Kadugli — At least 2,000 people fled their homes in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, after shootings by paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Force (RSF) in the town last week.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than two thousand people fled from their homes in Merta, Kalba and El Shaeer neighbourhoods in the northern part of Kadugli.
They sought refuge in schools and a training centre, the Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) reported yesterday.
According to HUDO, the people feared the shootings by RSF militiamen following a protest march in the districts against attacks on farmers tending their land near the town.
The demonstration on Tuesday was triggered by the killing of people in the area of Saraf El Dei the day before. The protestors demanded protection during the agricultural season, and the implementation of the Rule of Law.
On Tuesday evening, the authorities deployed RSF troops in the three districts. The militiamen began shooting in the air, which caused the residents of the three districts to flee their houses in panic.
HUDO expresses its grave concern "about the situation and the lives of civilians in conflict areas" and calls upon the Sudan government "to urgently investigate the state of insecurity" in South Kordofan.
This is the second wave of displacement in Kadugli within two months caused by the RSF, the human rights organisation states.
In May, residents of the Tello camp for the displaced in the southern part of Kadugli complained that RSF soldiers took control of the district and were terrorising them. At least 17 people were killed, and about 4,000 families fled to rebel-controlled areas.
From the start of the agricultural season, many murder incidents against farmers in their farms were reported, HUDO states.
On Monday morning, Yousef Mohamed and his sister were tending their farm in El Tomat district in Kadugli, when they were shot dead by five armed men.
Nawai El Jeili was found dead with gunshot wounds at his farm in the Damba district on June 24, and on June 5, three people were killed at their farms by RSF troops in Kadugli's Merta district.
On June 14, an RSF force occupied a basic school in Kadugli and turned it into a military training centre. The next day, men wearing RSF uniforms killed a policeman and wounded another near Kadugli.
Radio Dabanga as well reported an increase in violent incidents and (tribal) clashes in South Kordofan in the past few months. On July 13, three people, among them a Sudanese staff member of Unisfa, were shot dead in two separate incidents in Kadugli.
Contrary to the HUDO statement however, Radio Dabanga received reports about two people killed in Saraf Ed Dei north of Kadugli town on Monday morning, which caused tension in the area, with angry relatives of the victims gathering in huge crowds in the area.
The next day, tribal fighting was reported in Kadugli's Merta and Kolba districts as a reaction to the killing. The authorities deployed army and RSF troops to quell the alleged fighting that caused thousands of people to seek refuge in schools in the town.
Officially, the RSF militia, set up by the ousted Al Bashir regime in 2013, was integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in August last year. At the same time however, the militia stays a force unto itself, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti', who also is Deputy President of Sudan's Sovereign Council.
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