5 November 2012

Sudan: Mourners in Shawa Start Sit-in Protest

Photo: Tim McKulka
Displaced (file photo).

Shawa — The village of Sigili in the area of Shawa, southeast of El-Fasher in North Darfur was attacked by a pro-government militia on Friday November 2, resulting in the death of 13 people and the injuring of six others.

Dozens of mourners, among them residents and the victims' family members, have started a sit-in protest at Tahrir square in the area of Shawa on Sunday, stating they will not leave until the perpetrators of the massacre are arrested and brought to justice, Radio Dabanga has learned.

A protester told Radio Dabanga that the state's security commission informed them that three of the accused perpetrators were arrested in the meantime and were handed over to the army for interrogations. In addition, the state's security commission pledged to return Ahmed Idriss Sigili on Monday, who was abducted by the militia, from the area of Abu Delek.

A witness noted that the security commission asked them to end the sit-in; however the participants told them they will not end it until all the perpetrators are arrested and their names revealed.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in El-Fasher on Saturday November 3, condemning the attack on Sigili, witnesses added. The protesters marched through the main streets of the state's capital, asking for the dismissal of the governor and condemning the killing of innocent citizens, witnessed told Radio Dabanga from El-Fasher.

Victims severely tortured

On the other hand, an eye-witness and relative of one of the victims, Sheikh Mukhtar Khalil Mustafa, disclosed to Radio Dabanga that the pro-government militants tortured the victims, shot them in their heads and chests, after which they ran them over with their vehicles. Then they tied the victims to the back of a car and dragged them along until the bodies were torn into pieces.

The sheikh pointed out that among the victims were farmers, herders and four high school students, and added that all victims were between 12 and 30 years of age. Sheikh Mukhtar said that the militants had also killed dozens of livestock and had looted a number of homes he added to Radio Dabanga from El-Fasher.

"A barbaric crime"

From his part, Kamal Omer Abd al-Salam, a prominent Sudanese lawyer and legal representative of the National Consensus, described the massacre in Sigili as "barbaric, brutal, a disgrace to humanity", adding that "the massacre is yet another episode in the series of systematic and immoral murders in Darfur."

The lawyer stated that the perpetrators of the massacre, and every other crime committed in Darfur, should be held accountable. He continued that he considers the immunity of pro-government militants as well as security services employees as a "weakness of the law" and a "lack of impartiality in the judicial apparatus, adding that this is the main reason such crimes are committed."

Omer appealed to the international community for an immediate intervention and prosecution of the perpetrators of the massacre of Sigili, he added to Radio Dabanga from Khartoum.

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