Libya Market plundered, police remain absent in Sudan capital

Policemen assisted by armed men in civilian clothes during anti-junta protests in November 2022 (social media)


The looting of banks, buildings, and shops at the various markets of the Sudanese capital continue. Yesterday, the Libya Market in Omdurman was plundered. While the police remain absent, calls for arming civilians to protect their property, are growing.

Thefts, robberies, and plundering are affecting several commercial areas in greater Khartoum for several days due to the current security situation following the outbreak of heavy fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15.

Traders reported widespread looting of banks and shops at the large Libya Market in western Omdurman yesterday.

On Monday, the Omdurman Grand Market was raided and looted by street gangs. They concentrated on work tools and electrical appliances, sources reported. Ordinary people joined the plundering and were seen carrying bags full of stolen goods, an eyewitness told Radio Dabanga. “Policemen were nowhere to be seen.”

The El Soug El Sha’abi in central Omdurman was plundered on April 30. Gang members and other people raided the Bank of Khartoum building at the large market near one of the industrial areas in old Omdurman. The building of the Tadamon Islamic Bank was set on fire.


Rehab El Doma, a resident of El Morada in old Omdurman, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the market in the neighbourhood was looted by paramilitaries of the RSF. “Fortunately, they did not attack people. They only searched the men at the market.”

She said that army forces are stationed near the Military Hospital in the vicinity of the old Omdurman Bridge, while the RSF are in control of the neighbourhoods north of the area, around El Morada Street and the Omdurman Maternity Hospital.

El Doma further said that groceries and bakeries are open, but lamented the significant rise in the prices of basic commodities. She confirmed “the complete closure” of hospitals and the absence of health services in the area.

Calls for arming civilians

In a post on his Facebook page yesterday, Mujahid Bushra, founder and director of Mujo Press, commented on the absence of police in the city by referring to the heavy presence of government forces during anti-junta demonstrations following the October 2021 military coup d’état, while the police is “nowhere to be seen” after heavy battles between the army and the RSF broke out on April 15, and many people in the capital are seeking to arm themselves against armed robbers.

“On the morning of October 25, 2021, Army Commander Abdelfattah El Burhan [..] declared the State of Emergency in the country, following the coup staged by the army, the Janjaweed, and the rebel movements against the transitional government,” he wrote.

“After that, [members of] the Military Intelligence, the Central Reserve Police, and the General Intelligence Service were deployed to support the police in suppressing the peaceful protest marches. More than 150 revolutionaries were killed, and thousands of others were injured under the pretext of preserving security, the sovereignty of the state, and resolving the chaos.

“Last September, the police requested more powers to suppress the protesters, and the authorities responded by providing special training by the Turkish Security Training Academy to the Sudanese riot police forces – which continued to perform in accordance with the 2008 Police Law, that allows the police to be integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in case of a State of Emergency, in accordance with Article 10.1 and 2,” Bushra stated.

“Since the morning of April 15 however, the country has been witnessing the gradual disappearance of all police forces, their chiefs and the acting Interior Minister, amid a frightening increase in cases of murder and looting.

“While serious demands are being raised to arm the people to confront attackers into this confrontation,” one can ask “why the coup authorities [..] do not start mobilising all those having knowledge of the Police Law and let them swear to protect the people and their property as their sacred professional and patriotic duty.

“This would answer the most urgent question and close the door to the many calls to arm the people,” Bushra concluded his argument.


On Saturday, the Ansar Affairs Authority in Omdurman approved a fatwa against theft in response to the widespread looting in the Sudanese capital.

Last week, news outlets reported several cases of vandalism in greater Khartoum, affecting all areas of life, especially banks, malls, shops (in particular those selling gold), and factories, amidst the absence of the Rule of Law and the chaos created by RSF soldiers who have taken up positions in residential areas.