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Darfur sit-ins continue, Unamid ‘deeply concerned’

July 29 - 2020 DARFUR
Protestors bring food to the sit-in in Ed Daein, the capital of East Darfur, on 28 July 2020 (Social media)
Protestors bring food to the sit-in in Ed Daein, the capital of East Darfur, on 28 July 2020 (Social media)

The UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) has noted “deep concern” over the recent increase in violent attacks on peaceful protestors and civilians in Darfur, while sit-ins continue “until fair demands are met”.

In a press statement yesterday, Unamid expressed regret “that these incidents have taken place while the government of Sudan and the armed movements are striving to reach a peace agreement… the recurrence of such incidents at this moment in Sudan’s history can only aggravate division and discord amongst communities and derail the gains of the revolution.”

The mission welcomed the announcement of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on the deployment of troops to the region. This was announced during a meeting with a delegation of coordinators of the Darfur Women Forum, on Monday. Sarah Mustafa, Darfur Women Forum Coordinator, said that the meeting with the prime minister focused on the need to “achieve security and stability in order for the agricultural season to succeed.”

“Unamid hopes that this force will be fully deployed as soon as possible and will be adequately equipped and trained to protect all residents of Darfur without exception” according to the press statement, which also emphasized that “the primary responsibility of protecting civilians lies with the government, particularly in areas where Unamid has withdrawn in the context of its drawdown” and the mission’s readiness to fulfil its primary responsibility.

Genocide

On Monday, Members of Resistance Committees active in the neighbourhoods in West Darfur condemn the deadly attack on Misterei on Saturday morning, saying it “amounts to genocide”.

The activists demanded that the federal government intervene as soon as possible and issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations and local and regional organisations.

Yesterday, Resistance Committees active in the neighbourhoods of Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, continued to protest at the town’s Grand Market against the selection of the new civilian state governor and the poor services in the region.

Adeeb Yousef, the new governor of Central Darfur, assured a group of people from Central Darfur living in Khartoum in a meeting on Monday evening, that achieving social peace and stability, and the development of services and infrastructure are the priorities of his government during the first 100 days.

Mandate

According to the Darfur Displaced and Refugees General Coordination in Kabkabiya, the presence of Unamid must be extended until a comprehensive peace has been reached, a state of equal citizenship has been declared, and remnants of the deposed regime headed by Omar Al Bashir are all removed from state institutions.

All police officers in Kabkabiya, affiliated with the former regime should be replaced, the Coordination demanded in a statement on 30 June.

The displaced want “the course of the revolution” corrected, those accused of war crimes and genocide and crimes be extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the former regime’s militias disarmed, the new settlers expelled from their lands, and disputes between farmers and herders settled, and the Rule of Law restored.

The statement further called for individual and collective compensation for the Darfur displaced and refugees, protection from grazing on farms during the agricultural season, and the return of international humanitarian organisations, while “suspicious national organisations affiliated to the former regime” must be halted.

On June 3, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of Unamid until the end of this year. The Council as well responded to PM Abdallah Hamdok’s request for a new UN force, by agreeing to establish a UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (Unitams).

Sudanese civil society activists have warned that the new mission will not be mandated to actively protect the people in Darfur.

Legal aid

In a press statement on 1 July, the Darfur Bar Association said it will begin investigating recent violent incidents in Darfur.

It will raise a case against the South Darfur Security Committee when it does not respond to its request submitted regarding those detained after tribal clashes in Tullus in May. They should immediately be released.

In addition, the Darfur lawyers promised to provide legal aid “to all those affected by human rights violations committed by government forces in Darfur, and systematic crimes committed by individuals and groups”.

However, on July 23, the DBA reported that Madani Abdelrahman and his colleagues were intercepted in Kutum, when they were searching for the places where people arrested for alleged involvement in recent attacks in Kutum are being held. They were strictly following the legal procedures, the association stressed.

The DBA considers the detention of the lawyers “a clear message”, confirming that the authorities are continuing the oppressive practices of the former regime.

Kabkabiya sit-in ends

On Tuesday, the leadership of the sit-in in North Darfur’s Kabkabiya announced that the protest vigil ended after some success in achieving its demands in a peaceful and civilised manner, and to allow the people to catch up with the agricultural season.

The protestors began their sit-in on July 2, demanding rights and justice, addressing grievances, protecting the agricultural season, and disarming and removing the locality’s security committee and purging it of remnants of the former regime.


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