The month of January 2014 saw an increase in repression in Sudan, according to the latest report by the Human Rights and Development Organization (Hudo).
It states that the Sudanese government has been enforcing controversial laws. For example, the Armed Forces Act amended in June last year, which allows prosecution of civilians before military courts. The Khartoum government has also activated other clauses of the Voluntary Work Act of 2006 which gives the Minister free rein. It was under these laws that the Minister suspended the activities of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), depriving more than 1.5 million people –mainly in Darfur– of Red Cross aid.
In addition to the crimes they committed in Darfur and their participation in the fighting in South Kordofan recently, the Janjaweed militias are now terrorising civilians in El Obeid.
The Hudo report confirms that the Sudanese authorities continue the aerial bombardment of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. The Kauda area (under SPLA control) “has been aggressively bombarded during January this year”.
The security situation is worsening in Kordofan and El Obeid due to the presence of the Janjaweed who have been driven from the battlefield in South Kordofan. “Currently they are raping women, looting civilians’ property and attacking people on daily bases in El Obeid.”
For the first time the government is enforcing the amendments of article 6 of the Armed Forces Act and will try civilians younger than 30 in military courts.
Saeed Ahmed Al Awad, Mubarak Ishaq, Al Sadiq Badreldin Ahammed, Ammar Adam Arbab, Ibrahim Eisa, Mohyeldin Ibrahim, Jomaa Badawi Jomaa Haytham Suliman, Faroug Kajo, and Ibrahim were all detained by military intelligence during attacks on Um Cham Chaka.
Some were detained in Um Cham Chaka itself, while others from the surrounding gold mining fields. Some had fled the recent fighting in South Sudan. They are accused of being affiliates of the Revolutionary Front.
The report says that the detainees spent more than two months in the military intelligence cells in El Obeid. They were subjected to torture, poor treatment, and were no allowed to bathe. They then appeared three times before a military court. A fourth hearing is scheduled for 17 February. Hudo confirmed that the detainees were transferred to El Obeid prison on 3 February.
‘Arrest ICC indictees’
Referring to members of the Sudanese government, including President Omar Al Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Hudo appealed to the international community, NGOs, and human rights activists to “increase the pressure on international decision makers to arrest the wanted Sudanese officials”.
Red Cross suspension ‘final phase of genocide’: Darfur rebels (4 February 2014)
Sudan suspends all Red Cross activities (31 January 2014)
Air raids on Darfur’s East Jebel Marra continue (30 January 2014)
Sudanese student to face military trial in North Kordofan (20 January 2014)