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Death toll in Central Darfur camp shootings rises to five

January 23 - 2018 ZALINGEI
One of the wounded after protesters from Hasahisa clashed with militiamen over the weekend (RD)
One of the wounded after protesters from Hasahisa clashed with militiamen over the weekend (RD)

The death toll following the incidents at Hasahisa camp in Central Darfur over the weekend has risen to five after a young woman who was shot in the chest died in hospital.

Umelnas Jamal Ishag, a school student, participated in a protest held by displaced people in the Azum valley on Saturday when militiamen opened fire on the people, according to witness reports. Adam Rahma Abdallah and Abdallah Jibril Abakar were shot dead, and Ishag sustained wounds in her chest and thigh to which she succumbed yesterday morning in Zalingei Hospital.

El Shafi Abdallah, the coordinator of Central Darfur camps for the displaced, told Radio Dabanga that the situation in the area is tense. “On Monday, members of the militia beat camp residents at their farms in Wadi Zur and Grash, two kilometers northeast of Hasahisa.”

He said that the attackers wounded four people: El Tayeb Abu Abdelmalik, Ibrahim Yousif Khalil, Amina Bakhit Mohamed and Aziza Babikir Mohamed. Some of them went to the health centre of the Norwegian Church aid organisation in Hasahisa camp and are on their way to Zalingei Hospital for treatment.

Abdallah denied the locality commissioner’s statement at a press conference in Zalingei on Sunday that there was “nothing but a clash between policemen and displaced people that resulted in the death of a man”.

“The incidents at the camp are documented and the major evidence is the use of bullets by the security forces and the government’s militias. These bullets were the cause of death of the five victims, along with the more than 26 wounded in Zalingei Hospital.”


Video of one of the clash between displaced people and militia members on Saturday. Gunshots can be heard (RD)

He asked the government to allow the AU-UN peacekeeping force (Unamid) to allow a team to visit the camp and investigate the incidents.

Multiple investigations

On Monday, Central Darfur Governor Jaafar Abdelhakam ordered the formation of a fact-finding committee on the incidents in Hasahisa, to be headed by the state’s highest prosecutor and deputy state police director. The committee should submit its report to the governor within a week.

In response, the Darfur Bar Association of pro-bono lawyers announced yesterday to form a fact-finding committee and publish the results of the investigation as soon as it is completed.

Protests

Displaced people have strongly condemned the indicents which resulted in the death of five people and wounding of at least 70 others, including children and elderly. Tension rose after a group of militiamen reportedly raided Hasahisa market on Friday. After a skirmish between militiamen and camp residents, the displaced people staged a protest march against the insecurity in the area.

According to camp coordinator Abdallah, “Security forces and militiamen responded to the march by shooting at the crowd. Abdelshafee Ishag Eisa and Sheima Abdeljabbar were fatally hit. 29 others were injured.”

The next morning, members of the militia set fire to the engines supplying water from Wadi Azum to the camp, which led the people to protest again. “This time, Adam Rahma Abdallah and Abdallah Jibril Abakar were shot dead. 15 other protesters sustained bullet wounds.”


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