Armed forces kill displaced Sudanese in Darfur during demonstrations
Five internally displaced persons killed as Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces use live ammunition to disperse a protest in Central Darfur
The joint forces fired indiscriminately into the crowd of IDPs killing three men and two women and injuring 26 others who sustained gunshot wounds
KHARTOUM, Sudan, January 25, 2018/ — At least 5 people were killed and 26 others sustained gunshot wounds when joint forces of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) opened live ammunition on a crowd of protestors at Hasahisa camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Zalingi, Central Darfur, on 20 January.
On 20 January, at 3 pm, the joint forces raided Tololo market, located inside the camp, and fired live ammunition at a crowd of IDPs while they protested against the insecurity and the continuous attacks on residents in the camp by the Janjaweed militias. According to reliable source, the joint forces fired indiscriminately into the crowd of IDPs killing three men and two women and injuring 26 others who sustained gunshot wounds and are currently receiving medical treatment at Zalingi hospital.
The names of the deceased are:
The names of those injured are:
On 21 January, the joint forces set ablaze nine water pumps used to supply water to the IDP camp. The destruction of the water pumps exacerbates the socio-economic situation of the IDPs who often face difficulties in accessing enough water resources. It also places IDPs at risk of attacks such as sexual violence as they would have to travel distances to access the needed water resources.
These killings form part of a larger pattern of the use of violence to suppress freedom of expression, association, and assembly in Darfur and across Sudan. ACJPS has documented various incidents of the use of force against IDPs in Darfur and no investigations into the killings have been carried out or findings have been made public in case an investigation was carried out.
Protest killings have taken place in a climate of total impunity. Immunities provided in law to government officials, including members of the NISS, SAF and the police have prevented effective investigations into allegations of the excessive use of force and resulted in a lack of prosecutions for the perpetration of these and other human rights violations.
Authorities should conduct an urgent investigation with a view to identifying and prosecuting persons responsible for the killing 5 IDPs and injury of 26 IDPs. Findings of the investigation should be made public and those responsible should be held accountable before an independent and impartial court. Authorities must further ensure that medical and other appropriate support services are available to all those in need including the 26 injured displaced persons. The Government should condemn the destruction of the water pumps and provide restitution to the IDPs through re-installation of water pumps to ensure that water flow to the camp is restored. It should be made clear to authorities involved in the destruction of property will be held liable for their actions.
The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) calls on the Sudanese authorities to immediately put in place measures to protect civilians in and around Hasahisa IDP camp.
ACJPS reiterates previous calls to the Sudanese authorities to ensure that the policing of assemblies must respect human rights and must be carried out in accordance with international standards, which prohibit the use of force unless strictly necessary and proportionate. It should also be made clear that arbitrary or abusive use of force by security forces will be punished as a criminal offence.
The international community, particularly the European Union, United States, and African Union, should publicly and privately press the Sudanese government to meet its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law and to ensure unfettered access by UNAMID peacekeepers to all parts of Darfur especially the IDP camps.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS).