No.: H.K/PS/05/024                                                                                                                                   Date: 25th February 2024

                                                                        PRESS STATEMENT

    On 13th and 23rd January 2024, SAF soldiers in Talodi arrested more than thirty (30) traders with their motorbikes (tuk-tuks). They were arrested while coming back from South Sudan with goods. They were later released but most of their goods are still confiscated. SAF accused the traders of unlawfully trading with South Sudan.

     On 13th January 2024, Sudan Armed Force (SAF), arrested twenty traders with their motorbikes (tuktuks) Which were carrying fuel barrels (three barrel on each). They were detained at Talodi SAF garrison. The traders were later released (same day) but their motorbikes, goods especially fuel were impounded. On 19th January 2024, SAF released the impounded motorbikes and fuel but it was inadequate compared to what was confiscated. Each barrel of fuel was less by more than eighty (80) litres.

    The following are the names of some traders who were briefly detained: Eltahir Mustafa, Ibrahim Mohammed Abduelrahman, Abas Eisa Abdalla, Mukhtar Juma Abduelrahman, Ismail Abdalla Mohammed, Abduelmajid Elshareef Redwan, Hammad Ahmed Hassan and Adam Abker Yagoub.

    On 23rd January 2024, eleven (11) traders with seventeen (17) tuk-tuk/ motorbikes (some had two using drivers) loaded with goods were coming back from Yida refugees camp in South Sudan heading to Talodi town. They were obstructed at a point of Bir-Balaeil (about 20 km south Talodi town) by a group of SAF soldiers who arrested and drove them to Talodi military garrison and detained them.

     On 26th January 2024, the community leaders in Talodi conducted a meeting with the security committee of Talodi locality and demanded that SAF must release the traders and their goods. They reasoned that many areas in South Kordofan during this time of conflict between SAF and RSF depend entirely on essential commodities from neighbouring markets in South Sudan. They stated that SAF should legalize the matter by obtaining permits for this purpose or close the road completely instead of confiscating the goods every time.

     On 30th January 2024, the goods were off-loaded, the detainees and the tuk-tuks were released. The traders were informed that the goods are confiscated and transferred to the head of the military division in Abu-Jibaiha.

    The names of the detained traders who own the goods are: Walid Mustafa Omer, Hammad Hussein Abbad, Saber Haraz Mahmoud, Ibrahim Omer Ahmed Nugra, Mogaddam Abdul Rahman Ali, Abdul Rahman Goja Sharaf Al-Din, Haroun Hussein Salah, Hassan Mohammed Yousif, Ibrahim Abuelrahman Abbas, Muzamil Ali Yousif and Mukhtar Juma. The given reason behind the arrest was that, the traders and their motorbikes had crossed the border with South Sudan to Yida refugee camp and imported goods including fuel.

  The context; Currently the fuel prices in Talodi drastically increased (one litre of fuel = 5000 SDG equivalent to $5) due to the ongoing fight between SAF and Rapid Support Force (RSF), while in Yida fuel is cheaper (1 liter = 2000 SDG which is equivalent to $2 USD). The prices for the essential goods are also high compared to Yida camp.

The lawyer from Talodi talked to HUDO Centre saying that; “The citizens of the two countries in these areas are governed by a customary law that allows free movement between the two countries and no binding law that criminalizes the trading between them. However, there was a political communiqué between the two governors to organize this trading”. Talodi is the capital town of Talodi locality in South Kordufan State/ Nuba Mountains and its location is near the border with South Sudan. Yida is a refugee camp in South Sudan hosting refugees mainly those who fled from Nuba Mountains. The distance between Talodi and the refugee camp is about 70 km. Abu-Jibaiha town is the capital of Abu-Jibaiha locality in a distant of about ninety km northeast Talodi town and it host the head of the military division.

        HUDO Centre is concerned about the safety and security of civilians in Sudan during this difficult period Of fighting between SAF and RSF and calls for the following:

 The Sudan Armed Force in Talodi to immediately and unconditionally release the goods and any other civilians might be under their detention.

 The commander of SAF in south Kordufan state\ Nuba Mountains to investigate the circumstances that led to the arrest of these traders, the confiscation of goods and make the findings public.

 The Sudanese Armed Forces to stop the arrest of civilians and the confiscation of their goods.

 Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in South Kordufan state/ Nuba Mountains to stop harassing, intimidate and violating the civilians’ constitutional rights.

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