The Sudanese paramilitary force, Rapid Support Force (RSF), took over the Khartoum museum. Photo/Al Arabiya
KHARTOUM – Paramilitary troops Sudan has taken over the national museum in Khartoum. This was stated by the deputy director of the museum, urging them to protect valuable artefacts from the nation’s heritage which includes ancient mummies.
Museum Deputy Director Ikhlas Abdellatif said members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) group, which has been fighting the army since mid-April for control of Sudan, entered the museum on Friday.
“The museum staff are not aware of the situation inside the museum because they stopped work there after the conflict that suddenly erupted on April 15, forced the police guarding the facility to stop,” Abdellatif said as quoted by Al Arabiya, Sunday (4/6/ 2023).
RSF released a video filmed inside the museum grounds showing a soldier denying they had done any damage to the museum or were about to do so, and invited any individual or organization to visit the museum to inspect it.
The video also shows RSF fighters covering the exposed mummy with a sheet and covering the plain white box where the mummy was stored. It is not clear when or why the mummy was found.
The museum is in a large building on the banks of the Nile in central Khartoum, near the central bank in an area where some of the heaviest fighting took place.
Among its thousands of priceless relics is an embalmed mummy dating back to 2,500 BC, making it one of the oldest and most archaeologically important in the world.
The museum also contains ancient statues, pottery and murals, with artefacts from the Stone Age to the Christian and Islamic eras, said former director Hatim Alnour.
Roxanne Trioux, part of a French archaeological team working in Sudan, said they had been monitoring satellite images of the museum and had seen signs of potential damage there before Friday, with signs of burning.