RSF retreat from North Kordofan stronghold, military detentions across Sudan

Combatants in Sudan on a vehicle mounted with a 'dushka' .50-cal machinegun (File photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID)

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have reportedly pulled out of Um Rawaba, North Kordofan, after controlling the town for more than a month. In South Kordofan, eight detainees who were apprehended on August 18 were killed at an intelligence detention centre in Dalami. Two other people were detained by Military Intelligence in Blue Nile region and El Gezira state.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that the RSF “pulled out abruptly from the town and dismantled their outpost on the main road”. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), which entered the town on Tuesday, also withdrew, to Tandelti in White Nile state.

The sudden departure of the RSF seems to follow protests by Um Rawaba’s residents on Monday, sparked by the killing of a resident. The people accused the RSF of being involved in the incident. During a meeting between RSF representatives and the protestors, the RSF allegedly disassociated itself from the civilian’s death and asserted that the area was “teeming with unruly elements”.


In South Kordofan, eight people were allegedly killed in a military intelligence detention centre at the Dalami military garrison in South Kordofan, according to reliable sources. The detainees were apprehended on August 18.

The sources said that military intelligence units detained 30 civilians in Dalami, South Kordofan on August 18 on allegations of collaboration with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). They were transported to the military intelligence headquarters after skirmishes between the army and the SPLM-North (El Hilu) erupted within the town.

The deceased have been identified as Omar Hasan, 34, Mohamed Karmak, 23, Mujahid Mahjoub, 27, who served as the head of the Kawalib Association for Universities and Higher Education Institutes, Mandela El Jin, 42, Kuku Ibrahim, 31, Yasin Mogadim, 20, Ali Mostafa, 36, and Elyas Jagur, 56. The fate of the remaining 23 detainees remains uncertain.

A number of army soldiers and rebel fighters were killed in an attack by SPLM-N El Hilu on Dalami on August 30.

Crackdown on critics

Blue Nile Military Intelligence detained Ali El Sayed, a 30-year-old reconciliation committee member. His detention, which took place on September 3, happened after El Sayed shared a critical Facebook post aimed at the region’s governor.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that El Sayed was subjected to trial under emergency law, and handed a three-month prison sentence. “He was tried without being presented before a judge or prosecutor”, the sources said.

In his Facebook post, he had criticised the region’s governor for prioritising certain projects over addressing the needs of people who were displaced over a year ago by inter-ethnic clashes in Blue Nile region.

This is the latest in a series of detentions in the region. On August 19, 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, capital of Blue Nile.

On August 30, at least seven women human rights defenders and a journalist were apprehended by authorities at a vigil organised by the Sudan Mothers Initiative (SMI) in Ed Damazin.

Doctor detained

The National Umma Party (NUP) strongly condemned the detention of Dr Abdelrahman Hamed, a consultant surgeon at El Razi Hospital and a member of the NUP Secretariat of Doctors. Hamed was apprehended by military intelligence in El Hasaheisa, El Gezira, a week ago and subsequently taken to the Wad Madani military area. The reasons for his detention have not been disclosed, and he remains in custody.

The NUP’s general secretariat issued a statement yesterday expressing concern for Hamad’s safety and called for his immediate release. The party decried recurring attacks on medical professionals and humanitarian workers.

The preliminary committee of the Sudanese Doctors Syndicate also denounced Hamed’s detention in a statement published yesterday, viewing it as “evidence of ongoing targeting of medical personnel by both conflict parties”.

Last Thursday, the Sharg El Nil Emergency Room in Khartoum North accused the RSF of detaining three doctors who had traveled from El Gedaref to volunteer at the Alban Jadeed Hospital in Sharg El Nil.