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Sudan officials nearly killed in West Kordofan, activist held in Blue Nile

April 10 - 2020 MUGLAD / ED DAMAZIN
Militiamen in North Darfur (File photo)
Militiamen in North Darfur (File photo)

On Wednesday, armed men attempted to shoot two members of the Anti-Corruption Committee dead in West Kordofan. No one was injured. In Blue Nile state, paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces detained an activist on Thursday.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that a group of gunmen fired “a barrage of bullets” on the vehicle that was carrying Hussein Bakkar, secretary of the Arab Socialist Baath Party in West Kordofan, and lawyer Ibrahim El Ahmar, both members of the Empowerment* Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee in the state, to Muglad at about 9 pm on Wednesday evening.

The vehicle’s windows were shattered, but no one was injured.

The government officials were returning from a meeting of the Anti-Corruption Committee in Babanusa, the sources said. They were attacked when they were entering Muglad.

Political assassination’

In statements the next day, the Arab Socialist Baath Party and the National Umma Party (NUP) in West Kordofan condemned the incident in the strongest terms.

The Baath Party called the attack “a political assassination, aiming to eliminate West Kordofan state leaders as part of a plan to launch a counter-revolution against change” in the country.

The party holds the General Intelligence Service (GIS) “fully responsible for this crime’s security, social, and political repercussions”, and urged the West Kordofan authorities “to take all measures to bring the perpetrators to justice”.

The NUP described the attack as “treason”, and called for the acceleration of the prosecution of affiliates of the former regime of President Omar Al Bashir in West Kordofan, the formation of a committee of inquiry into the attack on Wednesday, and to find effective ways to collect weapons from civilians.

In the end of February, the prosecutor of Abyei was shot dead by unknown gunmen inside his house in Muglad.

The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was established by the new government in the end of last year, with the aim to purge Sudan from the remnants of the Al Bashir regime.

Muglad (UN map of West Kordofan)

 

Detained

The Coordination of the Forces for Freedom and Change in Blue Nile state reported the detention of Idris El Bur by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main government militia, yesterday.

“An armed force from the Rapid Support Forces detained Idris El Bur, member of the FFC Executive Office in the state, from his shop at the Grand Market of Ed Damazin on Thursday morning, and took him to the militia’s headquarters in the town,” the FFC said in a statement later on Thursday.

The FFC Coordination demands El Bur’s “immediate and unconditional release”, as “the era of summons and arrests passed [after President Omar Al Bashir was deposed in April last year].

“We are now in a new era brought by the blood of the martyrs [during the intifada]. The people are stronger,” the statement reads.

In Khartoum, a human rights activist was violently held in early March, by officers who claimed they belong to the RSF Intelligence Department. He told the Public Prosecution after his release this week that he was severely beaten during his detention.

In a statement on Thursday, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) appealed to the Sudanese government “to undertake comprehensive legal reform in relation to provisions on detention and repeal provisions allowing for indefinite detention without any judicial oversight.”

Paramilitaries

Officially, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), set up by the ousted Al Bashir regime in August 2013, was integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in August last year. At the same time however, the militia stays a force unto intself, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, deputy president of Sudan's Sovereign Council.

The RSF, which grew out of the janjaweed militias which fought for the Sudanese government in Darfur since the war broke out 2003, is widely believed to be responsible for atrocities in the region in the past six-seven years. Tens of thousands of RSF troops joined the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. The RSF are also held responsible for the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in on June 3 last year.

* Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the government of President Omar Al Bashir, ousted in April last year, supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and licences for a large number of companies.


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