♦ This week’s news in brief ♦

A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan’s highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan

A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan's highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan


♦ Darfur referendum monitors beaten, Sudan refutes USA concerns

April 12 – 2016 EL FASHER / ED DAEIN / KHARTOUM Two political party members observing the voting process of the Darfur referendum were beaten by members of Sudan's ruling party on Tuesday. Fellow party members reported rigging in another station, too.
On Monday, the first day of the voting, three referendum demonstrators were detained by security authorities in El Fasher. Two women were detained from a protest in downtown Khartoum on the second day.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has predicted a large voter turnout for the referendum. Witnesses in Darfur, however, reported they have seen few voters at the ballot boxes on the second day of the referendum.

The chairman and the secretary-general of the National Liberation and Justice Party (NLJP, headed by Dr El Tijani Sese) in East Darfur were beaten with sticks by members of the National Congress Party (NCP), the chairman reported to Radio Dabanga. “We witnessed how six voters with false carts cast their vote.” A photo shows the injury he sustained on his head. Both were held at the police station in Ed Daein after the beating, and all NLJP monitors have been expelled from the polling station. Another report of rigged voting resulted in the party's threat to withdraw its monitors from all polling stations.

On Monday, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry has refuted the criticism of the United States on the holding of the referendum in Darfur, claiming that the registration of voters was sufficient and the region is secure to hold a referendum. A spokesman added that monitors from the African Union and the Arab League, among others, are present during the three-day referendum.

More than 3.5 million people registered to vote, the Darfur Referendum Commission earlier announced. The chairman of the commission reported that more than 900,000 people went to polling stations on Monday, to vote whether Darfur will continue as five states or return to one state with a regional government. The current five-state system gives Khartoum greater control over the region, critics said.

Hamar Basheri, a leading member of the ruling NCP in Sudan, told journalists that he expects 80 percent of all registered voters to turn out before the end of Wednesday. But witnesses at polling stations in Darfur do not endorse the ruling party's optimistic expectations on the voter turnout. One of them told Radio Dabanga how government employees offered people on the streets to drive them to the polling centre to vote. “People barely responded to the invitation.”

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♦ Darfur police station clash: 8 dead, tension remains

April 11 – 2016 BINDISI The death toll in the clash between police and militiamen in Bindisi locality, Central Darfur, rose to eight dead, including one child on Saturday. 15 were wounded, including the deputy commissioner and two members of a reconciliation committee.

The fighting between the police and militiamen erupted in the police station on Thursdayand continued until Saturday, and led to the closure of Bindisi market. Many residents stayed in their homes out of fear, causing empty streets until Sunday. Military reinforcements consisting of 450 police personnel were deployed to contain the armed conflict.

A nine-year-old displaced child named El Sayed Mohamed Adam Abaker, was hit in crossfire and killed on the spot, a witness reported to Radio Dabanga.
“The situation is still very tense in Bindisi, as the exchange of gunfire between the policemen and militia members continued on Saturday.”

On Thursday, a policeman shot dead a militiaman who carried a weapon inside the police station. The killing sparked an attack on the station by a group of militiamen.

Fighting continued despite the holding of a reconciliation meeting that determined the amount of compensation money to be paid to the militia the next day. Three participants sustained injuries, including the deputy commissioner. Militiamen again attacked the police station and killed two policemen on Friday afternoon. Three of the attackers were killed.

Other highlights from Dabanga Sudan:

Sudan army claims victory in Sarrong, Jebel Marra

April 12 – 2016 SARRONG / KUTUM The Sudanese military has denied claims by the rebel SLM-AW in Jebel Marra that hundreds of government troops have been killed over the last week. It claimed it captured Sarrong in western Jebel…

Unicef, Sudan start polio shots

April 12 – 2016 KHARTOUM The Sudanese government and Unicef have launched a nationwide polio vaccination campaign that targets 4 million children under the age of five. The campaign includes is cascaded over three days in a total of 123 localities in…

South Kordofan: SPLM-N kills 'dozens' of soldiers

April 10 – 2016 KADUGLI / HEIBAN / RASHAD / KOLOGI The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North said it inflicted heavy casualties on Sudanese forces and allied militiamen in South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains in ambushes and shelling from Thursday…

Darfur: Four young firewood collecters raped

April 8 – 2016 TAWILA / MERSHING Armed men raped four displaced girls who were collecting firewood near their camps in North and South Darfur this week. In Tawila locality, a relative of two rape victims told Radio Dabanga that "militant tribesmen" attacked the girls…

UNHCR starts moving 70,000 Sudanese refugees from Yida

April 8 – 2016 YIDA / SOUTH SUDAN The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan has started the registration procedures for the moving of refugees who have fled from South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains. The 70,000 Sudanese…

Political progress to end Darfur conflict ‘remains elusive’ – UN peacekeeping chief

April 7 – 2016 NEW YORK In a statement today, UN Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous, has confirmed that intensified fighting since January has resulted in a rapidly worsening security situation and large-scale displacement in Sudan’s Darfur region…

Referendum means end of Doha Document’: Al Bashir

April 6 – 2016 NYALA President Omar Al Bashir has announced that after the forthcoming referendum, there will be no negotiations with the hold-out armed movements which he termed ‘mercenaries’ in Darfur anymore. On Monday evening, following a mass rally in Nyala…

EU and Sudan to strengthen dialogue and cooperation’

April 6 – 2016 BRUSSELS Neven Mimica, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Developmentm has issued a statement following his two-day visit to Sudan, during which he met with The First Vice-President, Lt. Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih…


This digest is an excerpt from the weekly Darfur & Sudan News Update. Subscribe to the newsletter here