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Federal committee to probe South Darfur camp murders

June 21 - 2020 NYALA
A storm looks over Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala, capital of South Darfur (File photo)
A storm looks over Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala, capital of South Darfur (File photo)

Sudan’s Public Prosecution Service has formed a federal investigation committee to examine the murderers of an omda and his cousin in Kalma camp for displaced people near the South Darfur capital of Nyala last week. A third man was injured.

The acting Governor of South Darfur, Maj Gen Hashim Khalid, announced that the Attorney General’s investigation committee has become the authority. The responsibility for the investigation now falls to the Public Prosecution and the police, the two bodies with direct jurisdiction. He said that “there is no reason for intervention by the state government until now, as it is not directly concerned with investigation, interrogation or trials”.

As reported by Radio Dabanga on June 14, Ali Dunkus, his brother Omda Taha Dunkus, and his cousin Ahmed Kazam were driving to Nyala, returning from their farms. While crossing Kalma, they lost their way. They were confronted by a group of men who first threw stones at the car and then opened fire, killing the omda and Kazam. Ali Dunkus was injured.

The governor explained explained to a delegation of the Darfur Bar Association that the Public Prosecution filed a criminal complaint, and that everyone who has information that could help to identify and apprehend the perpetrators should come forward.

He mentioned in this regard that some of the blood relatives indicated that they have sufficient information about the names of the perpetrators, so that “they should not delay procedures, which would exacerbate tensions".

There are measures related to the camp in accordance with the agreement between the former regime and Unamid. Under the agreement, the joint police mission’s task became involved with measures to protect civilians inside the camp, the governor said.

He urged Unamid to start its tasks or hand it over to government in writing, so that the state government could take over to begin with the tasks and be ready when requested.

The Darfur Bar Association expressed to the governor its concern about the possible repercussions as a result of the camp Kalma events and the accompanying tension. It said that “the crime was committed against society, and that what happened in the camp should be seen in the same context”.

‘Political motivation’

Maj Gen Khalid asserted that the incident was “designed to abort the ongoing efforts of peace talks in Juba”. He also argued that “those responsible for the incident thought by doing so they would change the new UN Peace Mission‘s mandate from UN Chapter VI to Chapter VII”.

He said that the incident occurred just as negotiating parties were close to signing a peace deal, “is not a coincidence,” he said. “Now it is the time to put an end to the vicious cycle of violence,” he concluded.

In a statement following the incident, the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (Unamid) called for restraint and requested all parties to resort to legal means in dealing with this crime.

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