Darfur: Series of attacks on civilians sweeps the region

A number of violent attacks on people by soldiers, herders, and unidentified shooters have been reported to Radio Dabanga and by the Rasd Human Rights Monitor in West, South, Central, and North Darfur reported on Facebook over the past two weeks.

Crop damage by camels grazing on farmed land (social media)

A number of violent attacks on people by soldiers, herders, and unidentified shooters have been reported to Radio Dabanga and by the Rasd Human Rights Monitor in West, South, Central, and North Darfur over the past two weeks.

Two members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) assaulted several displaced women farmers and a girl of seven around Aali Zubeir, east of Nierteti, in Central Darfur in the early evening of October 30, according to a post by Rasd on November 2 on Facebook. 

The soldiers tried to rape a 27-year-old woman from Nierteti North camp for the displaced. She resisted them until people from the neighbouring farms came to help her, Rasd reported. The soldiers threatened the people with hand grenades and beat them with rifle butts.  

Nierteti police refused to hand the victims the so-called Form 8*, which is needed to file a complaint, and told them to go to the Nierteti military garrison instead. The victims refused to go. 

Roadside shootings 

Two policemen were killed in an ambush in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, on Thursday afternoon. A listener told Radio Dabanga that gunmen on motorcycles ambushed a police patrol on the road between Zalingei and Hillet Beida, east of the city.

Gunmen opened fire on the vehicle, which led to the killing of two policemen. Two others were injured. The source said that a report was filed at the Unified Police in Zalingei, and that the people in the area formed a search posse to track the killers. The victims belong to a unit formed to combat attacks by motorcycles in Central Darfur.

The human rights watchdog further reported that a group of shooters fired at a passenger vehicle on its way from Habila to Foro Baranga in West Darfur on Wednesday. Three passengers, among them the head of the sheikhs of the Foro Baranga camps for the displaced, were wounded. 

Following an attack on an administrative official’s vehicle at gun point in Saraf Omra in North Darfur on the same day, locals stated that this violence is a “continuation of the security chaos” that has engulfed the region. 

One day before, three passenger lorries were shot at on the road between Kendeer and Mershing. Six passengers were hit, three civilians, and three army soldiers. 

On October 18, a displaced man was shot dead around Goz Aba in Kutum, North Darfur. A day later, another displaced man was killed and his companion injured in an attack in the same area.

Armed herders 

In Central Darfur, shepherd Hamdan Khater was stabbed to death and farmer Hawa Adam was wounded in her hand on Friday after a clash with knives inside a farm in the southwest of Niertiti, Central Darfur.

Adam Okoro told Radio Dabanga that the herder moved his cattle onto the farm, which led to an argument when she attempted to get rid of the cows. The herder then attempted to stab the farmer, but she grabbed the knife, injuring her in the hand. Another farmer then intervened and stabbed the shepherd, which led to his death.

On Thursday, farmer Ibrahim Ali was shot dead by armed shepherds inside his farm in El Salam in South Darfur. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a relative of the victim said that armed camel herders entered their camels on his okra farm in the area of Um Shatour. When he protested, they shot at him. He died after having been transferred to Um Shatour. His relatives opened a report about the incident, he said.

People of Um Shatour formed a search posse, and managed to seize the killers and a number of their camels and handed them to the Um Shatour police.

On October 26, armed herders stabbed a displaced farmer and a police officer near Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur. Their condition is not yet known. The farmer and police officer were on their way to search for a herder whose livestock had ruined the crops of the farmer.  

In response to the police investigation, the herders surrounded the Shangil Tobaya camp for the displaced the next day, and plundered and torched neighbouring Teirnago village. That evening all farms in the neighbourhood were destroyed, according to Rasd.  

A day later the herders beat up a displaced person on his farm. He was transferred to the Shangil Tobaya Hospital. On October 30, herders robbed and attacked another farmer on his farm at the Shangil Tobaya camp. He was taken to hospital in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, with a shot wound in his leg. 

In North Darfur’s Tina camp for displaced people, the suspension of humanitarian aid agencies from the camp for over a year is causing suffering, reported Radio Dabanga last week. Three smaller camps near Karnoi, and camps in Kabkabiya and Saraf Omra are in a “dire state,” they said, calling for urgent intervention by humanitarian aid agencies. 

* In Sudan, medical evidence of an assault is admitted solely via the so-called Form 8. It can be issued only by police stations, or approved hospitals and clinics. Critics state that Form 8 is “glaringly inadequate”, as sufficient medical evidence is often exceedingly difficult to obtain.