today's Pick
Sudan to 'deploy' controversial military unit around KhartoumPublish Date: May 19, 2014
Sudan to 'deploy' controversial military unit around Khartoum
  • mail
  • img
Former premier and leading opposition figure Sadiq al-Mahdi was arrested on Saturday. AFP Photo
newvision

SUDAN'S state security agency on Sunday ordered a counter-insurgency unit accused of abusing civilians in the western region of Darfur to deploy around the capital Khartoum.

The move comes as elements of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) engage in what an analyst said is a power play, reflected in their arrest on Saturday of former prime minister and leading opposition figure Sadiq al-Mahdi.

"The chief of NISS, General Mohammed Atta, issued a decision ordering the Rapid Support Forces to deploy around the capital," the agency said in a notice issued to local journalists.

There were no further details.

Mahdi is being held at Kober Prison, in the Khartoum area, for alleged treason after he reportedly accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of rape and other crimes against people in Darfur.

Newspapers reported last week that NISS, which has authority over the RSF, filed a criminal complaint against Mahdi.

The African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the European Union ambassador in Khartoum had also expressed concern about the RSF's activities.

But commanders of the unit denied last week that their men had looted, raped or committed arson.

General Abbas Abdelaziz described it as a "professional" force of 6,000 men "under the control of their commanders and the law".

They were carefully chosen and trained, including in the rights of civilians in war zones, he said.

Magdi El Gizouli, a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute, described the RSF as "Sudan's version of Blackwater," a private American security firm which became notorious in Iraq.

"There's no clear command structure over them. They are given missions. They perform those missions, and they get paid for them," Gizouli said.

The order for RSF to deploy around Khartoum is surprising given that Abdelaziz said last week that his troops were "on holiday".

Another RSF component was, however, still fighting rebels in South Kordofan state, he said.

Insurgents from South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur are grouped in an alliance which has vowed to topple the government.

Related stories

Sudanese woman to be killed for marrying a Christian man

Uganda pins Sudan on LRA warlord Kony

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Muslim cleric calls for ‘a life for life’ punishment
A life for life, eye for eye was of the the Old Testament. But a Muslim cleric Sheik Suleiman Kakeeto of the Amir Daulah Muslim group, expressed sentiments that the practise should be reinstated....
Alarm soared in west Africa Monday over the deadliest Ebola virus outbreak yet, with an American doctor and a missionary contracting the disease in Liberia and the death of the first victim from Sierra Leone's capital Freetown...
Judge warns government on impunity
THE head of the land division of the High Court, Justice Wilson Kwesiga, has warned government over impunity, saying the judges were writing ‘painful’ judgments...
Makerere University admits 21,000 students: Full list
Makerere University has released the list of students admitted under the private sponsorship programme....
NRM neutral on cultural institutions, says Museveni
Baleka bye basanidde okukola, nebakola byebatasanidde kukola, namazima tegali mubo (They left undone what they ought to have done and did that they ought not to have done and there is no truth in them)....
US firm to deliver HIV/AIDS services in Uganda
The US Government has contracted an American firm to implement HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda after terminating its partnership with the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) for backing the anti-gay law....
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter