Sudan’s National Museum Reportedly Taken Over by Paramilitary Forces

Videos circulated on social media appeared to show Rapid Support Forces inside the museum, among its collections dating back to 2,500 BCE.

Sudan National Museum, the largest museum in the country, has reportedly been raided by Raid Support Forces members

Staff had been unable to work inside the building since the conflict broke out on April 15, leaving the museum vulnerable to potential damage and looting. A video posted to social media appears to show Rapid Support Forces (RSF) members inside the museum in a room with uncovered mummified remains from the museum’s collections, although it is unclear why the mummified remains are exposed and their current condition unknown.

The director of the National Museum, Dr Ghalia Gharelnabi, who fled to the Netherlands after an artillery shell hit her house in Khartoum, told the Guardian publlication “we are in a state of shock”.“To start with, I did not believe what I was seeing. Now I am worried about where else they might have gone in the museum that no one filmed, and what else they are going to do,”

Over the weekend, the RSF issued a filmed statement denying its fighters had entered the museum and inviting any individuals or organisations to visit it to check. However, Roxanne Trioux, part of a French archaeological team that was working in Sudan, said they had been monitoring satellite pictures of the museum and had already seen potential signs of damage there before Friday, with signs of burning.

The Sudan National Museum is one of the most important institutions in Africa, housing a collection of over 100,000 items. These items include embalmed mummies dating from 2,500 BC, making them among the oldest and most archaeologically significant in the world. The museum also contains statues, pottery, and ancient murals, with artifacts from the Stone Age through to the Christian and Islamic eras.