Sudan - African Centre Urges Investigation Into El Obeid Killings

Students protest in El Mujlad in West Kordofan on August 1, 2019.

New York — The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) calls on the international community to urgently investigate the killing of six peaceful protesters on 29 July in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan.

The international community, including the UN Human Rights Council should urgently set up an independent and impartial commission to ensure an immediate and effective investigation into the full scale of the killing, identify those responsible, and recommend ways to hold them accountable, the New York-based ACJPS said in a statement on Friday.

On July 29, more than 500 secondary school students participated in a peaceful protest in El Obeid, denouncing the shortage of fuel and bread in the state which caused a hike in costs of public transport from SDG 2 ($ 0.05*) to SDG 3 per passenger and long queues in front of bakeries.

The peaceful protest started at about 7:30 am in Kerima market, after hundreds of students found themselves stranded at the bus station as many were unable to afford the new bus fares. The students gathered in the market and started chanting, "no transport, no bread" as they peacefully marched along the streets of El Obeid, the statement reads.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) then started firing gun shots in the air as protesters approached the Sudanese-French Bank. The student protesters ignored the gun-shots and continued with their peaceful march.

A few minutes later, the RSF indiscriminately fired live ammunition at the students killing five people instantly, including three minors. Another male adult was shot when he tried moving closer to talk to the RSF.

After the shooting, some members of the Sudanese Armed Forces joined in to whip the student protesters with batons, whips, and wooden and iron bars.

The ACJPS obtained the following details of the deceased: Ahmed Abdelwahab (m), 15 years old, student at the Abdelhussein Jaafar Secondary School, Hasan Saad (m), 17 years old, student at El Obeid Industrial Secondary School, Mohamed El Fatih (m), 17 years old, student at Ismail El Wali Secondary School, Badreldin Abdallah (m), 23 years old, student at the Health Academy, Ahmed Abdelkarim (m), 40 years old, Younes Malla (m), 45 years old, businessman, shot while asking RSF forces to stop shooting.

Reports indicate that at least 62 people sustained injuries from the gunshot wounds, teargas and whipping. Most of the injured were taken to different hospitals in El Obeid including Health Insurance hospital, Primary Hospital, Extra Care hospital and Alawiya Yasin Hospital. Four were transferred to hospitals in Khartoum.

On 30 July, the chairman of the Transitionary Military Council (TMC), Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan condemned the killing in El Obeid and ordered the Governor of North Kordofan, El Sadig El Tayeb, to establish a committee to investigate the incident.

The governor has issued a decree declaring a night time curfew in the state from 9 pm to 6 am. Local authorities have also issued a decision suspending classes at all schools in the state until further notice.

The killing in El Obeid has stirred anger and protests across Sudan. On 30 July, thousands of students took to the streets in Khartoum and cities across the country demanding justice for students killed and injured. The Sudanese Professional Association also called on the people to take to the streets to denounce the El Obeid massacre and demand that perpetrators be brought to justice.

On August 2, the TMC reported the arrest of nine members of the RSF. They were dismissed from service following their actual or suspected participation in the killing. The office of the prosecutor general is considering charges against them.

"All perpetrators should be held to account, including the commanders," the ACJPS said.

"The enjoyment of freedom to peaceful assembly, association and expression by Sudanese citizens is very crucial for the transition into a new regime and a civilian government. We urge Sudanese authorities to respect these rights which are guaranteed in the Constitution and International treaties ratified by Sudan."

ACJPS also reiterates its calls to the TMC to respect citizen's legitimate demands for democracy, offer free treatment and rehabilitation for all those injured by security forces during protests since December 2018, and to remove all militias, including the Rapid Support Forces and child soldiers from the towns of Sudan.

The Centre obtained details of the following people injured in El Obeid on July 29: Adam El Tijani (m), Ahmed El Nour (m), El Hafiz Abakar (m), 26 years old, shot in the left side of the body, Arafa Salah Bashir El Sanousi (f), 17 years old, shot in the stomach, Awatif Abdelziz (f), Ayman Abdelrahman (m), 17 years old, shot in the chest, Buseina Mousa (f), El Nour Taha (m), El Tayeb Emad (m), shot in the head, Fatima Dai El Nour (f), Ghasan Salaheldin (m), 15 years old, shot in the joint of the right foot, Hadeel El Agib (f), Hadeel El Alim (f), sustained injuries from whipping, Hihad Hussein (f), 17 years old, Husham Adam (m) Islam Abbas (f), Israa Omar (f), Jad Karim Yousef (m), 15 years old, shot in the head, Malaz Mahdi (f), Malaz Mudawi (f), Marawa Hasan (f), Mohamed El Hadi (m), 17 years old, shot in the head, Mohamed Hamid (m), 18 years old, shot in the right leg, Mohamed Khalid (m), 15 years old, shot in the stomach, Mohamed Mahmoud (m), 40 years old, shot in the chest, Mohamed Nasreldin (m) 14 years old, injured in the head, Mohamed Siddig (m), 14 years old, beaten with an iron bar, injured in the left shoulder, Mohamed Tajelsir (m), 24 years old, shot in the chest, Musaab Adil (m), 16 years old, shot in his right foot, Najat El Tereefi (f), 18 years old, sustained injuries from beating, Nasreen Mohamed (f), Nasreen Abdallah (f), Omer Suleiman (m), Rabaah El Fatih (f), Rimaz Abdelgayoum (f), Rimaaz Abdelnasir (f), Ruaa Atif (f), Sabah Khalil (f), Saadia Suleiman (f), Saleh Ibrahim (m), 19 years old, shot in the chest, Salma Bakheet (f), 15 years old, shot in the head and right hand, Sara Bashir (f), 38 years old, injured in the head , Sujoud Mousa (f), Suleiman El Bagir (m), 18 years old, shot in the left foot, Tagwa Ismail (f), 17 years old, shot in both feet, Tasneem Abakar (f), 18 years old, shot in the back, Umsalama El Tigani (f), Umnia Hilal (m), 15 years old, shot in the head and shoulder, Yasin Adam Ali (m), 16 years old, shot in the leg, Younes Adam (m), 38 years old, shot in the head, Zeinab Mohamed (f), Amna El Zein (f), 17 years old, Awadiya Jad Khalil (f), Eshraga Dawelbeit (f), 20 years old, Manal Badawi (f), Marwa Jawdatallah (f), Ruaa El Sharif (f), 17 years old, Safa Abubakar (f), Tarteel Humeida (f), and Tasabeeh Mohamed (f), 19 years old.

* As foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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