Sudan's Secret Hit Squads Used To Attack Protesters

BBC short documentary exposes how the Bashir regime clamps down on protests

Posted by Mark Hackett on February 13th, 2019

These are images Sudan’s government does not want you to see: teams of masked, plainclothes agents chasing down protesters, beating them, and dragging them off to secret detention centres in Khartoum. -BBC World Service

At the forefront of the Bashir regime's efforts to quash protests and remain in power are the dictatorship's brutal security services. They are well-funded, heavily armed, and have always been given a wide berth in how they respond to Sudanese citizens who challenge the regime's violent rule. 

While the above BBC short documentary is shocking to watch, the realities shown within them are not new to the Sudanese people. In 2013, Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and I interviewed a survivor of one of the regime's "ghost houses." These are secretive government facilities where security forces torture, rape, and sometimes murder Sudanese citizens. You can watch the interview here. As the BBC notes, these facilities and the brutal security forces attached to them are still up and running.

The Bashir regime's national budget is plagued by rampant corruption and shrouded in secrecy, but it is estimated that anywhere between 60-80% of government spending goes to the military and parallel security services, such as the genocidal Rapid Support Forces militias, the National Intelligence and Security Service, and police. 

Despite the dictatorial terror that legitimate protesters are facing, there are zero signs that Sudanese citizens are backing down. Between an economy spiralling out of control, no sustainable peace agreements with the war-torn periphery regions of the country, and an increasingly vocal and younger generation of Sudanese citizens rejecting the regime's hardline Islamist and racist views, most Sudanese have very little left to lose. Their determination for positive change and a more modern, outward facing Sudan is the result of nearly 30 years of some of the worst governance in human history. 

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