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East Darfur Maaliya denounce ‘illegal detention’ of their leaders

August 7 - 2017 ADILA / ED DAEIN / KHARTOUM
Rizeigat tribesmen greet each other in West Kordofan (Mohamed Hilaly)
Rizeigat tribesmen greet each other in West Kordofan (Mohamed Hilaly)

Security forces in East Darfur detained 24 Maaliya leaders on Friday, and sentenced them to imprisonment under the Emergency Law. Last week, lawyers in Khartoum formed a defence team for the 23 Rizeigat omdas who were convicted and sent to prisons in Port Sudan.

After the deputy chief of the Maaliya, 10 omdas, and 13 other tribesmen were convicted to six-month imprisonment under the Emergency Law in Ed Daein, capital of East Darfur, they were transported to the Kober Prison in Khartoum.

El Azrag Hassan Hemeida, Head of the Adila, Abu Karinka and Keleikil Abu Salama Youth Committee, considers the verdict of the Maaliya leaders, including Deputy Chief Abdelmanan Mousa Saghiroun, “a violation of the Sudanese Constitution”.

The Maaliya youth activist told Radio Dabanga that the prison sentences were not signed by a judge but by the East Darfur governor

“We uphold the principle of justice and the rule of law, but at the same time we do not accept that our leaders are judged in an unjust and unacceptable manner, without any court involved.

“The governor obstructed the institutions of justice and instead ruled by the Emergency Law against innocent people who were attacked on their own land.

Since 2013, we have been filing complaints about attacks by Rizeigat, to no avail. Nothing has happened so far,” he complained.

Fighting

After deadly clashes that erupted between the Maaliya and Rizeigat in northern East Darfur on 21 and 22 July, the state authorities deployed a military buffer force to separate the warring tribesmen.

Contrary to former weak responses by the authorities to tribal fighting, a large number of Rizeigat and Maaliya leaders and other tribesmen were detained, sentenced, and sent to prisons in Khartoum and Port Sudan.

According to the East Darfur authorities, “more than 100 outlaws and criminals wreaking havoc have been held”.

The governor of East Darfur, Anas Omar, told the Sudanese Centre for Press Services –that belongs to the country’s security apparatus– on Sunday that the detention campaign was based on a decision made earlier.

“The measure was activated after the recent tribal clashes in order to eliminate the negative manifestations in the state,” he said, and noted that the campaign against “the outlaws” will continue with the participation of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in all nine localities of the state.

Defence team

Last week, six lawyers in Khartoum formed a defence team for the 23 Rizeigat omdas who were transferred to prisons in Port Sudan.

Lawyer El Siddig Hasan Abdelmajeed told this station that the team is headed by lawyer Khalid Khamees.

“The team is now submitting memos to the competent authorities represented by the Presidency of the Republic, the Ministry of Justice, and the Attorney General, confirming the detention of the omdas is illegal, and violating the Constitution, the law, and the omdas’ personal freedoms.

“The detention is therefore humiliating them as well,” he stated and stressed that “detentions will not resolve the case [between the warring tribes]”.


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