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Commander admits to mass rape by soldiers in North Darfur

November 3 - 2014 TABIT

The commander of the soldiers who collectively raped women and girls in Tabit, near El Fasher, on Friday, admitted that his men committed the mass rape. He also acknowledged that they beat and humiliated the men in Tabit. The villagers have rejected his apology.

One of the Sheikhs in Tabit, located 65 kilometres south-west of El Fasher, informed Radio Dabanga today that the commander of the Tabit military garrison arrived in the village on Monday morning. He was accompanied by a lieutenant and two vehicles mounted with a heavy machine gun.

“The commander acknowledged that his forces 'committed a mistake' against Tabit.” On Friday morning, the commander had summoned the villagers to retrieve a soldier who went missing in the area. Hours later, the camp was surrounded and attacked by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

The commander then apologised for his soldiers' actions against the villagers. He asked them to record the names of the rape victims and the wounded, and to bring them to the military hospital in El Fasher.

“We refused his apology,” the Sheikh told Radio Dabanga, “and demand the formation of an independent investigation into the crime, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.” He stressed that until now, no Sudanese authorities or Unamid forces have arrived to the area.

The Sheikh reported that a number of families has moved to Zamzam camp for the displaced, also in El Fasher. Others are preparing themselves to leave Tabit area.

File photo: SAF members in El Fasher, 2008 (Rob Crilly)

Related: Mass rape of 200 in North Darfur (2 November 2014)

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