Incidence of Crime
The widespread instability and clashes between ethnic groups
arising from the civil war were accompanied by breakdowns of law
and order in many parts of the country. Killings, rapes, and thefts
of personal possessions, food, and livestock were committed by
various militia groups and frequently by the SPLA and the government
armed forces as well. Large areas of Sudan became depopulated
as a result of the fighting and migrations in search of safety.
The availability of weapons contributed to the prevalence of banditry,
especially along the Chad, Zaire, and Uganda borders. In the western
province of Darfur, the police wielded little authority, and lawlessness
prevailed. Smuggling was also common, particularly along the Ethiopian
The collapse of security in many areas was not fully reflected
in available statistics on crime, although some indications of
the pattern of criminality did emerge. According to the most recent
data reported by Sudan to Interpol covering the year 1986, more
than 135,000 criminal offenses were recorded, reflecting a rate
of 650 crimes per 100,000 of population. More than 1,000 homicides
occurred and 3,300 sex offenses were registered, including 600
rapes. There were 7,300 serious assaults. The more than 100,000
thefts of various kinds constituted by far the most common category
of crime. They included armed robbery (33,000 cases), breaking
and entering (22,500), theft under aggravated circumstances (1,900),
and automobile theft (1,500). There were 15,000 cases of fraud
and 3,600 drug infractions.
Sudan was not a major international narcotics marketplace. Most
narcotics consumed in Sudan consisted of marijuana grown in the
eastern part of the country. Penalties for narcotics use were
similar to those for alcohol and could include flogging. In nearly
all categories except narcotics violations, Sudan reported more
offenses than Egypt, a country with more than twice the population.
This discrepancy may be accounted for by more accurate police
records on the extent of criminal activity or by different definitions
of the offenses reported to Interpol.
Sudanese authorities claimed to have solved more than 70 percent
of most forms of robbery and theft and 53 percent of all crimes
reported. Only 25 percent of homicides, 40 percent of general
sex offenses, and 32 percent of rape cases were recorded as solved.
Data as of June 1991