Sudan: Arbitrary Detentions Continue in Sudan, Intelligence Condemns RSF Forex Speculators

25 September 2023

Khartoum / Port Sudan — Elements of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) detained a group of residents of the El Omda neighbourhood in old Omdurman last week. On Saturday, a number of people, including a journalist, were held from their homes in eastern Khartoum on Saturday. In Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, a member of the Sudanese Teachers' Committee, was taken by Military Intelligence to an unknown destination on Friday. The General Intelligence Service (GIS) has accused RSF leaders of foreign currency speculation.

The El Omda Residents Gathering on Saturday issued a statement calling on the RSF to release all detainees who were abducted on Friday and taken to an unknown location.

On Saturday, an RSF unit stormed several houses in El Jereif, west of Blue Nile River in Khartoum, plundered the buildings, and detained a number of people, among them Mohamed Ibrahim El Hajj, journalist and correspondent of the Cairo-based Alghad satellite channel.

The Sudanese Journalists Syndicate and the Sudanese Journalists Network both condemned the action and called for the immediate release of El Hajj and his neighbours. Both statements pointed to earlier RSF detentions of journalists and press photographers.

In Port Sudan, a force affiliated with the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) intelligence detained Sami El Bagir, trade union leader and leading member of the Sudanese Teachers' Committee on Friday evening.

The Sudanese Teachers Committee condemned the detention, and military Intelligence responsible for El Bagir's safety.

In a statement on Saturday, the teachers committee further denounced the detention of numerous professionals and human rights activists, including members of the Sudanese Professionals Association, the Trade Union Front, the Democratic Lawyers Front, the Emergency Lawyers, and the Sudan Initiative for Human Rights.

Emergency Lawyers said in a statement that El Bagir was held without any legal justification.


The GIS has accused "RSF leaders and some others" of "systematically working to sabotage the national economy by speculating in foreign currencies".

In a statement yesterday, the GIS said that since April 15, when war between the SAF and RSF broke out, all bank accounts in the country are monitored and investigated. "Legal action will be taken against the owners of accounts that include suspicious transfers to individuals, companies, organisations, and other institutions."

The intelligence service called on all people in Sudan "not to receive or transfer suspicious funds and to report them to the nearest security unit".

Economists have attributed the rapid collapse of the Sudanese pound against the US dollar in the past weeks to the growing number of Sudanese who plan to leave the country and the resumption of the issuance of passports since the beginning of this month. The significant decline in exports and industrial production and the transfer of sums of money by businessmen abroad.

The exchange rate of the dollar on the parallel market yesterday exceeded SDG850, an increase of SDG150 compared with the rate on September 7. The dollar price at the Bank of Khartoum reached SDG635.

The daily costs of the ongoing SAF-RSF war are estimated at $80 million.

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