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'GIS travel ban' escalates tensions between Sudan govt’s military and civilian components

October 14 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Mohamed El Faki, Member of the Sovereignty Council and Deputy Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee, is one of those subject to the GIS travel ban (File photo: SUNA)
Mohamed El Faki, Member of the Sovereignty Council and Deputy Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee, is one of those subject to the GIS travel ban (File photo: SUNA)

The crisis between the military and civilian components of Sudan’s transitional government has escalated significantly after reports that the General Intelligence Service (GIS) issued a travel ban for 11 leading members of the Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC)*, including a member of the Sovereignty Council and a Minister.

Sources reported that the ban issued by the GIS includes ERC rotating chair and member of the Sovereignty Council Mohamed El Faki, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khaled Omar, and ERC members Wajdi Saleh, Salah Mannaa, and Babikr Feisal.

The GIS denied the travel ban on state officials, and the agency’s media director confirmed the incorrectness of what some newspapers and media circulated about the travel ban. He said that the apparatus is an institution that abides by its duties as stipulated in the constitutional document and has nothing to do with the ban procedures.

The High Court Chamber in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, which is competent to consider appeals against the decisions of the ERC, decided to invalidate Chapter 21 concerning senior prosecutors and return them to work. On Tuesday, the department issued a decision to return 15 judicians to service.

The Appeals Department of Sudan’s High Court in Khartoum issued a ruling on October 7 which nullifies decisions of the ERC regarding the dismissal of judges, prosecutors, and other judicial employees. The committee rejected the ruling because of procedural flaws.

The Jurists Group decided to submit a memorandum of demand to the military component of the Sovereignty Council on Thursday, to demand the handover of power to the civilian component, in addition to monitoring all constitutional violations and opposing decisions issued by the High Court against the decisions of the dismantling committee.


Following an aborted coup attempt on September 21, tensions between Sudanese military and civilian leaders resurfaced. The military accused the civilian politicians of squabbling and quarrelling over positions, while civilian members of the government criticised the military leaders for “claiming a monopoly of guardianship over the country and the sole right to lead it through the transitional period”.

At the end of September, South Sudan, France, and the USA sent envoys to Khartoum to pressure the disputing parties to continue their cooperation during the 39-month transitional period. The head of the UN Integrated Mission to Support the Transition in Sudan (UNITAMS) continued his meetings with the members of the Sovereignty Council.

On October 2, thousands of people took part in demonstrations in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and other places in the country, in support of the democratic transition in the country. The demonstrators called for the establishment of a civilian government.

Several initiatives were launched in Khartoum this month, to defuse tensions between various components of the Sudanese government. In response to the conflicts within the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), an important partner in the transitional government, a new coalition of 16 political and armed groups calls for “consensus within the FFC”.

A number of civil society leaders have formed mediation committees, including prominent lawyer and human rights defender Nabil Adib, in an attempt to bring the conflicting government parties together again.

* The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption and Recovery of Public Funds .It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok in November 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the ousted regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019).Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the Al Bashir government supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.

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