden departure seems to follow protests by Um Ruwaba's residents on Monday, sparked by the killing of a civilian. The community accused the RSF of being involved in the incident. During a meeting between RSF representatives and the protestors, the RSF allegedly disassociated itself from the civilian's death and asserted that the area was "teeming with unruly elements".

In South Kordofan, eight people were allegedly killed in a military intelligence detention centre at the Dalami military garrison in South Kordofan, according to reliable sources. The detainees were apprehended on August 18.

The sources said that military intelligence units detained 30 civilians in Dalami, South Kordofan on August 18 on allegations of collaboration with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). They were transported to the military intelligence headquarters after skirmishes between the army and the SPLM-North (El Hilu) erupted within the town.

The deceased have been identified as Omar Hasan, 34, Mohamed Karmak, 23, Mujahid Mahjoub, 27, who served as the head of the Kawalib Sons Association for universities and higher education institutes, Mandila El Jin, 42, Koko Ibrahim, 31, Yasin Mogadim, 20, Ali Mostafa, 36, and Elia Jagr, 56. The fate of the remaining 23 detainees remains uncertain.

A number of army soldiers and rebel fighters were killed in an attack by SPLM-N El Hilu on Dalami on August 30.

Crackdown on critics

Blue Nile military intelligence detained Ali El Sayed, a 30-year-old reconciliation committee member. His detention, which took place on September 3, happened after El Sayed shared a critical Facebook post aimed at the region's governor.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that Ali El Sayed was subjected to trial under emergency law, and handed a three-month prison sentence. "He was tried without being presented before a judge or prosecutor", the sources said.

In his Facebook post, he had criticised the region's governor for prioritising certain projects over addressing the needs of people who were displaced over a year ago by inter-ethnic clashes in Blue Nile region.

This is the latest in a series of detentions in the region. On August 19, a military intelligence raid led to the detention of 23 people attending an event at the Communist Party of Sudan's office in Ed Damazin, capital of Blue Nile.

On August 30, at least seven women human rights defenders and a journalist were apprehended by authorities at a vigil organised by the Sudan Mothers Initiative (SMI) in Ed Damazin.

Doctor detained

The National Umma Party (NUP) strongly condemned the detention of Dr Abdelrahman Hamad, a consultant surgeon at El Razi Hospital and a member of the Secretariat of Doctors of the Umma. Hamad was apprehended by military intelligence in El Hasahisa, El Gezira state, a week ago and subsequently taken toW ad Madani military area. The reasons for his detention have not been disclosed, and he remains in custody.

The NUP's general secretariat issued a statement yesterday expressing concern for Hamad's safety and called for his immediate release. The party decried recurring attacks on medical professionals and humanitarian workers.

The preliminary committee of the Sudanese Doctors Syndicate also denounced Hamad's arrest in a statement published yesterday, viewing it as "evidence of ongoing targeting of medical personnel by both conflict parties".

Last Thursday, Sharg El Nil Emergency Room accused the RSF of detaining three doctors who had traveled from El Gedaref to volunteer at El Ban Jedid Hospital, Sharg El Nil (East Nile) in Khartoum North.

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