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350 Darfuris illegally detained in prisons throughout Sudan

November 1 - 2022 KHARTOUM / EL FASHER
RSF Commander Hemeti greets the new graduates at El Fatasha military camp (social media)
RSF Commander Hemeti greets the new graduates at El Fatasha military camp (social media)

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) announced that 350 Darfuris are illegally detained in prisons throughout Sudan. This figure includes 12 minors. All were detained without any legal justification, mostly by infamous the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The West and North Darfur Detainees Defence Committee, which was set up in cooperation with the DBA and the Rule of Law Initiative, visited Shala Prison in North Darfur capital El Fasher, to inspect the conditions of those subjected to human rights violations by being illegally detained.

DBA lawyer Igbal Ahmed Ali told Radio Dabanga after the visit that eight minors are held in Omdurman and four in Port Sudan. The other Darfuris are illegally detained in Ardamata Prison in West Darfur capital El Geneina, El Huda Prison in Omdurman, and Port Sudan Prison in Red Sea state.

Ali said that the majority of the victims are displaced people residing in the camps for the displaced in Darfur. All were detained without any legal justification. A few of them were released but plenty are still in detention.

The Darfur lawyers have addressed the head of the judiciary to demand their release on the basis that the majority of the detainees were held without any legal procedures, she said.

The West and North Darfur Detainees Defence Committee has threatened to resort to regional and international mechanisms if the detainees were not released.

At a press conference in Khartoum, the joint body said it plans to submit a memorandum to the Sovereignty Council, accusing the Attorney General of abandoning his responsibilities. A committee member said that the detainees have become like hostages. “Some of them are negotiating with mediators to pay ransom money for their legitimate right to freedom.” The sums of money for their release allegedly range between SDG50,000 and SDG500,000.


Ali added that “a number of these detentions were ordered by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) peace committee”, referring to the RSF-led West Darfur Peace and Tribal Reconciliation Committee whose head, RSF Col Mousa Hamid Ambeilo, is also held responsible for “committing grave crimes in the region, including crimes against humanity”.

In August, the RSF held at least 197 people in a campaign that targeted tribal leaders who refused to partake in RSF-led reconciliation efforts and other activists, teachers, students, and farmers. Several people disappeared.

The reconciliation agreements brokered in Darfur by Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, who co-led the 2021 coup and is deputy-chairman of the Sovereignty Council and commander-in-chief of the infamous RSF, have been criticised as being ‘superficial’ and as not representing the interests of the people.

In July, joint forces, including the RSF Darfur division led by Ambeilo, detained 177 people of the Tama tribe and Aura clan and some other clans living in the area under the Emergency Law after a tribal conflict, despite the lifting of the State of Emergency in May.

Targeting camps

The lawyer further accused the RSF of detaining young people from the Abu Shouk camp for the displaced near El Fasher, North Darfur, without any legal justification.

The DBA also received testimonies from the displaced in Zamzam camp, south of El Fasher, that the forces raped more than 165 women and girls and killed a number of displaced.

Ali added that all the camps they visited “lack the necessities of life completely” and that there are no health and education services anymore. Displaced are still subjected to grave violations without protection from the authorities in their areas.

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