More than 20 detained by Sudanese Military Intelligence in communist party raid

A gathering of the Communist Party of Sudan years ago (File photo: CPoS)

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, Blue Nile region, on Saturday. The incident sparked condemnation from legal and activist groups, who accuse security forces of abusing power and suppressing dissent.

The military intelligence force executed a raid on the office of the Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) in the capital of the Blue Nile region*, apprehending attendees of a cultural and political gathering before the start of the event.

More than 20 attendees were subsequently transferred to a police station before eventually being released on bail.

In a statement published yesterday, the Democratic Lawyers Front denounced the force’s actions, asserting that they “interfered with the cultural and political event and detained party members without any legitimate or legal justification”.

Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers strongly condemned recurrent actions by Military Intelligence against civilians, viewing it as “a grave infringement on public freedoms, a concerning militarisation of civil life, a blatant violation of the law, and an attempt to prosecute anyone who opposes the war”.

The Ed Damazin Resistance Committees expressed their outrage at the detention of attendees and leaders of the CPoS on Saturday. In a statement released yesterday, they accused the security committee in the Blue Nile region of being complicit with the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) of former dictator Omar Al Bashir.

The committees characterised the arrests as an “egregious abuse of power and the emergency law to settle political scores”.

According to the statement, “a military intelligence force comprised of two Land Cruisers, a double-cabin vehicle, and multiple motorcycles, under the command of the Fourth Infantry Division – Ed Damazin, forcibly entered the communist party’s office and apprehended all those present before the cultural event commenced”.

Detainees were allegedly taken to the Military Intelligence Division’s offices within the command of the Fourth Infantry Division, before being transferred to the central police station in Ed Damazin half an hour later.

Despite several hours of detention, no charges were filed against the detainees. “They were gradually released, with the last release occurring at midnight,” according to the resistance committees.

The activist group raised concerns about the NCP’s and Islamic Movement’s activities in the region, “which appear to receive protection from security forces and the approval of the regional security committee”.

Earlier this month, the Communist Party of Sudan urged tribes to resist calls from the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) aiming to recruit youths into the conflict. The party warned of the catastrophic consequences of tribal strife, in response to Malik Agar’s calls for Sudanese to “rally around the Sudan Armed Forces”.

The party has also been targeted by the RSF. The office of the party’s newspaper El Midan in Khartoum II was raided by the RSF at the end of May, destroying valuable files, records, and equipment.

Party members have been staunch critics of the military and have been targeted or detained in the past.

* In August last year, Gen Ahmed El Omda, governor of the then Blue Nile state, issued a number of decrees based on the October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) by which Blue Nile state became a region, and its seven localities became ‘governorates’. International IDEA stated in an analysis in 2021 that although the Blue Nile and Kordofan protocol incorporated in the JPA grants autonomy to these states, it does not specifically stipulate that they should become a region.