Sudan Military Intelligence continues to detain critical voices

Sudanese security forces with a shotgun (social media)


Critical voices and political opponents of the Sudanese army, including a sheikh who called for peace, face detentions throughout Sudan at the hands of Military Intelligence or security forces. Detainees have been accused of supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) or other opponents of the army, often with little to no evidence.

The family of detained Sheikh Mousa Burma said that a division of Military Intelligence raided the house of the sheikh in northern El Doroshab, Khartoum North (Bahri), at night in early June.

In a statement yesterday, the family said that it holds the Ammunition Intelligence Division in El Doroshab responsible for his safety.

Sheikh Burma is the Imam of the Falah Mosque and has been a teacher at the Quran school in the neighbourhood for more than thirty years.

The force did not publicise any charges and took him to an unknown destination. During the raid, the intelligence division seized all mobile telephones and money that was intended for the evacuation of family members to a safe place far from war zones.

So far, all attempts to find out either the reason for his detention or the place of his detention failed.

The sheikh’s relatives later learned “in an unofficial way” that Burma is accused of supporting the Rapid Support Forces “because of his call for an end to the war in a sermon”. In his prayer for peace, the sheikh refused to pray for victory for any party to the war, which “led to the fabricated accusation, based on tribal affiliations with the RSF”.

The family demands his immediate release, or at least a clear set of charges against him, and access so that his lawyer and family can visit him.

Activists detained

The resistance committees of Nabata and Dardoug in El Doroshab issued a statement last week in which they said that several of their members were also detained by Ammunition Intelligence Division in El Doroshab “for more than 50 days in which they were subjected to severe torture”.

In Delling, South Kordofan, Military Intelligence are still holding activists without charges. Three weeks ago, they detained Sanad Abdelsalam, Mohamed Terbal, Abdelrahman Ahmed, Abu Akla Sheikh, and other activists.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that the detentions began after the attack by forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-El Hilu) on Delling in mid-June.

According to the sources, it is likely that the detentions are part of wider accusations against activists and civilians that they support or cooperate with the SPLM-N El Hilu.

The sources warned of the systematic targeting of activists and volunteers by Military Intelligence. Last month, Radio Dabanga reported that Military Intelligence and the General Intelligence Service (GIS) continue to detain grassroots activists in Sudan.

The continued tensions between the army and the rebel movement in the region have also led to the restriction of traffic between villages and towns in the Nuba Mountains.

State authorities re-implemented measures that prevent goods from being transported to areas controlled by the SPLM-N and the sources warned that this will lead to an exacerbation of the humanitarian situation in these areas.

Detained journalist

Security officers in Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, have held journalist Abu Obeida Awad and a number of other people under the pretext of “suspecting their affiliation with the Rapid Support Forces”.

The Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN) strongly condemned the detentions in a press statement yesterday. “The methods followed by the security apparatus in the capital of El Gezira are incompatible with the most basic human values,” the SJN commented.

‘The methods followed by the security apparatus in the capital of El Gezira are incompatible with the most basic human values’

The statement also reported that the security forces in El Gedaref prevented journalists from covering the catastrophic humanitarian conditions faced by displaced people from Khartoum who sought refuge in the eastern Sudanese city.

Last week, military troops raided the city’s youth hostel and evacuated the building, which was hosting displaced people from Khartoum. No reasons were given for the evacuation of the hostel, which sheltered “special cases of people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart and crisis, and elderly and people with disabilities”.

Since the outbreak of the war, many Sudanese journalists have been faced with detentions, threats, enforced disappearances, or assaults.