Skip to main content
Independent news from the heart of Darfur and Sudan
Watch live

Amnesty Int.: Close down trigger-happy paramilitary force in Sudan, not schools

August 2 - 2019 LONDON
Protests against the "El Obeid massacre", July 31, 2019 (RD)
Protests against the "El Obeid massacre", July 31, 2019 (RD)

The Sudanese authorities should remove the Rapid Support Forces, Khartoum’s main government militia, from all law enforcement activities across the country instead of closing school, says Amnesty International.

“The decision to close schools underlines the failure of the Sudanese authorities to contain or direct the Rapid Support Forces, who have time and again used firearms on peaceful protestors across Sudan,” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Closing schools and preventing children from receiving an education is misguided and unfair – pupils should not be punished because of the actions of an out-of-control paramilitary unit.”

Six people, including four secondary school students, were shot dead, when they were demonstrating against bread and fuel shortages in the North Kordofan capital of El Obeid, on Monday. In response, thousands of people, in particularly school students took to the streets in various towns in the country to protest against the violence.

The ruling Transitional Military Council reacted on Wednesday morning by ordering the closure of basic and secondary schools throughout Sudan for an indefinite period of time – possibly until after Eid El Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), in mid-August.

“Closing schools and preventing children from receiving an education is misguided and unfair – pupils should not be punished because of the actions of an out-of-control paramilitary unit.” - Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

Following the directive to suspend classes, “barely a month into a new school term”, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki commented: “It’s astonishing that the authorities in Sudan are attempting to deal with the recurring issue of armed officers using lethal force against protesters in this way.”

“This bloodshed must stop. The Rapid Support Forces must be removed from all law enforcement activities across Sudan, and those responsible for committing the killings –and giving the orders– should be brought to justice,” she said.

“The decision to close schools underlines the failure of the Sudanese authorities to contain or direct the Rapid Support Forces, who have time and again used firearms on peaceful protestors across Sudan.”

Unicef in Sudan said in a statement on July 30 that “No child should be buried in their school uniform”.

 


Our editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates about political developments to Sudanese and international actors, educate people about how to avoid outbreaks of infectious diseases, and provide a window to the world for those in all corners of Sudan. Support Radio Dabanga for as little as €2.50, the equivalent of a cup of coffee.


 


Back to overview