Situation Report in Central Darfur, December 2012 - February 2013

Report
from SUDO (UK)
Published on 25 Feb 2013 View Original

Introduction:

The security and human rights situation was unstable and unpredictable during December, January and February in most areas of the Central Darfur State. During the last three months, the clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan Liberation Army Abdel Wahid Faction (SLA/AW) that started in December 2012 in Jebel Marra ; and the clashes between Arab tribes Beni Hussein and Abala that started in Jebel Amer, North Darfur, but expanded to Central Darfur State especially in Um-Dukhun area, 100 km south of Mukjar, continued.

Political, Social and Security Developments:

During the months December - February, the political and security situation remained volatile and unpredictable in west Jebel Marra due to the fighting between Sudanese Armed Forces and SLA/AW. In its efforts to regain control of Golo area which was captured by SLA/AW armed movement, the Sudanese Armed Forces continued aerial bombardments on the town causing violation of HR&IHL. The clashes between Beni Hussein and Abala (Rizigat) Arab tribes which started in Jebel Amer expanded in Central Darfur especially in Um Dukhun area and had a negative impact on the population in Central Darfur.

The students’ protest that erupted after the killing of one of them by his schoolmate carried underlying political undertones. The Central Darfur Government says the protest might have been masterminded by the hidden circles of rebels and some opposition groups in Zalingei town as a result of SLA/AW victories in Golo, Rokero and Guldo towns in west Jebel Marra. According to him, sometimes when rebels achieve victories over GoS forces; the hidden circles of the rebels wake up and try to organize movements to show that they are still present and strong even in towns that under GoS control.

The same political mindset is alleged to be the motive in the conflict between the youths and the camp leaders in Ronga Tass IDP camp. The same approach or attitude is observed during the conflict between the Arab tribes (Beni Hussein and Abala Rezigat) which started in Jebel Amer over sharing of gold mines, but evolved beyond local conflict. These situations seemed to reflect early warning signs of a conflict looming with potential development into violent clashes with grave consequences.

Human Rights Issues

Arbitrary Arrest and Detention, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Civilians

Arrest of a 29 year-old, Fur IDP Man from Hasa Hisa IDP camp by Military Intelligence (MI) in Zalingei
On 15 January, an IDP man from Hasa Hisa IDP camp was arrested when he was wearing military uniform and walking near SAF camp in Zalingei as he was talking on mobile phone. According to the sheikh the ex-detainee was reportedly advised by MI personnel who met him in the road to take off his military uniform and hand it over to them and that in exchange they were not going to arrest him, but the ex-detainee reportedly refused to comply with MI orders. Consequently they arrested and took him to their military base situated at west of Zalingei town. Reportedly the ex-detainee was tortured and some Thuraya mobile phone numbers were found in his mobile phone before he was released few days later.

Arrest of an IDP Man from Khamsa Dagaig IDP Camp by NISS
On 18 December, an IDP man from Khamsa Dagaig IDP camp and student of ZalingeiUniversity was arrested by NISS in Zalingei on 16 December. The victim was accused of collaborating with rebels (SLA/AW) in Jebel Marra.The victim was released on 17 December.

Arrest of a 32 Years Old IDP Man from Hamideia IDP Camp by NISS
On 10 February at 10:00 am, Sheikh Ishag Abakar Mohammed, 32 year-old of Hamideia was arrested by NISS at Toro market in Zalingei. It is alleged that the detainee was beaten by the NISS in the street. The detainee’s family had not been allowed to visit him in the custody. The detainee has not yet been released.

Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Rape of a 35 Years Old IDP Woman from Nertiti North IDP Camp
On 24 December 2012 at about 2:00 pm a 35 years old female IDP Fur by tribe, lives in north IDP camp in Nertiti was raped by an unknown armed man alleged to be from an Arab nomad tribe. The victim was raped when she went outside the camp to collect fire wood. The incident was reported to the police; however they took no action.

Rape of a 17 Years Old IDP Girl from Nertiti North IDP Camp by Seven Armed Men A rape incident of 17 years old IDP female from Nertiti north IDP camp on 5 January 2013 by armed men suspected to be from Arab tribes.

The victim is a student at basic education level, resident of the north IDPs camp in Nertiti. The victim was raped when she went outside the IDP camp to collect firewood on 05 January 2013. The victim was sent to Nertiti hospital and received medical treatment, the doctor report proved occurrence of the rape. The incident was reported to the police, but no action was taken.

Rape Incident of Four IDP Females near Deliej Town:
On 8 December four IDP females were raped near Delij town (about 10 km north east of Garsila) by a group of camel herders. Reportedly the victims were assaulted when they were in their farm. Two of them are minors. The incident was reported to the police, but no action was taken.

Rape Incident of a 9 Years Old IDP Girl from Mukjar:
On 9 December 2012, two armed men with AK47 and GM3, alleged to be Arab Aballa by tribe, wearing green military uniforms, RIDING on camels’ backs raped a 9 years old IDP girl from Mukjar when she was on her way coming home from her mother’s farm in a place called Indri about 4 km east Mukjar town. According to the victim’s family the incident was not reported to the police due to lack of trust and fear from harassment or retaliation from the state security or perpetrators.

Rape of a 19 Years Old IDP Female from North IDP Camp in Nertiti:
On 20 January a 19 year-old IDP female from Nertiti north IDP camp was raped by two armed men suspected to be members of the Central Reserve Police (CRP). The victim went with three other girls to collect firewood in the Bala area about 2km north east Nertiti when the armed men attacked and raped her. The perpetrators were reportedly wearing the uniform commonly worn by the CRP personnel.

Armed Arab Militia Rape two Girls in Thur
On 10 February, two armed Arab men, wearing military uniforms kidnapped and raped two female IDPs from Thur west IDP camp about 15 km south east Nertiti. The perpetrators released the two victims after three hours. The incident was reported to the Central Reserve Police stationed in Thur but the CRP did not take action and said that the incident was not their business.

Attacks, Killings, and Ill-treatment of IDPS and Other Civilians

The clashes between government forces and SLA/AW in west Jebel Marra resulted in total displacement of civilians from Golo and Juldo towns as well as their neighborhoods. The number of displaced persons from these areas has been estimated by humanitarian agencies as more that 2000 households; however civilians from these areas are still coming to Nertiti and Zalingei towns.

The intertribal clashes between Beni Hussein and Abala Arab tribes in north Darfur which extended to Central Darfur has been major security issue that resulted in displacement of civilians. The initial reports indicated that more than 65,000 individuals fled their homes and sought refuge in Zalingei, Al-Seraf Beni Hussein and Saraf Omra towns.

Furthermore a number of IDPs and civilians across Central Darfur state were victims of assaults, looting and hostage taking by pro government militias and unidentified armed men. Most of such incidents were reported to the police; however the police could not take action in one single case. Some incidents were not reported to the police due lack of trust as action is not taken regularly as well as fear of harassment either by perpetrators or even the police itself.

On 16 February, the SAF returned to Zalingei after recovered Golo and Juldo towns that were controlled by SLA/AW in December 2012. It was alleged that SAF entirely looted the towns of Golo and Juldo; in this regard on 16 February the SAF convoy that came from Golo and Juldo towns was seen carrying a lot of belongings of civilians from Golo and Juldo towns; the belongings were in forms of houses furniture (beds, chairs, mattresses, tables …etc). The convoy was celebrating by intensive gun shooting in the air. It is alleged that the SAF was given the green line to loot whatever they find and indiscriminately in towns of Golo and Juldo in west Jebel Marra.