♦ 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


♦ More bombing, raids displace people in Jebel Marra

March 15 – 2016 JEBEL MARRA / KALOKITING / KASS A mother and her two sons were killed when a plane of the Sudanese Air Force dropped barrel bombs near Kalokiting in south Jebel Marra on Saturday. Militiamen set fire to six villages in the same area one week ago. “The militiamen stole all our livestock, and set the houses on fire,” a fleeing villager then reported. “The area is extremely insecure, as army forces entered the area after the militiamen left.”

As a result of the major offensive launched by the Sudanese government in mid-January on strongholds of the rebel SLM-AW, villages in Jebel Marra have been bombed and abandoned. Amid the havoc, bandits and militiamen rob civilians of their possessions and livestock, witnesses reported.

More than 102,700 people have reportedly been displaced from Jebel Marra to various locations in North, Central and South Darfur, according to the UN and partners, and the government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission on 6 March. More than 98,000 of them have reached camps and sites for displaced people in North Darfur.

The holdout rebel SLM-AW claimed to have won a battle with government forces north of Kass, killing 37 soldiers on Saturday. The group said to expect more fighting taking place this week. The Sudan Armed Forces reported in the beginning of this month that it is in control of all areas in northern Jebel Marra and will continue its offensive against the SLM-AW in the rest of the mountain range. In related events, people in Tawila locality reported the arrival of two large convoys of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Monday. Their road was secured by bombs from Sudanese fighter jets.

Radio Dabanga received photos taken by its correspondents in Jebel Marra. First photo below: Newly displaced, most of them children hiding in a cave in the vicinity of Tori in southern Jebel Marra, 3 March. Secondly, an unexploded ordnance found near Toringa village on 9 March

♦ Sudanese President faces arrest if he returns to South Africa

March 15 – 2016 BLOEMFONTEIN The South African Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the government against a ruling that the State had made an error in allowing Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir to leave the country, in spite of a court order barring him from doing so.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo dismissed the State’s appeal against a High Court ruling that the government’s failure to arrest Al Bashir was inconsistent with its constitutional duties. He said that the country’s government was obliged to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague by arresting Al Bashir, and suggested that there was reason to believe that the South African government had committed a crime by ignoring the court order.

The unanimous SCA ruling comes in the aftermath of a High Court order on 14 June 2015 that the Sudanese President, who was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg, should have been arrested to face genocide charges at the ICC. In spite of an order to arrest Al Bashir, he was allowed to escape the country, allegedly with connivance of South Africa’s controversial President Jacob Zuma.

Tuesday’s judgement was clear that should Al Bashir land on South African soil today, he would have to be arrested in terms of the provision of the Rome Statute.
The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) human rights group stated it is “thrilled with the SCA verdict”. SALC prompted the High Court order in June 2015.
South African Justice Department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said the government is studying the ruling and has not yet decided whether it would challenge it at the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land.

Al Bashir was indicted in 2009 by the ICC for alleged genocide and war crimes in Darfur, but some influential AU leaders, in spite of being signatories to the Rome Statute, have repeatedly voiced their lack of support for the ICC, accusing it of bias against Africa.

Other highlights from Dabanga Sudan:

SPLM-N: Focus on aid in Sudan peace talks

March 15 – 2016 KHARTOUM Days before the consultative meeting between the Sudanese government, main rebel movements and an opposition party in Addis Ababa, the SPLM-N voiced its position on the resumption of…

'Smuggled Syrians stopped at Sudan border': Egyptian media

March 15 – 2016 MARSA ALAM / KHARTOUM Egyptian border security stopped 45 Syrians who planned to cross the border to Sudan after being abandoned by smugglers in a desert area, Egyptian media reported. Today…

SPLM-N claims killing of 40 govt. troops in Blue Nile's Kilgo

March 14 – 2016 KILGO About 40 government troops were reportedly killed in a new battle between government forces and rebel combatants of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Kilgo in Blue Nile State…

No breakfast for six million Sudanese basic school students

March 13 – 2016 KHARTOUM According to a study of the Sudanese Ministry of Health, there are six million basic school students in the country that do notenjoy a daily breakfast. Girls do not go to school in eastern Sudan's Kassala…

Heavy bombing in Kordofan's Nuba Mountains

March 11 – 2016 NUBA MOUNTAINS / KILGO An air raid and shelling by the Sudanese army against the armed rebels in the Nuba Mountains resulted in a large fire in a rebel-controlled area on Friday morning. Two men were…

Unamid: Two dead, one injured in North Darfur relief convoy attack

March 10 – 2016 EL FASHER One Unamid peacekeeper was killed and another wounded in an attack on a relief convoy in North Darfur on Wednesday. The South African soldiers were providing security for a joint convoy made…

UNDP, Health Ministry to enhance treatment of patients in Sudan

March 10 – 2016 KHARTOUM The Sudanese Ministry of Health, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Ministry of International Cooperation have signed today an agreement on “Procurement Support to the…

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