The feature article of the May – July 2013 issue of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor provides an update to on-going inter-communal violence in Darfur. Inter-communal violence continues to proliferate in the region, underscoring the complex factors fuelling Darfur’s conflict. The past year has seen a surge in fighting between Darfur’s pastoralist groups, many of whom were armed by the Government of Sudan (GoS) to fight the insurgency in 2003-4, and there has been strong evidence of the involvement of government forces in the fighting. In recent years, the GoS has begun to lose control of its militias due to the spread of small arms in the region and shifting alliances. While the GoS has stated that it does not have the capacity to quell inter-communal violence, it has taken limited measures to protect civilians and impeded the access of the joint UN and African Union peacekeeping mission, UNAMID, to conduct verification missions.
There have also been troubling reports that the GoS continues to provide material support and has involved the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitaries in inter-communal fighting. In one incident on 10 August in a Ma’alia settlement, Kilkil Abu Salama, in East Darfur, ACJPS documented the use of government vehicles and ammunition and the involvement of militia members previously affiliated with the infamous pro-Government Rizeigat militia leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo, nicknamed ‘Hemeti’. Approximately 400 Ma’alia families were displaced.
ACJPS considers that the recent surge of violence in the region underscores the pressing need for creating an alternative peace process which comprehensively and genuinely deals with the root cause of the conflict. There is an absence of the rule of law in Darfur and little to no trust in the GoS to legitimately represent the interests of the people. In the interim, this feature article argues, the GoS should put in place tightened restrictions on the use and supply of arms and ammunition to the region.
This issue of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor also gives an overview of the mandate extension of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the dissolution of the cabinet in South Sudan, the new proposed media and anti-trafficking laws in Sudan, and the deleted amendments to the Armed Forces Act passed by Sudan’s Parliament. The monitoring report includes incidents documented by ACJPS from May – July 2013, including violations of freedom of expression, association, and assembly, arbitrary arrest, and excessive use of force. In addition, ACJPS also monitored death penalty and hudud sentencing cases, public order incidents, incursions into IDP camps in Kassala, and insecurity in South Kordofan.
Read the full Sudan Human Rights Monitor here.
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