State of Emergency in South Kordofan after four travellers are killed

Bus travel in Sudan (File photo Creative Commons / Retlaw Snellac Photography)

KADUGLI / DELLING – January 24, 2023

After four people were killed yesterday morning, Acting Governor of South Kordofan Mousa Jabor Mahmoud declared a State of Emergency in the entire state for a month, which went into immediate effect yesterday.

The announcement came after four people were killed early yesterday morning in the state capital of Kadugli. They were bus passengers planning to make their way to the Hajar El Foul market in the south-eastern countryside of the city.

After a lengthy meeting with the South Kordofan Security Committee following the incident on Monday, the governor said in a press statement: “With declaring the State of Emergency, we aim to preserve the supreme interests of the nation and the people”.

In the meeting, it was decided that the security committees of the localities can each determine the times of the curfew that will be imposed as part of the State of Emergency.

“The state’s Security Committee will exert all its material and moral efforts to resolve the insecurity and the chaos,” the governor said.

South Kordofan has been witnessing attacks and deadly robberies for years. Last year, local residents told Radio Dabanga that “many Nuba fear that South Kordofan will become a second Darfur”.

Perpetrators of violence are often not persecuted or brought to justice.

The attack

Four people were killed and four others were injured in the attack on the passengers, who were spending the night in Kadugli.

Their bus had travelled from Khartoum and paused at the El Mashtal bus station to spend the night there before planning to reach the Hajar El Foul market, south-east of Kadugli, later that day morning.

Humeidan Daleel, the owner of the Abu Yusri Travel Bus, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that “unknown assailants attacked the passengers when they were sleeping on the ground at the bus station at El Mashtal at about 2 am, metres away from an Artillery Command base”.

He said that Ibrahim Kamandar, who holds American citizenship, Ayoub Ibrahim, Peter Teiri El Mek, and Ismail Osman were shot dead. Four others were transferred to the Kadugli Teaching Hospital after sustaining bullet wounds.

Two bodies were handed to their families from Um Durein, while the body of Kamandar and his nephew will be returned to Khartoum.

A number of people demonstrated in front of the mortuary of Kadugli Hospital as the government and the security forces remained silent, Daleel said.

‘Obscure’ arrest of officials

In an unrelated event in the northern part of South Kordofan, two health officials were seized by armed men wearing military uniforms on Sunday. One of them managed to escape. The other one was released on Monday morning.

Sources explained to Radio Dabanga that “the incident is surrounded by a lot of obscurity”. They said that three military gunmen intercepted a vehicle carrying the directors of the health services of El Goz and Dalami localities from Delling to Kadugli where they would take part in a number of meetings.

The director of El Goz Health Services, Esameldin Abdelrahman, said in a statement yesterday that he managed to escape, while the gunmen took El Sadig Dabasa, director of Dalami Health Services. They also took the vehicle.

They released Dabasa the next morning “at the same site”.