Sudan – Prominent Islamist Hardliners Escape Kober Prison

Khartoum — Ahmed Harun, a former official in the ousted regime of Omar Al Bashir, reported yesterday that he has been able to leave Kober Prison in Khartoum North, together with a number of other Islamist hardliners, including Ali Osman Taha, Awad El Jaz, and Nafi Ali Nafi.

Harun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, said in an audio statement broadcast by Tayba Satellite TV on Tuesday, that he and a number of other former officials are ready to appear before a judge.

He said that the inmates in Kober Prison in particular feared the bombardments, amid repeated power and water outages since April 15, when fierce fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted in the country.

The political advisor of the RSF accused the military intelligence of being behind the release of “the symbols of the former regime” which was done, he said in a statement yesterday, in coordination with other Islamists.

“Removing the symbols of the former regime from prison is part of the army’s plan to return the Islamists to power,” he claimed.

The SAF has denied being behind the escape of the former officials who were very close to Omar Al Bashir during his 30-year dictatorship (1989-2019) and were detained following the 2018 Revolution.

The mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-Central Council) reacted to the news by saying that the Islamist affiliates of the ousted Al Bashir regime aim “to restore the tyrannical junta to power through this war” and warning for more fighting.

The alliance described Harun’s statement as “evidence that members of the deposed regime are behind the current war”.

Press reports published on Saturday spoke of an RSF force launching an attack on Kober Prison on Tuesday, on the side where the leaders of the former regime are being held.

Al Bashir and several of his senior aides were transferred from Kober Prison to a military hospital in Khartoum last week, allegedly based on medical recommendations.

Ahmed Harun, Ali Osman Taha, Awad El Jaz, and Nafi Ali Nafi, known as Islamist hardliners, have all served as ministers during the Al Bashir regime.

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