Khartoum / Wad Madani — Both the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) reportedly detained ‘hundreds of activists and volunteers’ in the country’s capital. Two young activists charged of killing a police officer in Khartoum more than a year ago were held in Wad Madani, El Gezira, on Tuesday.
Military Intelligence held Saddam Juma, Amer Abboud, and Mujahid Anwar three members of the Khartoum North (Khartoum Bahri) Neighbourhood Committees from their homes on Tuesday and took them to El Zakheera camp in El Kadaro in the northern part of the city.
The same day, RSF paramilitaries seized volunteer Mohamed Ezzeldin near the Arkoweet Emergency Room in Khartoum while he was collecting medicines and distributing them to patients in the neighbourhood. It is unclear where he has been taken.
In a statement posted on social media yesterday, Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers strongly condemned “the targeting by both sides of the armed conflict of members of resistance committees and volunteers helping out in the various emergency rooms” in Khartoum.
“Illegal detention is considered a crime under the Sudanese Penal Code, the Bill of Rights and Freedoms, and international covenants,” the Emergency Lawyers stated.
“We hold the two sides of the fighting responsible for the lives and safety of the detainees. The humanitarian conditions at the places of detention are extremely complex and insecure, because of the ongoing clashes, battles, and aerial bombardments. We call on them to immediately release the detainees.”
“Kidnapping is prevalent in Sudan’s ongoing conflict, mainly carried out by the RSF, which is currently holding hundreds of innocent civilians in unknown locations,” Hala Elkarib, founder of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) tweeted from Khartoum yesterday.
“Volunteers who are providing aid to communities are frequently being kidnapped. While the SAF is detaining members of the resistance committees, the RSF is abducting them. Sadly, there is no progress being made toward establishing safe humanitarian passages.”
In Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, Mohamed Adam ‘Tupac’ and Ahmed El Fateh ‘El Nana’ were detained by members of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police/Forces on Tuesday.
Adam, El Fateh, and two other young men were detained in Khartoum in January 2022 and charged with killing a police officer during pro-democracy protests earlier that month.
The three were held in Kober Prison, where they, and in particular Adam, the main suspect, was repeatedly tortured. They were transferred to El Huda Prison in Omdurman in December last year after the judge dealing with the case ordered a criminal investigation against the director of Kober Prison. On April 15 fierce fighting broke out between the SAF and the RSF in the Sudanese capital. About a week later, RSF attacked El Huda prison and released all the inmates.
Adam stated in a video clip at the time that he would not take advantage of his escape and would return to detention until his case was completed and he and his comrades’ innocence was confirmed.
He and El Fateh, and their families later fled the violence in the city and sought refuge, with thousands of others, in Wad Madani.
Members of their defence team said in a statement last week that when the two young men volunteered to aid the many displaced people squatting in primary schools.
A school principal reported their presence to the Central Reserve Police which then seized Adam and El Fateh and took them to an unknown destination.
On March 21 last year, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the paramilitary Central Reserve Police that stand under the command of the police, for serious human rights violations since the October 2021 joint SAF-RSF coup d’etat.
Many people in Darfur dread the forces of the Central Reserve Police (popularly known as Abu Teira or Abu Tira), remembering they used to terrorise people in villages and camps for the displaced in the region.