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RSF shoot policeman dead in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains

June 25 - 2020 KADUGLI
Rapid Support Forces (RSF facebook page)
Rapid Support Forces (RSF facebook page)

Four men wearing uniforms of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) killed a policeman and wounded another near Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan, 10 days ago.

The Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) reported in a press statement on Tuesday that three policemen were guarding an MTN telecom mast about 13 km north of Kadugli on June 15, when four RSF members attempted to steal fuel from the site.

When they were stopped, two of them shot at the policemen. Abdelmunim Kodi (48) died instantly. His colleague Adil Hamid (27) sustained injuries. The third policeman was not hit.

The two surviving policemen recognised the RSF soldiers and gave their names to the police in Kadugli. However, the perpetrators were not arrested.

HUDO explains in the statement that policemen were deployed as guards at the MTN mast, after the fuel for operating the generator for the mast was stolen more than once - which caused network disturbances in Kadugli.

The organisation expresses its serious concern “about the security situation in conflict areas” and calls upon the Sudanese government “at state and central level” to immediately investigate this case, address the insecurity in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and to dissolve the RSF and the Popular Defence Forces (PDF).

On June 5, members of the RSF shot three farmers dead near Kadugli, apparently for no reason. The incident was reported to the police in Kadugli, but no action was taken to apprehend the perpetrators, who are known to the farmers.

Three days before, a farmer was killed by PDF militiamen west of Delling in South Kordofan. In February, people in the eastern part of South Kordofan called for the disarmament of the PDF after militiamen killed and robbed several people in the region.

Government militias

Officially, the RSF militia, set up by the ousted Al Bashir regime in 2013, was integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in August last year. At the same time however, the militia stays a force unto itself, commanded by Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, who also is Deputy President of Sudan's Sovereign Council.

The RSF, which grew out of the Janjaweed militiamen who fought for the Sudanese government in Darfur since the war broke out 2003, is widely believed to be responsible for atrocities in Sudan in the past six-seven years. The RSF are also held accountable by many for the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in in June 3 last year.

Tens of thousands of RSF troops have joined the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015.

The RSF has reportedly built up a vast business empire that captures not only a large part of the country’s gold industry, but has huge interests in many sectors of the Sudanese economy as well.

The PDF militia was officially dissolved earlier this month. It was established as an Islamist militia after Omar Al Bashir’s military coup in 1989, and played a major role in the distribution of weapons to, and military training for, tribal militias.

PDF members received training, uniforms, weapons, and food, but no salaries. The militia also operated as a reserve force for the Sudan Armed Forces.

After the fall of Al Bashir in April last year, the PDF continued to be operational, in particular in South Kordofan, resorting to banditry, assaulting and robbing people in the region.

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