Sudan, Soba Clashes: SPLM had advised State on impending conflict

A day prior to the clashes, Cdr. Nhial Deng Nhail, leader of the SPLM Advanced Team had suggested to the governor of Khartoum to suspend the eviction pending repatriation of the IDP by the GOSS to their homes in Southern Sudan.

This was apparently ignored...

It has now been confirmed that a total of 33 people were killed when police of the state of Khartoum clashed with residents (mostly IDPs) of the Soba Aradi area, 5 Km south of Khartoum.

Witness say police opened fire on the crowds killing 17 adults among them 6 children and injuring dozens. Two othes died in hospital. Some residents regrouped and attacked a police stations killing 14 policemen and injuring 13 others.

The incident was sparked yesterday (19th May) morning when police squads attempted to forced evict the residents from the area. According to the eyewitness, a resident of Soba Aradi, the police cordoned off the area and set roadblocks before they stormed in at around 6.30 am. The sudden attack by the police sparked angry reactions from the residents.

The witness said that the killing happened when a group of civilians approached a policeman to enquire about the eviction order. The police opened fire instead, killing a number of people. The crowd regrouped after the police ran out of ammunitions stormed the police station resulting to the death of fourteen policemen. The angry crowd went amok burning police vehicles and freed detainees held at the station.

The Khartoum state authority had planed to dump the IDPs in a no-man's desert between Kalakala and Jebel Aulia where basic services such as water, schools and health facilities are non- existant.

This action by the State authority was contrary to an appeal made by the Leader of SPLM Advanced Team Cdr. Nhial Deng Nhial who had informed the governor on the impending conflict the day earlier. Nhial had suggested to the governor the need to suspend the eviction for three months pending the formation of GOSS by which the displaced population would be repatriated to their original homes in Southern Sudan. This was ignored leading to this blood letting incident.

In the crisis meeting with the governor of the state yesterday, SPLM delegation had registered and assured the authority for their cooperation to investigate the root causes of this unfortunate incident.

However, SPLM spokesman express grief to these mischievous lost of dear lives of citizens in this avoidable situation; had rational prevails. SPLM extends deep condolences to every grieving family that have lost dear ones.

In the same events yesterday (19th), National Constitution Review Commission (NCRC) suspended yesterday's session to investigate the causes of the violence and to calm down the situation.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the UNIMIS, Radhia Achouri condemned the incident and said that they are deeply concerned and had accused the government of Sudan that its excessive use of force against unarmed residents in IDP areas constituted grave human rights violations. The UN supports government intention to re-plan the displaced camps; she said. However, the process of demolitions, relocations and plot allocations constituter human rights violations; she told this to journalists in a press briefing yesterday.