Security Reform in Sudan: Efforts and Possibilities

The regime of General Ibrahim Abboud (1958-1964) relied heavily on the security services, imposing its authority and oppressing the citizens who were known for their political allegiances to opponents and their disapproval of the system. It was during this period that the security services gained its bad reputation, which persisted for times to come. The period also witnessed important changes in the aims and tactics of the security services as they were no longer concerned with the security of the country but with that of the regime. This has been the point of criticism and dispute until this day and it holds within it the basis of the security reform which is guided by the question as to how the work of security services can be diverted to serve the state, the society and the individual.

The period of General Abboud’s rule witnessed a continuous dispute between the security services and the masses and when the regime fell due to the popular uprising of October 1964, one of the main demands was to “purify” the security services and the police. Some well-known officers were expelled and large changes were carried out in the Ministry of Interior whose head was a minister from the south, Clement Mboro who headed the ministry during the transitional period until 1965. This second democratic period did not last for long, as on 25th May 1969 the organization of the Free Officers under the leadership of Jaafar Nimeiri managed to seize power.

The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.