Hundreds of people participated in a demonstration in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan, on Monday to protest against the deteriorating security situation in the state after the recent increase in violent crimes, including incidents of robbery, killing, and looting.
Incidents of violence were widespread in December. On December 17, a merchant was shot dead in Kadugli for unknown reasons. On that same day, another trader was wounded when masked gunmen plundered his house, Omda Ismail told Radio Dabanga from Kadugli.
On December 26, citizens blocked the main roads in Kadugli to protest the death of an inhabitant who was shot by a number of unknown people in a poor neighbourhood of the city.
Omda* Ismail reported that a young woman was robbed of her money and telephone at gunpoint at a market on December 24. “All these events were registered by the police, but they did not take any action”, he explained.
In a press conference yesterday, South Kordofan Governor Hamid El Bashir pledged to address the continuous security breaches that Kadugli has witnessed in the past days. He said that the state’s security committee will deal with the security breaches, which included the burning peoples’ properties and theft or encroaching on the city’s markets.
The governor also pledged to rapidly restore the provision of electricity in the town.
Omda Ismail said he and other Native Administration leaders are keen to attend the conference on security and community peace in Kadugli, which set to start on January 17, in which they hope to put an end to these violent incidents.
On Tuesday, the Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) reported an attack on a tea vendor in Um Burambeta in Rashad locality (formerly Abu Kershola) on December 26.
At about 22:00 that day, single mother Huweida Faraj (29) and her son (10) were sleeping at their home in the town of Um Burambeta when an unknown armed man with a face mask knocked at the house gate, calling her name.
Immediately after Faraj opened the door, the man shot her and fled. Her neighbours heard the gunshot and came running to the scene. There, they found that Faraj was shot in her leg and they took her to the town hospital.
The violent incident by the anonymous attacker was reported by her family at the Um Burambeta police station.
Violence in the form of robberies is not the only threat to security in the area. Last month, a number of travellers to Khartoum were detained by the Military Intelligence department of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in El Abbasiya without a clear reason. The travellers were only released on December 12, after they spent a week in detention.
There was no clear case against them, HUDO explained in another report on Tuesday. The men were apparently interrogated about their alleged affiliation with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
Agents of the Military Intelligence (MI) department held the lorry on its way from Heiban to Khartoum when it made a pit stop in El Abbasiya town. The more than 20 passengers were detained and taken to the El Abbasiya military base, together with the lorry.
After spending the night in a cell, the women and children were released but the men had to stay in detention, facing “poor conditions and daily intimidation”. They received little food, HUDO reported.
After six days, Kuku Abdallah, Rashid Younes, Stefen and El Sir Adam, William Mousa, and Mamoun El Ameen were released, together with the lorry. They were warned not to go back to Heiban, their hometown.
HUDO has called on the Sudanese government to hold the SAF commandant in El Abbasiya accountable for these illegitimate arrests.
The organisation also urged the Sudanese government to end the state of emergency in the area, which enables MI to arrest civilians at will.
In December, Radio Dabanga reported on the recent surge in violence and crime in South Kordofan when paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) reportedly killed two farmers near Kadugli and robbed another man of his motorbike at gunpoint.
In November, Radio Dabanga reported at least three robberies on the road between Talodi and Kologi and HUDO reported the armed robbery of more than 20 passengers travelling from Abu Jubeiha to Talodi by armed men dressed in RSF uniforms.
According to HUSO, many more robbery attempts were committed alongside this road due to the lack of adequate police response.
In all cases, the attacks were reported to the police but no action was taken.
*An omda is a local leader, usually of a town, large village, or n administrative unit consisting of a group of villages.
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