The Sudan Government Covers up Recruitment of Foreign Jihadists

Sudan Interior minister Ismat Abdel-Rahman

(SUNA Photo)

By Lt. Gen.  Abakar Mahatma Abdalah[i]

On July 14, 2016, The Sudan Tribune put out a cover story by the Interior Minister, saying that ‘extremists’ were recruiting in the country. The facts belie the truth about long term recruitment of foreign Jihadists to fight internal rebels and resistance forces in disputed areas, such as Darfur, the Blue Nile, Kordofan and Nuba Hills. The reality is that the Khartoum regime has been abetting the recruitment of foreign Jihadist and terrorist groups since the 1970’s for its own nefarious purposes. The Tribune story was prompted by revelations from third party sources about the extent of recruitment of terrorist groups for the regime’s  purposes of eradicating rebel forces. Here are the elements of the Tribune cover story:

The Sudanese Interior Ministry revealed Wednesday [July 14, 2016] that radical groups have been working to recruit citizens in some Darfur states.

The Ministry of Interior has said it is endeavoring to control the activities of these radical groups.

Sudanese Interior Minister Ismat Abdel Rahman Zein al-Abdin belittled the possible spread of radical groups in the country, stressing that his government is taking control the necessary measures to curb their activities.

Last March, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minawi faction said it detected the presence of “jihadist elements” composed of 700 persons who reached the region from Libya and Mali particularly in the northern parts of Darfur.

Native Administration Member in Al-Malha area of North Darfur state, Ali Osman told The Sudan Tribune that the authorities moved some groups from the area after protests from its residents.

“Some (radical) groups have been observed trying to recruit among the population in Darfur but the Sudanese police are doing their best to control them,” said the minister on Wednesday during a press conference, as he was responding to a question on the presence of extremist movements in the country.

However, he did not elaborate on the identity of these radical groups, but he pointed out that they use mosques as a platform to attract people.

The Sudan Minister of Interior stated that some radical Islamist groups were recruiting people in Darfur. The phrase is astonishing. What the Minister is saying is a cover up story. The reality is that the Sudan government recruited these Jihadists from Libya, Nigeria, and Mali in Malha, North Darfur Region toward the end of last year. When the regime started its fighting in Jebel Marra at the beginning of this year, they brought in several other Jihadist groups from Khartoum and sent them to fight beside the Janjaweed militias and the government forces. They also sent some of these groups to fight SPLA-N in South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions. Those left in Malha were the scholars, elders, children, and women. The people of Malha categorically rejected these Jihadists and threatened  to remove them by force if the government refused to do so.

The Sudan government was left without choice but to remove them from the area. They brought 30 lorries accompanied by 60 armed Janjaweed trucks and settled them in Disah  last March. When they arrived in Disah, they told the local population that they had come to open an Islamic city in the area. They produced documents indicating the place was given to them by the Sudan government since 1995 the date Osama Bin Laden was in Sudan. Arriving in Disah, they immediately began preaching in the mosques and recruiting. People in the area rejected them and The Cherif Adam Tahir requested the North Darfur State Governor  remove these people from his area. However, the Governor told him that “they can stay even in your head”.

These are not the only terrorist groups that the regime has been placing in Darfur. The former Mali Jihadists who came to Darfur in 2013 are based in Jebel Ju west of Kabkabiya, North Darfur and some LRA elements are present in the areas of Dafak, Kafendebi, and Kafia Kingui.

There are three groups our sources identified as trying to recruit people from the local population:
especially  young people who have lost their homes and have no jobs or anywhere to go. These groups include:

•    Mali Jihadist groups who are currently based in Disah and Jebel Ju;
•    Chadian rebels that the government kept secretly inside the  Sudanese army; and
•    Sudan government agents.

The Minister spoke of foreigners in Sudan but he has ignored that the Sudanese government brought thousands of Arabs from the countries of Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Cameroon, and Central African Republic.  It is from these groups of foreign Jihadists that the Sudan government formed theJanjaweed militias that committed genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity on the Darfur people. The Minister conveniently forgot that the Sudan government is the one who  brought in all extremist Islamistgroups in the name of Sudan.  The regime deemed the country belongs to all Arabs and Muslims granting them Sudanese nationality. The extremist Islamist regime declared in the 1990s that every Muslim and Arab in the world has the right to Sudanese nationality from the day  he entered the country. It was with this declaration that the regime brought all the terrorist groups including Osama Bin Laden and hosted them in Sudan.

It is strange that the Minister complained of Syrian Nationals in Sudan as the regime brought what he called ‘Syrians’. In fact they were not only Syrians as the Minister stated in his speech, but members of terrorist groups Hezbollah, Hamas, al Qaeda, and other Palestinian terrorist organizations. The regime discovered that the international community knew of its plans to host and train international terrorists in Sudan and purposefully created the cover story to conceal the truth.


[i]  Lt. Gen Abakar Mahamat Abdalah is a native of North Darfur who joined the Sudan Liberation People’s Army (SPLA) in 1984 and became active in the Nuba Hills and Darfurian resistance. In 1989 he joined the Patriotic Salvation Movement in neighboring Chad based in Darfur. He served as an officer in the Chadian army for 23 years in intelligence and counterterrorism posts including as Coordinator of the Multi-National Joint Task Force of Nigeria, Chad and Niger.. He is a Graduate of the Intelligence Officers’ Advanced and Combating Terrorism Courses, US Army Intelligence Center and Schools, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, December, 2002. He was a Graduate Terrorism Fellow and is a Graduate of the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University, Washington, DC, 2005.  He was an International Fellow and Graduate of the US Army War College, Class of 2008.  


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