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Darfur lawyers decry call to ‘leave rebel bodies in the open’

May 30 - 2017 DARFUR
Rapid Support Forces and Prisoners of War in July 2016 (file photo)
Rapid Support Forces and Prisoners of War in July 2016 (file photo)

Lawyers of the Darfur Bar Association condemned a statement by the East Darfur Governor, to leave the bodies of fallen rebel fighters in the open in North and East Darfur’s valleys and ravines. ‘The regime should respect the rights of war hostages.’

Governor Anas Omar Fadlelmoula made a statement in public that encourages people to leave the bodies of those involved in the recent fighting between Sudanese government forces and combatants of holdout rebel movements in North and East Darfur, out in the open for animals and birds. There were reports of large numbers of casualties on both sides.

The Sudan Liberation Movement headed by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) claimed the killing of 214 troops of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in East and North Darfur on 20 May, while the RSF, the Sudan Armed Forces, and other security forces claimed to have defeated “the remnants of the rebels”.

In his speech on 22 May, Governor Fadlelmoula said that leaving the bodies is “a natural end to those who reject peace. If they had opted for the peace option and participated in the National Dialogue, they would by now have been accommodated in the Presidential Palace.” He added that rebels are not worth to be shot: “The price of a bullet, SDG7 ($1), is worth more than a mercenary.”

Fighting was sparked again in Kutum, North Darfur, last Sunday 28 May. Soon after the National Consensus Forces, a coalition of Sudanese opposition parties, called on Sudan to treat the detained rebel combatants in a humanitarian manner.

Collection of bodies

Yesterday the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) condemned Fadelmoula’s statement in the strongest terms. The association issued a press statement and appealed to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to reach the areas where armed conflict took place in North and East Darfur.

‘Provide urgent assistance to those affected by the incidents, collect the dead bodies in the open, verify their identities, hand them over to their families as soon as possible or bury them in a morally dignified manner, according to the teachings of religions and customs.’

The DBA continues its statement with an appeal to international organisations active in the region to provide humanitarian assistance to the people who are affected by human rights violations and forced displacement.

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