Sudanese Army Detains Civilians as Hostages in Sennar State

Sudanese military intelligence conducts mass arrests, including holding civilians hostage, raising concerns over human rights violations and rule of law in the country.

Hadeel Hashem
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Sudanese Army Detains Civilians as Hostages in Sennar State

Sudanese Army Detains Civilians as Hostages in Sennar State

The Sudanese military intelligence has conducted a series of arrests across several states in April 2024, including Sennar, White Nile, and El Gezira, according to reports from the human rights group "Emergency Lawyers". In a particularly concerning incident in Sennar state, the army allegedly detained civilians as hostages until their relatives, who were targeted for arrest, turned themselves in.

In the state capital Singa, staff members of the French humanitarian NGO ACTED were among those detained by the military. Some of the detained ACTED employees were later released and claimed they had been beaten while in custody. The detentions in Sennar also involved two brothers and their relatives, who were reportedly "held hostage" by military intelligence in an effort to pressure the brothers into surrendering themselves.

The campaign extended to other states as well. In White Nile, three leaders of the National Umma Party were detained and subsequently released. An activist and lawyer in El Gezira state was also arrested by military intelligence forces. Across these incidents, the Sudanese military intelligence carried out the detentions without providing clear justifications or reasons.

Why this matters: The alleged actions by the Sudanese military intelligence, particularly the use of civilians as hostages, represent serious human rights violations. These incidents raise concerns about the state of rule of law and the military's conduct in Sudan, drawing attention from international human rights organizations.

The "Emergency Lawyers" human rights group has documented this series of detentions carried out by Sudanese military intelligence forces in April 2024. The incidents in Sennar state, where the army reportedly held civilians hostage to compel the surrender of targeted individuals, stand out as especially egregious violations of human rights. As the situation unfolds, the international community will likely be closely monitoring the actions of the Sudanese military and any further reports of abuses.

Key Takeaways

  • Sudanese military intelligence conducted arrests across several states in April 2024.
  • In Sennar, civilians were held hostage to compel targeted individuals to surrender.
  • ACTED staff and opposition party leaders were among those detained and later released.
  • The detentions lacked clear justifications, raising concerns about rule of law and military conduct.
  • The incidents represent serious human rights violations, drawing international attention and monitoring.