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West Darfur leaders demand impartial probe into El Geneina killings

January 17 - 2016 EL GENEINA / KHARTOUM
Mourners at the cemetery of El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, 11 January 2016 (RD correspondent)
Mourners at the cemetery of El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, 11 January 2016 (RD correspondent)

The Sudanese government has sent a committee to El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, to investigate the killing of a number of civilians in the town on 10 and 11 January. Community leaders in El Geneina demand the investigation to be impartial and transparent. The National Commission for Human Rights in Khartoum announced that it will send an investigation committee too.

On the morning of 10 January, the people of Mouli village, eight kilometres south of El Geneina, sought refuge in the West Darfur capital from attacks by a large group of militiamen. When the demonstration turned violent, with protesters torching parts of government buildings and government forces dispersing them with live bullets, a number of people were reportedly killed.

Government forces shot dead three people on 11 January, during the funeral of the people killed the day before.

The Sudanese government sent a fact-finding committee to El Geneina to investigate the incidents.

On Friday, an El Geneina community leader called, through Radio Dabanga, on the committee “to fear God and tell the truth”.

“We demand from the fact-finding committee to truthfully investigate the incidents, including the plundering and torching of houses in Mouli village by the militiamen, and death of at least 15 people, and report all the facts without any political agenda.”

He added that “any deviation from the right path of inquiry will lead to renewed violence”, and stated that “most of the committees investigating violent incidents in Darfur did not bring any results”.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Khartoum will also send a committee of inquiry to the West Darfur capital.

The committee members “will collect information from the field and report as soon as possible about the incidents in which 15 people were killed during the protests in El Geneina on Sunday,” the Commission announced in a statement last week.

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