Source: Radio Dabanga

The National Consensus Forces denounced the emergence of terrorist groups threatening journalists and politicians with murder, and holds the government accountable.

Siddig Yousif, the spokesman for the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties and groups) told Radio Dabanga that “these militant groups are trying to spread a new type of terrorism, in an attempt to turn Sudan into something like Somalia, Libya or Iraq”.

On Saturday, a group of masked men raided the premises of El Tayyar daily newspaper in Khartoum, assaulted the staff, and beat editor-in-chief, Osman Mirghani, until he fell unconscious. Mirghani had defended the idea of normalising relations with Israel last week in a Sudanese TV talk show and a column in El Tayyar..

The next day, the attack was claimed by the Hamza Combat Group Against Atheism and Heresy. The hitherto unknown group has vowed to attack anyone who is “openly hostile to the Palestinian resistance”, according to a statement distributed in downtown Khartoum.

According to the NCF, the Sudanese government is to be accounted for the attack. “The emergence of such extremist terrorist groups is a serious indicator of the persistence of religious mania in the country’s political circles.”  

“Those who beat the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar may be themselves an extremist religious group, or elements of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by the National intelligence and Security Service (NISS),” Yousif speculated.

He urged the Sudanese authorities to protect the press and political organisations, and bring the perpetrators to justice in a fair trial.

The Hamza Combat Group on Tuesday issued another statement in which they vowed retribution against journalist Salah Awooda, and Maryam Ibrahim, who has been accused of apostasy.

The independent Sudanese electronic newspaper Hurriyat confirmed in its edition of Tuesday that the statement attributed to the Hamza Combat Group was directed by the NISS, “in order to blame the responsibility on an unknown entity, and exclude doubts about the involvement of security forces in the attack on El Tayyar”.

Hurriyat argued that the two Land Cruisers used in the attack are only used by special troops, “in particular the RSF”. “The security apparatus intends to terrify the Sudanese population with such extremists attacks, so that the people will turn for support and protection to the Khartoum regime.”

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