17 February 2014

Sudan: Two Dead, 24 Injured As Security Forces Fire On Demonstrators in Central Darfur

Zalingei — Two men were killed and 24 injured when security forces fired live bullets at a demonstration of displaced people in Zalingei in Central Darfur on Monday morning.

They went to the streets to protest against the Social Peace Conference in Central Darfur's capital, organised by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA).

The three-day Social Peace Conference convened in Zalingei held its closing session on Monday in a tent on a distance of half a kilometre east of El Hamidia camp.

The coordinator of the Zalingei camps for the displaced explained to Radio Dabanga that residents of El Hamidia, Khamsa Degaig, Hasaheesa, and El Salam camps went out on Monday at 8am to demonstrate against the Social Peace Conference and the "falsification of the will of the displaced".

They not only protested against the "government-backed militias attending the conference and speaking on their behalf as leaders of the displaced", but also against the security forces' assault of Koran scholar and activist, sheikh Matar Younis Ali Hussein, and the abduction of El Hamidia camp residents Yagoub Abdallah and Younis Ibrahim by militiamen on Sunday.

The demonstrators gathered east of El Hamidiya camp, where they were addressed by the organisers who read them their statement. They then headed towards the site of the World Food Programme. "Then", the coordinator said, "nine Land Cruisers approached, six of them mounted with a Dushka machinegun, carrying a large number of Central Reserve Police (known as Abu Tira), Unified Police and security forces troops. They began firing at the demonstrators, killing Muhamed Ali Yagoub (17) and Mohamed Ibrahim Karkab instantly and 24 people were injured, nine of them critically.

The names of 21 of the wounded are: Madiha Hussein Ibrahim (8 months), Mani Yagoub (4), Halima Mohamed Ali (7), Idris Hassan Ismail (9), Inaam Abdel Rahman Ismail (9), Fatima Abdel Rahman Abdallah (12), Jawahir Suleiman Idris Arbab (14), Dar El Naeem Salih Adam (14), Halima Mohamed Ali (16), Shadia Adam Ismail (16), Halima Adam Mohamed (16), Adam Hamid Idris (18), Rumana Yagoub Daoud (20), Yagoub Adam Yahya (22), Samia Sadeeg Haroun (22), Fateen Mohamed Osman (25), Kaltoum Mohamed Juma Karkab (25), Halima Abdallah Mohamed (25), Haja Daoud Mahmoud Omar (32), Noura Bakhit Ibrahim (36), and Halima Abakir Ali (70).

The shooting also ignited a fire at the El Hamidia camp, wiping out 15 shelters.

The Zalingei camps coordinator said that he holds Dr Tijani Sese, head of the DRA, Yusif Tibin, the Governor of Central Darfur State, responsible for the violence against the displaced. He also holds Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the head of Unamid, responsible, who came to attend the Social Peace Conference.

He appealed to Unamid and health care organisations to intervene immediately to rescue the nine critically wounded.

The Central Darfur State government, however, strongly denied the version of the displaced, and accused "people with a hidden agenda" to be behind the demonstration. Muhamed Abakar Hassan Mohamedein, spokesman for the National Congress Party in Central Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that the security troops were forced to intervene to protect the University of Zalingei's buildings and secure the conference. The demonstrators, he explained, were young instigators from the El Hamidia camp, and adherents of the Sudan Libaration Movement, led by Abdel Wahid El Nur.

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