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Parliament hearing on Central Darfur camp attack: “Situation stable”

June 8 - 2018 KHARTOUM
The protest that displaced people of Khamsa Degaig staged in Zalingei, Central Darfur, on May 21 - the day that RSF forces shot and killed a displaced woman (RD)
The protest that displaced people of Khamsa Degaig staged in Zalingei, Central Darfur, on May 21 - the day that RSF forces shot and killed a displaced woman (RD)

Sudan’s Minister of Interior informed the parliament about the “stable” security situation in Khamsa Dagayig camp in Central Darfur, where a woman was deadly shot by paramilitary gunmen on May 21.

Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud spoke in the National Parliament in response to an urgent question about the events in the camp, on Thursday. Members of Parliament Siham Hasan of the Liberation and Justice Party and Mohamed Idris of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Second Revolution had posed the question about the camp for displaced people in Zalingei locality nearly less than month ago.

Khamsa Dagayig is one of the largest camps in Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur. It is close to the camps El Hamidiya and Hasahisa. According to the minister, people in these camps have “unwillingly faced the presence of government forces and in particular, police forces.”

Minister Mahmoud said that the three camps have become a refuge for outlaws and criminals. “The displaced people have been affected by this situation because the criminals who commit crimes are not being subjected to the hands of justice.”

In addition, Khamsa Dagayig “lacks urban planning that would ease movement within the camp”.

Minister Mahmoud: “People threw rocks at the paramilitary members, leading them to fire shots into the air.”

Meanwhile Mahmoud gave an account of the incident that happened in the camp on May 21. A group of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), driving five vehicles, had lost their way and entered a road that lead to Khamsa Dagayig camp. A number of people started throwing stones at the force.

According to Mahmoud the RSF troops could not pull out and some of the members started firing shots into the air to disband the gathered people. The bullets hit a woman in the crowd. This subsequently sparked anger among camp residents, and a group of them marched to Zalingei town to protest the violence in front of the secretariat of the state government.

Police then intervened to disperse the demonstrators. Mahmoud said that six people and six policemen were wounded, along with damage to two police vehicles. The police had recorded only the death of the woman who died five days after being treated in Khartoum hospital.

Radio Dabanga reported the death of 22-year-old Magboula Hasabelnabi, and the wounding of her child of 17 months old, the next day: May 22.

Investigation

Minister Mahmoud said that the state governor and the state security committee have formed a fact-finding mission under resolution 55-2018, headed by the deputy-high prosecutor.

“From initial testimony this committee could conclude that, after the interrogation of witnesses to the incident in the camp, and an inspection of the road where the RSF entered through, the RSF had gone down the road, entered the camp, where displaced people gathered to close the road and threw stones and logs at them.

“Some reported hearing gunfire to disperse the crowd.”

The minister reported that police were the first to arrive at the scene. “They were helping camp residents to return life in Khamsa Dagayig to normal, tried to contain the events and arresting rioters. […] The presence of troops within the camp is important to maintain security.”

He claimed: “The incident in the camp was sudden, as some had exploited the situation of the troop’s entry.”

Mahmoud added in his speech to parliament that his ministry fully supports the process to secure areas in Darfur for the voluntary return of displaced Darfuris.


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