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Sudan: Sudan - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year 2015

16 December 2014 - 8:01pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: South Sudan, Sudan, United States of America

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A dengue fever outbreak in Sudan’s Darfur region had resulted in 137 reported cases as of December 14.

  • Hostilities continue to result in deaths and injuries in Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N)-controlled parts of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

  • Conflict-affected individuals from South Sudan continue to arrive in Sudan.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Since late August, health officials have reported 137 cases of dengue fever—including cases in North Darfur, South Darfur, and West Darfur states. State Ministry of Health (SMoH) officials, the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), and other health partners are working to contain the outbreak by providing medical supplies, training health care workers, and targeting affected areas with health promotion activities.

  • During November, clashes and multiple aerial bombings reportedly killed eight people and injured at least 40 others in SPLM-N-controlled parts of the Two Areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, relief actors and the U.N. report.

  • As of December 11, nearly 115,600 South Sudanese had fled to Sudan since mid-December 2013 and an estimated 67,500 South Sudanese refugees sheltering in Sudan had received humanitarian assistance, according to the U.N.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

6.6 million
People in Sudan in Need of Humanitarian Assistance
U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – December 2014

4.4 million
People in Darfur in Need of Humanitarian Assistance
OCHA – November 2014

2 million
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or Severely Affected Persons in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states
OCHA – May and August 2014

263,800
Refugees in Sudan
Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – June 2014

1,900
Sudanese Refugees in the Central African Republic
UNHCR – September 2014

365,300
Sudanese Refugees in Chad
UNHCR – November 2014

221,900
Sudanese Refugees in South Sudan
UNHCR – July 2014

Sudan: Fire destroys 354 homes in Labado camp, East Darfur

16 December 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

YASSIN LOCALITY (16 Dec.) - A massive fire that broke out in Labado camp for the displaced in East Darfur on Friday afternoon, has led to the death of a woman, and the injury of four others. Hundreds of homes burned to the ground.

“The fire was sparked by children who tried to cook some food,” camp sheikh Ibrahim Adam Baraka explained to Radio Dabanga.

“The fire spread extremely fast over the camp. Salwa Adam El Nur (20) burned to death, and four others sustained serious burns. The camp hospital, a mosque, and 354 houses, were destroyed.”

The camp elder urged the authorities and aid organisations to quickly provide assistance to the affected families, “who are now living in the open with no cover, food, and medicines”.

Sudan: Displaced urge UN Security Council to act on Darfur case

16 December 2014 - 4:51pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

EL FASHER / WASHINGTON (16 Dec.) - The Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association has called upon the international community, the members of the UN Security Council, the EU, and the AU to “actively cooperate with the International Criminal Court, and arrest the perpetrators of crimes in Darfur”.

The spokesman for the Association, Hussein Abu Sharati, told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that the displaced are disappointed about the international community’s silence regarding the ongoing violence in Darfur. He praised ICC prosecutors Luis Moreno Ocampo, who filed the case against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, and his successor Fatou Bensouda, for “their efforts to reach justice for the people in Darfur”.

He expressed the Association’s strong criticism of the UN Security Council’s inertia regarding the arrest warrants for Al Bashir, Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein, North Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun, and militia leader Ali Kushayb, and urged the Council to “fully cooperate with the ICC”.

Bensouda issued a statement to the Council on Monday, explaining the hibernation of the investigations into war crimes in Darfur. She stated to remain “open to constructively engage with the Council on the Darfur issue”.

Deteriorating conflicts in Sudan

“In the almost ten years that my Office has been reporting to this Council, there has never been a strategic recommendation provided to my Office, neither have there been any discussions resulting in concrete solutions for the problems we face in the Darfur situation,” the ICC prosecutor stressed.

The recent allegations of a mass rape in North Darfur “should be a matter of great concern to this council”, and it should strongly condemn the Sudanese government's “failure to facilitate access to Tabit [village, where the rape reportedly took place on 31 October] and should demand unimpeded full investigations of these crimes without delay”.

Bensouda shared the Council’s “deep concern at the serious deterioration of the security situation in Darfur”.

Last Friday, the members of the UNSC released a press statement, in which they expressed their regret of the deadlock in the two peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebel parties on the conflict in Darfur, and in South Kordofan and Blue Nile (‘the Two Areas’).

The members called upon all parties in Sudan to allow humanitarian organisations into the Two Areas, where fighting continues to affect civilians. They further noted that process has been made in the two peace tracks under the auspices of the African Union panel (AUHIP), and asked the parties to re-join the negotiation tables in January 2015.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 10-17 December

16 December 2014 - 10:07am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 10–16 December

Iraq: 700,000 IDPs, mostly in Dahuk and Anbar governorates, are living in shelters that are not adapted for winter temperatures. 945,000 IDPs are in dire need of kerosene for heating.

Afghanistan: Kabul has been hit by at least 12 suicide attacks since early November, with more attacks also carried out elsewhere, fuelling concerns about the protection of civilians.

Philippines: 3.8 million people across nine regions have been affected by Typhoon Hagupit. Nearly 157,000 are in evacuation centres, 38,000 homes have been destroyed. Emergency preparedness helped mitigate the impact of the typhoon.

Updated: 16/12/2014. Next update: 06/01/2015

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Sudan: The Government of Ireland contributes over three million US dollars to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund in 2014 [EN/AR]

16 December 2014 - 4:23am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Ireland, Sudan

Khartoum, 16 December 2014. To help address growing humanitarian needs in Sudan, the Government of Ireland has contributed an additional US $ 1,891,551 to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), following its contribution earlier this year of US $1,362,200.

“The funding which Ireland is providing will help the UN and its partners to respond effectively to the immense humanitarian needs in Sudan, including by improving nutrition, ensuring greater access to clean water and to healthcare, and addressing other critical humanitarian gaps,” said Seán Sherlock, Ireland’s Minister for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Co-operation.

In particular, funds will be utilized by national and international non-governmental organizations, as they constitute 50 per cent of CHF recipients. In addition, funds will ensure that live-saving projects continue to provide assistance to those in need.

“Timely CHF allocations, such as Ireland’s, constitute a key source of support for the numerous activities in Sudan, in addition to what is provided by the relevant local and international partners working in the field,” said Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

Since the inception of the Sudan CHF in 2006 Ireland has been a committed donor, to date committing over US $30 million dollars.

Sudan: Camp market pillaged, village attacked in North Darfur

15 December 2014 - 3:33pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

NORTH DARFUR (15 Dec.) -

A large group of militiamen raided Rwanda camp for the displaced, and plundered a number of shops on the outskirts of Tawila town, North Darfur on Sunday. An army commander intervened, and returned much of the stolen goods. On the same day, a village in Korma was attacked, pillaged, and torched.

“The camp residents were terrified,” a robbed shopkeeper told Radio Dabanga. “At about 6 pm, heavily armed militiamen in about 20 vehicles stormed the camp. Under command of militia leader Badur Abu Kineish, they began attacking our shops, and plundering the goods.”

The shopkeeper said that the attack was immediately reported to army commander El Hadi Mohamed Hamed, who intervened, stopped the militia vehicles, and searched their loads. “He managed to retrieve a large part of the stolen merchandise.”

“The commander furthermore issued an order prohibiting militiamen to enter Tawila town with their cars and weapons. They have to leave them at a distance of at least 1 km from Tawila.”

In Korma locality, government-backed militiamen stormed Dalal Mustariha village, beat and whipped the residents, before they robbed them of their property and livestock, and set more than 20 houses on fire.

More than 30 villages were attacked and torched in Korma locality this year.

Sudan: ACT/Caritas Appeal Darfur – 2015 Programme SDN151, EA 36/2014

15 December 2014 - 4:31am
Source: Norwegian Church Aid, Caritas, ACT Alliance Country: Sudan

Appeal Target: US$ 6,835,398 / € 5,257,998.

The 2015 Darfur Programme (DP) Appeal is the 12th annual appeal since the start of the collaboration between Caritas Internationalis (CI) and ACT Alliance (ACT) in 2004. Over these years the DP has been effectively responding to the humanitarian crisis that has crippled the Darfur region, leaving majority of the population living in poverty, many stripped of their homes and livelihoods assets.

Today it is estimated by United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the conflict, which has continued changing in nature and complexity, has now resulted in there being approximately 2,5 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 4,4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the region (OCHA, 31st Oct 2014). This is the highest number of IDPs since the 2004, and the pressure on existing camps and basic service facilities is immense.

The following areas are of key importance in 2015: continue strengthening partner capacity, reduce geographical scope of the programme, focus sectoral interventions, promote greater synergy, and a structural review.

Sudan: ACT/Caritas Appeal Darfur – 2014 Programme SDN151, EA 36/2014

15 December 2014 - 4:31am
Source: Norwegian Church Aid, Caritas, ACT Alliance Country: Sudan

Appeal Target: US$ 6,835,398 / € 5,257,998.

The 2015 Darfur Programme (DP) Appeal is the 12th annual appeal since the start of the collaboration between Caritas Internationalis (CI) and ACT Alliance (ACT) in 2004. Over these years the DP has been effectively responding to the humanitarian crisis that has crippled the Darfur region, leaving majority of the population living in poverty, many stripped of their homes and livelihoods assets.

Today it is estimated by United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the conflict, which has continued changing in nature and complexity, has now resulted in there being approximately 2,5 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 4,4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the region (OCHA, 31st Oct 2014). This is the highest number of IDPs since the 2004, and the pressure on existing camps and basic service facilities is immense.

The following areas are of key importance in 2015: continue strengthening partner capacity, reduce geographical scope of the programme, focus sectoral interventions, promote greater synergy, and a structural review.

Sudan: Sudan: Soldiers, Militias Killing, Raping Civilians

15 December 2014 - 12:18am
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: South Sudan, Sudan

Urgent Need for UN, AU Investigation in Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan

(Nairobi, December 15, 2014) – Sudanese government forces and allied militias are unlawfully killing and otherwise abusing civilians in government-held areas in Sudan’s Blue Nile state, Human Rights Watch said today. Dozens of civilians who fled the government held areas and sought refuge in South Sudan described killings, rapes, and beatings to Human Rights Watch.

Accounts by refugees from Blue Nile who arrived recently in South Sudan and were interviewed by Human Rights Watch provide a rare glimpse into conditions of life under government control and point to clear patterns of abuse, including sexual violence.

“Entire communities are trapped in camp-like conditions behind government lines, terrorized by government forces,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “In addition to indiscriminate bombing, Sudanese government forces are getting away with abusive and illegal tactics under a guise of counterinsurgency, including rape, arbitrary detentions, and killings.”

Among the refugees Human Rights Watch interviewed, five said they were raped by members of government security forces or armed militia, and twelve said relatives had been raped. Some women said security forces detained them, then took them away and raped them. Refugees also reported being detained and subjected to ill-treatment and torture. Most of the reported incidents took place within the past year.

Since conflict erupted in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in 2011, civilians living in the rebel-held areas of both states have borne the brunt of Sudan’s indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground attacks that have killed and maimed civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. But there has been little information about conditions in government-held areas in both states as Sudan has not allowed human rights investigators access.

During a five-day research trip in November 2014, Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 42 refugees in South Sudan’s Maban County, and six internally displaced people inside Blue Nile state. The refugees, including 17 women and girls, had recently fled abusive treatment in government towns or villages.

The vast majority were Ingessana, the ethnic group of Malik Agar, the commander of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-North), the main rebel group fighting the Sudanese government. The Ingessana appear to have been targeted because of their perceived support for the rebels. They had fled their homes during the night – in some cases leaving some children and family members behind – and walked more than 150 kilometers with little food or water to reach South Sudan, arriving in late October or early November.

Almost half of the refugees said they had experienced sexual violence themselves, have an immediate family member or neighbor who had, or had witnessed sexual assaults. Sexual violence occurred during home raids or house-to-house searches by security forces.

“They raped me one after the other and they beat me,” said Hawa, 20, who was raped by soldiers following her arrest at a market in the small town of Musfa earlier in 2014. “I tried to resist and they pulled me to the ground and [when they were finished] they left me.” She lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital in the state capital, Damazin, where she remained for 10 days, she said.

Several relatives of rape survivors said they were beaten up, threatened, or turned away when they tried to report the rapes to local authorities, police, or army officials.

“The number of rapes reported to us, often in harrowing detail, suggests that sexual violence is part of the government’s counterinsurgency strategy,” Bekele said. “The scale of reported abuses points to the urgent need for an international investigation in both rebel- and government-controlled areas.”

Given the scope and persistent nature of the human rights and humanitarian law violations by government forces across Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan since 2011, the United Nations Security Council should immediately establish an international commission of inquiry and impose an arms embargo against the Sudanese government and individual sanctions against human rights violators from all parties. The African Union should support these steps or establish an inquiry of its own, Human Rights Watch said.

Many refugees said they or their relatives were beaten or detained, including when they tried to leave the government-controlled towns or villages. Some of the men who had been detained said that government authorities tried to force them to join the Sudanese army; several described severe beatings and torture by security forces. One 21-year-old farmer who was detained with 13 other men said two of them died from beatings in custody.

The refugees attributed most of the abuses to Sudanese forces, including its Rapid Support Force (RSF), a new security force under the command of Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services. The RSF has carried out attacks on civilians in Darfur and Southern Kordofan over the last year. Many of the refugees also described rapes, killings, harassment, and cattle theft by a militia drawn from the Fellata – a nomadic ethnic group whose members the Sudanese government has recruited into auxiliary forces since conflict erupted in Blue Nile.

“Under Russian and Chinese pressure, the UN Security Council hasn’t delivered on its threat of sanctions, and has left persecuted civilians across Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan to fend for themselves,” said Philippe Bolopion, United Nations director at Human Rights Watch. “The Security Council should wake up to the tragedy unfolding in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, verify the facts, and impose both an arms embargo on the government and targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for the abuses.”

The Conflict in Blue Nile

Conflict between the Sudanese government and rebel SPLA-North – a spin-off of the rebel movement that fought for independence for South Sudan – spread to Blue Nile in September 2011, five months after it started in Southern Kordofan following disputed state elections.

Since then, government attacks on civilians and persistent indiscriminate bombing in the rebel areas of both states have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee. Sudan’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid into rebel-held areas, in violation of international law, has deprived communities of food and basic services. The bombing and deprivation of aid has forced more than 170,000 people to flee to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia, and others to cross into government-controlled areas in search of food and essential services.

During a trip into a rebel-held part of Blue Nile state, Human Rights Watch found many villages empty, with fields fallow or overgrown. Remaining civilians, many of them displaced from their own villages by bombing or fighting, said they lacked food, medical care, education, and other basic necessities.

The resumption of bombing by Sudanese forces in mid-November has made the journey to South Sudan even more dangerous for refugees. Sudan bombed several locations in Blue Nile state and along the border with South Sudan, killing a 35-year-old mother of seven on November 12, 2014.

Fleeing Abuse

Dozens of refugees in South Sudan told Human Rights Watch they had fled abusive treatment in several government-held towns or villages along the road connecting Damazin, the state capital, and the town of Kormuk on the Ethiopian border. The abuses – often during house-to-house searches for rebels – included rapes, beatings, and theft.

Most described the government-held areas they left as camp-like settings in which they were forced to live in close proximity to government military barracks. They said that soldiers or government-aligned militia used force to impose curfews and restrictions on movement and food purchases. The soldiers routinely accused them of links to the rebel SPLA-North, and carried out various abuses including stealing their crops or livestock. Some reported attempts by soldiers to recruit children under 15 into the army, although none of those interviewed said the recruitment attempts had affected their immediate families.

Refugees said that they fled at night to avoid detection and took routes to circumvent Sudanese forces. They travelled in small groups and joined others along the way. Some said rebel forces guided them, but others said they made the journey without assistance. Many left their smallest children behind, bringing only those who could walk, a few belongings, and small amounts of food and water for the journey, which lasted from one week to 10 days in most cases.

“We walked at night and rested during the day,” said one 19-year-old woman who fled Mediam with her husband and child, walking for 10 days. “We didn’t eat. We just had water and leaves. We dug roots.”

Sexual Violence

Seventeen of the refugees interviewed reported specific incidents of rape or sexual violence at the hands of soldiers or militia. Some provided names of young women in their towns who had been forced into marriages with members of the military or militia.

Ramadan, a 27-year-old veterinarian from Musfa, said soldiers and Fellata militia raped his aunt, beat his uncle, and stole money and a phone while raiding their family compound on August 25. He said he took his aunt to the hospital. “The soldiers took turns raping her, one after the other,” he said. “We went to the police station to report, but instead of taking the information they wanted to beat us. They said that if we tried to come back and continued saying this, they would beat us.”

Hawa, 20, from Musfa, said that during Ramadan in June and July, a group of soldiers arrested her in the market and took her to an isolated place, where they raped her. “They raped me one after the other and they beat me,” she said. “I tried to resist and they pulled me to the ground and then they left me.” She lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital in Damazin, where she remained for 10 days, she said.

Ibrahim, a 26-year-old man from Musfa, said that he witnessed a group of armed Fellata militia men attack and rape two women around the same time:

They were taking turns raping the women.… The women were crying and saying please, come help us. Nobody came. I was hiding in the grass, maybe 100 meters away. I knew them very well. They came to the village every day.… I was supposed to help them but the Fellata would have shot me.

Mohammed, a farmer and father of six living in Khor Maganza, a town where refugees were forced to live near a military barracks in a camp-like setting, said that in mid-2014 the RSF had raped his wife in their home:

I was sitting with my wife and six kids. They came and threatened me with a gun. They were eight men in uniforms and they were all RSF. They said ‘go away’ and pointed the guns at me. I ran far away. When I came back an hour later, my wife was in the house and she was crying. She said that these people slept with her and did bad things to her. Two of the soldiers raped her.

Amira, a 14-year-old girl who had lived with her family in Khor Maganza, told researchers that in September soldiers arrested her, her sister, and her mother, and took all three of them to a military barracks, then raped them in separate locations before bringing them home. “We were raped by different soldiers and taken to different places,” she said. “Four soldiers raped me.”

Intisar, 18, who also had been living in Khor Maganza, said that during an incident last year she heard soldiers raping her neighbor, a 14-year-old girl, as government soldiers took turns guarding the house. “It lasted more than an hour,” Intisar said. “I could hear her from my house. She was crying and calling for help, but nobody would come.”

Aziza, a 19-year-old from another town, Sinjanabuk, said that during Ramadan soldiers from a nearby barracks attacked and raped her during a house-to-house search:

There were five men, wearing khaki and holding weapons. They came into my house. I was alone with my mother-in-law.… The men were looking for my husband. They said he is anyanya [rebel] and told me I have to tell the truth where he is. They sent my mother-in-law outside and two of them raped me in the bedroom and the other three stood outside.

Raids, House-to-House Searches

The majority of refugees interviewed said soldiers carried out raids and house-to-house searches, ostensibly in search of rebels, during which they also beat, sexually abused, and arbitrarily detained civilians and stole their personal property.

Many of those who fled Khor Maganza said the soldiers were joined by damseri, meaning the RSF. The RSF carried out massive ground attacks on dozens of villages in south and north Darfur earlier in 2014, burning and looting homes and shops and killing and robbing civilians, targeting areas where they accused the population of sympathizing with the rebels.

Abdelrahman, 30, said the forces periodically “would come to your house and they would beat people. They would ask many questions like: ‘Do you have brothers? Are they with SPLA-North?’ They came in trucks and were wearing uniforms, searching the houses. They took telephones.”

Mohammed, a 49-year-old man from Khor Maganza said the RSF raided his home four times:

The last time they arrived in pick-up trucks with machine guns, surrounded the camp [town], came in, and started beating people for no reason.… They said my brother was with the rebels. Four soldiers beat me. They asked me to lie down on the ground and beat me with sticks and their feet. I was in pain for many days.

Jalila, a 19-year-old from Kumreek, also lived in Khor Maganza and recalled a similar raid, during which her brother was arrested:

They were going to many houses and arresting the men. They were accusing us of feeding the SPLA-North.… I saw the soldiers come. They were many in groups of three or four. They entered houses and asked for phones and numbers and looked through our belongings.

Refugees from other neighboring villages described similar raids, during which they or family members were beaten, raped, or detained by RSF and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

“They first arrived in August but they would come and go,” said Issa, a 28-year-old father of five who had lived in the small town of Musfa. “They took everything from us, even the property of the kids, a bag, clothes, and a donkey to carry the stolen property.”

A 30-year-old man from Khor Adar, near Musfa, said: “One day in August they came at night and said the rebels lived here. They collected [many people] and started beating us with sticks. Some arrived in August but most arrived in September and everything got much worse.”

Idris, an 18-year-old boy from nearby Bulang, said the RSF had come four times during 2014 to conduct roundups: “The damseri [RSF] came and burned huts of civilians…. They suspect there are rebels inside. They took a motorcycle one time.”

Arbitrary Detentions, Ill-Treatment, Torture

At least 12 people said that they were detained or that close family members had been detained at various times since the conflict started. Former detainees described harsh conditions and beatings by security forces.

Rahama, a 21-year-old man from Bulang, said that in March soldiers arrested him and 13 other men in the middle of the night during a roundup: “I was sleeping and they came and asked for the men…. They tied my hands and asked who I belong to. I said I am just a farmer. Then they beat me and tied my feet and put me in a truck.”

The group was detained in an underground cell in Deirang for several hours, then transferred to a prison in Roseris, where they were held without charge for three months. The prison officers beat the detainees so severely that two of them died, he said. Human Rights Watch could not verify the deaths.

Amna, a 26-year-old woman from Bagis, near Damazin, said that about a year ago government soldiers came to her house and beat her and arrested her for giving food to rebels, which she said she admitted doing. They detained her in a military prison in Damazin for more than a month:

There were some other women outside the cells but I was alone inside. They would give me food sometimes once every two days. Every day they beat me … they would tell me to have sex with them but when I refused they would beat me. They slapped me in the face and beat me with a plastic rod.

Jalila, a 19-year-old woman from Kumreek, also displaced to Khor Maganza, said her brother Bashir was arrested in August during a roundup. “They were going to many houses and arrested many men,” she said. He was taken to Deirang and Roseris prison, where he was held for a week. “He had wounds on [his] back from the beatings with sticks.”

Hawa, a 20-year-old from Musfa, said soldiers arrested her brother at their home earlier in 2014, detained him for about a month in Bulang and Roseris prison, and beat and tortured him:

He said he was tortured with pliers. Some skin is still scarred. When he came back he was weak and his body was wounded. He was sick with skin disease. He could not move and is still not able to work…. When I tried to greet him he could not raise his hand.

Human Rights Watch documented arbitrary detentions and abuse of detainees in Damazin and Roseris shortly after conflict erupted in 2011. Several of the refugees newly arrived to South Sudan in 2014 reported similar experiences from the same period.

Sidiq, 25, from Fadamiya said at the beginning of the war in 2011 that he was arrested and detained for two months in a military prison in Damazin with 50 others, and frequently beaten on his back with a pipe or stick:

The situation was not good, there was not enough food, only one [piece of] bread in the morning and one in the evening. I was very hungry. I lost some weight and was feeling weak. One of my brothers is in SAF and came to get me out. He asked them why they had taken me [since] I was a civilian.

Ahmed, 32, from Kumreek, said he was detained in 2011 because he refused to join the army. Soldiers took him to the Roseris prison together with others who refused to join the army: “It was 5 a.m. when they took me. They tied my hands in the back and took me to their commanders. They said I was anyanya [rebel].… They told me to go a SAF training camp but I refused.” He was detained for three months. In prison, he said conditions were harsh, without enough food or soap, and he saw many of the other inmates being beaten badly. “They make people lie on their stomach, tie their legs with chains, and then whip them,” he said.

Abusive and Discriminatory Enforcement of Movement and Food Restrictions

Many of the refugees said that after conflict started in 2011, soldiers forced them to move from their villages or fields to camp-like settings with others displaced by the conflict near government military barracks.

Although curfews, certain restrictions on movement, or food rationing may be justified on security grounds in times of armed conflict, international law prohibits excessive use of force, beatings, rapes, arbitrary confiscation of property, theft, and other violations that the refugees described as routine in these government-controlled areas.

“Many people tried to leave but were not allowed,” said Idris, an 18-year-old boy from Bulang. He said soldiers curtailed movement at night, sometimes by shooting people.

“We were not allowed to walk far from the camp. If they found you, they would beat you,” said Intisar, an 18-year-old woman from Khor Maganza.

Many refugees from several locations specified that armed Fellata militias, rather than soldiers, were abusive in enforcing restrictions on civilians.

Hanan, mother of five from Musfa, said: “Since the conflict started, we had a hard time because of the Fellata. This year we could not cultivate because of the harassment. There was no way to reach the fields.”

An 18-year-old youth from Sinjanabuk said: “There is no freedom of movement because of the Fellata – they will beat you. They say to civilians ‘you are rebels’ and when they see you walking on the road they say you belong to Malik Agar [the commander of the SPLA-North].”

Several people said that soldiers confiscated food that aid groups had distributed, allowing the civilians to take only small quantities at a time ostensibly to prevent them from giving it to rebels.

Siham, a 16-year-old girl from Bulang, said that soldiers routinely harassed the women for grinding too much millet, and confiscated food after a distribution by a humanitarian organization: “There was a food distribution and SAF came to search for it after the NGO left. The soldiers took half of what we got.”

Sudan: North Darfur's Tawila villages attacked and threatened

14 December 2014 - 8:56pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

TAWILA (12 Dec.) - Militiamen attacked and robbed three villages east of Tawila in North Darfur, on Thursday afternoon. Residents of another village near Tawila have received dead threats from militiamen, who demanded the recovering of livestock they have lost last weekend.

They beat the residents of Konjara, Um Burma, and Kaima villages, located 10 km east of Tawila town, and robbed them of their livestock and belongings. Mukhtar Bosh, an Omda in the area, also told Radio Dabanga that a number of people has fled the villages.

“The pro-government militiamen were driving in vehicles and others on camels and horses at the time of the attack on the villages,” he revealed.

Officials order villagers to obey militiamen

On Sunday, militiamen threatened to commit killings and robberies in Hillet Hajar, 7 km west of Tawila, if the residents do not recover a number of livestock. Bosh explained that the militia members claimed to have lost 32 camels and 117 cows since they entered the area. They have given the villagers until this Sunday to find the camels, and gave four persons ten days to recover the cows.

The Omda reported that officials in the area have held three meetings from Monday to Wednesday since the issue of the lost animals arose. “The army commander and the commander of the Central Reserve Forces ('Abu Tira') in Tawila, as well as 50 Sheikhs of Rwanda, Dali, and Argo camps, and the head of a militia called Badr Abu Kineish attended these meetings.

“The outcome of the meetings obliged the people of Hillet Hajar to recover the camels and cows.” Bosh added that Kineish gave the residents the four-day ultimatum, until this Sunday, to recover the 32 camels. His other deadline for four villagers to recover the 117 cows expires after ten days.

Sudan: Central Darfur villagers kidnapped

14 December 2014 - 8:44pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

Militiamen raided Kolkul village in Zalingei locality, Central Darfur, and kidnapped nine villagers on Saturday. The next day, they released three of them, after a ransom had been paid.

A group of gunmen on about 13 horses and camels attacked Kolkul at about 6 am on Saturday, the coordinator of the Zalingei camps told Radio Dabanga. “They searched the houses and captured village elder Saleh Haroun (45), Abdelaziz Shogar Musa (40), Osman Abakar (39), Abdallah Ishag (38), Maryam Shogar Musa (37), Hasan Adam Mohamed (35), Halima Shogar Musa (27), Fatima Shogar Musa (25), and Nurelsham Adam.”

The coordinator explained that the raid came in response to the wounding of a militiaman the day before. “One of them had tried to rape a woman of the village on Friday. Her husband intervened, and injured the assailant.”

“On Sunday”, he added, “the kidnappers released Saleh Haroun, Nurelsham Adam, and Maryam Shogar Musa, after a ransom of SDG500 ($87) had been paid for each of them.”

Sudan: Militia kill nine, torch 'voluntary return' village in South Darfur

14 December 2014 - 8:40pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

On Saturday, nine villagers were killed, and their homes burned to ashes in an attack by militiamen on Abu Jabra in Gireida locality, South Darfur.

“About five weeks ago, the people of Abu Jabra had returned to their village, in the voluntary return programme organised by the Darfur Regional Authority,” an eyewitness from a neighbouring village told Radio Dabanga. “The formerly displaced had begun to settle themselves again at the place, located 20 km north of Gireida town.”

“However, on Saturday afternoon, a large group of about 100 militiamen on camels and horses attacked the village, without any warning or clear reason. They fired at the people, killing nine instantly. After pillaging the entire village, they set it ablaze.”

The villagers shot dead are Yasin Abdallah Mohamed, imam of the village mosque, Abdelaziz Musa Abdelaziz, teacher at the village school, Mohamed Eidam Ahmed, Mohamed Saleh Musa, Ali Adam Ali, Suleiman Musa Adam, Adam Eisa Jaber, Tijani Osman Mahdi, and Ilyas Mohamed Ali.

About 500 families arrived, with six wounded, at the Babanusa camp for the displaced in Gireida locality, a camp elder reported to Radio Dabanga. “The wounded were immediately taken to the Nyala Teaching hospital. The newly displaced told us that there are at least 200 families that fled into the desert.”

Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya of El Salam camp in neighbouring Bielel locality told Radio Dabanga on Sunday afternoon that he expects people to return to the camp from Abu Jabra. “Not long ago, they had left El Salam to resettle at their village again.”

The village of Abu Jabra was razed to the ground before on 8 May 2005.

Sudan: UNAMID reaches out to Tina community

14 December 2014 - 3:29pm
Source: UN-AU Mission in Darfur Country: Chad, Sudan

On 10 December 2014, some 700 people attended a cultural event organized by the African Union- United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in Tina, North Darfur, to disseminate the culture of peace.

The event, held under the theme “Darfur: Talk Peace Now,” brought together school students, internally displaced persons and many Darfuri refugees living in Chad.

Due to the close proximity to the border with Chad, the movement of people between the Sudanese Tina locality and Chadian locality with the same name is frequent. The Darfuri students who live in Chad take an hour-walk back and forth to attend school in their hometown, Tina Sudan. In addition to this, other people, especially traders, move on a daily-basis between the two border areas. Despite the majority of the Darfuri population of Tina have remained in the Chadian Tina since 2003, few families have permanently returned.

The ceremony, which was marked by folk dances, theatre and cultural shows, presented an opportunity for the audience to recall the spirit of peaceful coexistence prevalent in the past. “I have really yearned for the past where we were all together,” stated Hawa Hamid, a 55-year woman. While Ms. Hamid is among those who fled to Chad ten years ago due to fighting in Tina, she hopes that peace will prevail in Darfur.

Meanwhile, speakers to the event highlighted the pivotal role of culture in bringing people together and enhancing the fabric of the society.

“It is good to come together,” said Jafar Bushara, the Commissioner of Tina Locality, commending the role of culture in enhancing peace and ensuring the coherence of the society. “Such event ushers in peace and stability and the return of refugees and the internally displaced people,” he said. Mr. Bushara called on the gathering to care about culture for the sake of a unified and peaceful society.

Anwar Abdalla, a representative of youth in Tina, stated that such cultural event is effective in enhancing the spirit of solidarity and togetherness among people. “The event will allow us to maintain values such as solidarity through coming together,” he added, calling for further similar events to make more impact in this community.

On behalf of UNAMID, Albert Malou, Commander of Tina Team Site, reaffirmed the need for raising peace issue. “We are here today to talk about peace and I call on you to maintain peace,” said the Commander.

Mr. Malou briefed the gathering on the UNAMID mandate priorities which include protection of civilians, providing support for the tribal reconciliations and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

UNAMID, through its Community Outreach Unit, has regularly been organizing events in different communities across Darfur in an attempt to consolidate peace and foster peaceful coexistence among the local communities.

Sudan: Killing and rape by the Janjaweed militia in Darfur 5-10 December

14 December 2014 - 1:34pm
Source: SUDO (UK) Country: Sudan

WEST DARFUR

KASS locality ­-10th December

Four Janjaweed militia men attacked and raped a pregnant IDP women in her farm in ARLY area north-east of KASS locality. The woman was taken to KASS hospital where she lost her baby. The police were informed.

NERTITI IDP Camp 9th December

Around 6.00am a group of Janjaweed militia attacked the IDP Camp in NERTITI, killing a child named Mulazim Abakr Ishag. They looted some of the IDPs’ belongings. Police were informed.

On the same day two Janjaweed militia men attacked the IDP Sayda Ahmed Musa in her farm and attempted to rape her. When she resisted she was shot dead. Her family found her body in the farm and informed the police.

NERTITI IDP Camp 6th December

Under the watch of the UNAMID a group of Janjaweed militia men attacked the IDP camp in NERTITI locality, killing two IDPs, and injuring four and looting the IDPs’ belongs. Those who were killed:

1.Adam Ismail Hussain
2.Younis Adam Tour

Those who were injured:
1.Abdel Razag Al-Tijani 2.Zakariya Omar Mohammed 3.Salih Omar Mohammed 4.Zakariya Ibrahim Adam SOUTH DARFUR

Al-Salam IDP Camp 7th December

Janjaweed militias attacked a group of IDP farmers who went to their farm south-east of NYALA city in a rented car to collect their cultivated crops. The militia men killed three of the farmers and injured four. UNAMID and the police were informed.

Those who were killed:

  1. Abdallah Adam Mohammed Toum

  2. Yousif Abdallah Abdel Karim

  3. Abdallah Abdel Karim Adam

Those who were injured and taken to Nyala Hospital are;

1.Mohamed Abdel Karim Adam
2. Yahya Abdel Karim Adam
3. Mubarak Abdallah Mohammed
4. Musa Yousif Adam

On the same day around 8.00pm four members of the Janjaweed militia attacked and killed Issam Nureddin in his shop in Al-Salam IDP Camp. They looted the shop and severely beat and injured Ahmed Nour who has been transferred to Nyala hospital for treatment. The police were informed.

On the 8th December two Janjaweed militia men attacked, raped and beat two IDP girls in their farm on the outskirts of Al-Salam IDP camp. They were found by their families in a very bad physical condition and they were taken to the camp clinic. The police were informed.

MANAWASHI village 5th December

On 5 December 2014 Haroun Abdel Aziz was kidnapped from his house in MANAWASHI village around 10.00pm by three members of the Janjaweed militia. In the morning he was found dead in a farm near the village. Police were informed.

Recommendations:

SUDO UK calls on the government to disband the Janjaweed militias and investigate and hold accountable those who are responsible from killing and terrorizing the civilian in Darfur.

SUDO UK calls on the UN Security Council to exercise its duties by the establishment of an effective mechanism to protect civilians in Darfur as UNAMID is failing to give security or protection to farmers and other civilians who are now in an increasingly disastrous situation in Darfur.

Sudan: Sudan's Bashir hails ICC decision to halt Darfur probe

14 December 2014 - 2:00am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Sudan

Khartoum, Sudan | AFP | Sunday 12/14/2014 - 02:00 GMT

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Saturday hailed the International Criminal Court's suspension of its investigations into alleged war crimes in Darfur, accusing it of trying to "humiliate and subjugate" his country.

Bashir is wanted by the ICC over alleged war crimes in the western region, where the government has been trying to crush an insurgency since 2003.

The ICC's prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Friday she was halting investigations to "shift resources to other urgent cases", and criticised the UN Security Council for failing to push for Bashir's arrest.

Bashir said in a speech in Khartoum that the decision came about "because of the Sudanese people's refusal to be humiliated and to kneel down", state news agency SUNA reported.

He called the ICC one of the "tools aimed to humiliate and subjugate" Sudan, SUNA said.

Bensouda's decision to halt the Darfur investigations comes amid rising difficulties for the ICC, which dropped charges of crimes against humanity against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last week.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday called on African countries to withdraw from the ICC, saying the court had become a "tool to target" the continent.

Darfur erupted into conflict in 2003 when ethnic insurgents rebelled against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, complaining they were being marginalised.

The UN says the unrest in Darfur has killed 300,000 people and displaced two million, while the government puts the death toll at around 10,000.

The UN Security Council remains deeply divided over the Darfur crisis, with China a key ally of the Khartoum regime.

Bensouda warned that without action on Darfur from the Security Council, the cases against Bashir and three other indicted Sudanese suspects would remain deadlocked.

"What is needed is a dramatic shift in this council's approach to arresting Darfur suspects," Bensouda told the 15-member council.

She also said allegations that Sudanese forces raped 200 women and girls in a Darfur village in late October "should shock this council into action".

Khartoum has refused to allow the UN-African Union mission in Darfur to fully investigate the incident since a first visit by peacekeepers to the village of Tabit in November took place under heavy Sudanese military presence.

Sudan has since asked UNAMID to form an exit strategy from the region, and Bashir hinted on Saturday that his government would not change its mind due to outside pressure because "no one will impose their opinion on Sudan".

Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for 25 years, became the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC in 2009, but he has since continued to travel to countries that have been unwilling to take him into custody.

Over the past months, he travelled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Ethiopia, which were asked by the court to arrest him.

tl/srm/kjl/st

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

South Sudan: South Sudan Situation UNHCR Regional Update, 44 (08 – 12 December 2014)

12 December 2014 - 10:36pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Almost a full year of conflict (15 December 2013) has devastated the lives of the majority of South Sudan’s people, killed tens of thousands and ravaged key parts of the country. 2014 has been a year of violence, abuse and displacement which has forced almost two million people from their homes. The conflict has been brutal: killings, rape, destruction and the loss of livelihoods have left open wounds which will take much time to heal.

  • The representative for the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan, Ms. Ellen Margethe Loej, has called on South Sudan’s warring parties to move swiftly to end the country’s one-year-old conflict by “injecting a new sense of urgency” to peace negotiations. Ms. Loej was speaking at a press conference at the UN Mission in South Sudan’s (UNMISS) Tomping compound in Juba on 11 December. She said the new mandate of peacekeepers focusing on protection of civilians sends a clear message to political leaders.

  • 11 December 2014 (Khartoum) - Sudan and South Sudan joint border technical committee failed to reach an agreement over the start of border demarcation process during meetings held in Khartoum this week. The two countries held a series of meetings from 7 to 11 December on how to demarcate the 80% non-disputed zones of the 2,010-km border between the two countries. Since the South Sudan independence three years ago, the two countries renew their commitment to demarcate the agreed boundary and to establish a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) over the disputed zones but nothing is done on the ground. Analysts say the new dynamic created by the South Sudan crisis and the emergence of the rebel SPLM-In-Opposition complicates the implementation of the 27 September 2012 agreement.

Sudan: Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2189 (2014), Welcomes NATO-Afghan Government Agreement to Establish Post-2014 Non-Combat Mission (SC/11697)

12 December 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Sudan

7338th Meeting (AM)
Security Council
Meetings Coverage

Underscoring the importance of continued international support for Afghanistan, the Security Council today welcomed the agreement between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Afghan Government to establish a post‑2014 non-combat mission in that country to aid national defence and security forces.

Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2189 (2014), the 15-nation body looked forward to the new mission’s leadership in working with the Afghan Government and cooperating with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

The text noted that the bilateral Status of Forces Agreement between NATO and Afghanistan, signed on 30 September and ratified by the Afghan Parliament on 27 November of this year, provided a sound legal basis for the Resolute Support Mission, which would train, advise and assist national forces after the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force on 31 December.

Also by the text, the Council affirmed its readiness to revisit the resolution in the context of its consideration of the situation in that country.

Following the adoption, Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, noted that in just 29 days, Afghan National Defence and Security Forces would assume “full responsibility” for the security of the country.

“At this crucial juncture in our history, this resolution signifies the necessity of enduring and long-term support for Afghanistan,” he said, expressing gratitude to NATO and international partners for their commitment to support Afghan security forces.

The country, however, faced challenges ahead, he said, citing continued terror attacks by Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Just yesterday, a suicide bomber attacked a French school in Kabul, killing civilians and injuring 15, and a few weeks ago, a suicide bomber attacked a crowd watching a volleyball match in Paktika province, killing over 50 people. The unity Government understood that peace and stability could not be achieved through security measures alone, and to that end, it was embarking upon an ambitious reform agenda, he said.

The meeting began at 11:40 a.m. and ended at 11:45 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2189 (2014) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,

“Recognizing Afghanistan’s gains since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, in particular on democracy, governance, institution building, economic development and human rights,

“Condemning the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs,

“Reaffirming the importance of sustainable progress on security, development, human rights, in particular for women and children, democracy, governance, the fight against corruption, economic development, taking all appropriate measures to ensure the protection of civilians and of addressing the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics,

“Underscoring the importance of continued international support for Afghanistan, and in this regard, welcoming and emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation on Afghanistan, as well as the process by which Afghanistan and its regional and international partners are entering into long-term strategic partnership and other agreements, aimed at achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan,

“Emphasizing the important role that the United Nations continues to play in support of Afghanistan’s full assumption of leadership and ownership in the areas of security, governance and development, welcoming, in this regard, the continued role the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and noting that the Secretary-General reports to the Security Council every three months on developments in Afghanistan,

“Acknowledging the contribution of Afghanistan’s partners to peace and security in Afghanistan,

“Welcoming the increased capacities and capabilities of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, looking forward to the completion of security transition at the end of 2014, after which Afghan authorities will assume full responsibility for security, noting the conclusion of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) at the end of 2014, and underscoring the importance of sustained international support to continue building the capacities and capabilities of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces,

“Taking note of the Secretary-General’s letter of 28 November 2014 (S/2014/856) transmitting the final report on ISAF operations in Afghanistan,

“Underlining the significance of the Lisbon, Bonn and Chicago Declarations on Afghanistan, which stressed the long-term commitment, beyond 2014, to lasting peace, security and stability in Afghanistan,

“Underlining the significance of the NATO Wales Summit Declaration on Afghanistan of 5 September 2014, which outlined the role of NATO and contributing partners in supporting lasting peace, security and stability in Afghanistan beyond 2014, including the non-combat Resolute Support Mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, the contribution to the financial sustainment of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, and the long-term NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership,

“Noting the signing of the Security and Defence Cooperation Agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Bilateral Security Agreement) on 30 September 2014, and welcoming the signing of the Status of Forces Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and NATO on 30 September 2014 and as ratified by the Parliament of Afghanistan on 27 November 2014,

“Noting that the bilateral agreement between NATO and Afghanistan and the invitation of the Government of Afghanistan to NATO to establish Resolute Support Mission provide a sound legal basis for Resolute Support Mission,

“1. Underscores the importance of continued international support for the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and of further enhancing the capabilities and capacities of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in order for them to maintain security and stability throughout the country, and in this regard, welcomes the agreement between NATO and Afghanistan to establish the post-2014 non-combat Resolute Support Mission, which will train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces at the invitation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan;

“2. Looks forward to the leadership of Resolute Support Mission working with the Government of Afghanistan and in close coordination and cooperation, where relevant, with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan;

“3. Welcomes the commitment of the international community to continue providing substantial support to the Afghan Government and people, and notes in this regard the long-term NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership, Afghanistan’s bilateral Strategic Partnership Agreements and other bilateral agreements with other countries;

“4. Affirms its readiness to revisit this resolution in the context of the Council’s consideration of the situation in Afghanistan.”

For information media. Not an official record.

Sudan: Amid Growing Brutality in Darfur, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Urges Security Council to Rethink Tactics for Arresting War Crime Suspects

12 December 2014 - 7:55pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Sudan

SC/11696

7337th Meeting (AM)
Security Council
Meetings Coverage

As the situation in Darfur continued to deteriorate, crimes were being committed there with greater brutality, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the Security Council this morning in her semi-annual briefing, urging the 15-member body to define a new approach to addressing the issues arising from the conflict.

Women and girls continued to bear the brunt of sustained attacks on innocent civilians, Fatou Bensouda said. “Victims of rape are asking themselves how many more women should be brutally attacked for this Council to appreciate the magnitude of their plight.”

None of the individuals indicted by the Court to answer charges of the commission of crimes in Darfur had been brought to justice, and some continued to be implicated in atrocities against innocent civilians. In such a situation, she said, all she could do before the Council was repeat the same thing over and over again.

In the almost 10 years that her Office had been reporting to the Council, there had never been a strategic recommendation provided, she said, nor had there been any discussion resulting in concrete solutions for the problems faced in the Darfur situation. The stalemate could only embolden perpetrators to continue their brutality.

The recent allegations of rape of 200 women and girls in Thabit should shock the Council into action, she said. “It is unacceptable that investigations of such sensitive and serious crimes were conducted in a situation in which perpetrators had effective control over their victims in their homes and in their villages, and where investigators can offer no protection to victims after they have left the scene of the crime,” she said.

The Government of Sudan had the primary responsibility and was fully able to implement the Court’s warrants of arrest consistent with its sovereign authority, she said. That Government had consistently failed to do that or provide any meaningful measure of justice at the national level.

“I remain open to constructively engage with the Council on the Darfur issue. What is needed is a dramatic shift in this Council’s approach to arresting Darfur suspects,” she said.

After her briefing, Council members urged the Sudanese authorities to ensure full and unimpeded access to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), investigators and humanitarian agencies to complete their mission, while also calling for stepped-up efforts towards achieving a political settlement. Delegates also expressed alarm over the alleged mass rape in Thabit, with Chad’s representative, speaking in his national capacity, calling for an independent and impartial investigation to clarify the matter.

The representative of Nigeria commended the Prosecutor’s Office for monitoring trends in Sudan and unequivocally condemned any acts that targeted civilians, aid workers and peacekeepers, adding that there could be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur.

The United Kingdom’s representative called on the Sudanese Government to enforce all the arrest warrants issued by the Court. Where States failed to comply with their obligations, the Council must respond and it was regrettable that it had not yet done so.

Since February 2009, African Heads of State and Government had consistently requested that the Court’s proceedings against President al‑Bashir be withdrawn in the interest of finding a peaceful solution, the representative of Rwanda said. There must be a balance between peace and justice to achieve lasting peace.

Justice could not bring back the lives lost, the representative of the United States said, but it served as a foundation for healing. The Sudanese people had waited far too long to see the crimes against them punished.

Also speaking today were representatives of Australia, Russian Federation, Jordan, Luxembourg, China, Argentina, Lithuania, Republic of Korea, Chile and France.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 11:40 a.m.

Briefing

FATOU BENSOUDA, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said none of the individuals indicted by the International Criminal Court to answer charges of the commission of crimes in Darfur had been brought to justice, and some continued to be implicated in atrocities committed against innocent civilians. It was becoming increasingly difficult for her to appear before the Council and purport to be updating it when all she was doing was repeating the same thing over and over again. Not only did the situation in Darfur continue to deteriorate, the brutality with which crimes were committed had become more pronounced. Women and girls continued to bear the brunt of sustained attacks on innocent civilians. “Victims of rape are asking themselves how many more women should be brutally attacked for this Council to appreciate the magnitude of their plight.”

In the almost 10 years that her Office had been reporting to the Council, there had never been a strategic recommendation provided, she said, nor had there been any discussion resulting in concrete solutions for the problems faced in the Darfur situation. The stalemate could only embolden perpetrators to continue their brutality. The international community needed to define a new approach, which required strategic thinking and changes from all sides, she said. Unless there was such a change, there shall continue to be little or nothing to report for the foreseeable future. “The question for the Council to answer is what meaningful purpose is my reporting intended to serve and whether that purpose is being achieved,” she said.

The recent allegations of rape of 200 women and girls in Thabit should shock the Council into action, she said. The Council must demonstrate its strong condemnation of the Government of Sudan’s failure to facilitate access to Thabit and should demand unimpeded full investigations of those crimes without delay.

“It is unacceptable that investigations of such sensitive and serious crimes were conducted in a situation in which perpetrators had effective control over their victims in their homes and in their villages, and where investigators can offer no protection to victims after they have left the scene of the crime, she said.

She thanked the Secretary-General for taking immediate steps to investigate allegations of manipulation and underreporting by the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and expressed hope the Council would take appropriate steps to address the issues identified in her Office’s report and implement its recommendations. Her Office had taken note of Sudanese President Omar al‑Bashir’s travels during the reporting period, which were markedly fewer. The question of Mr. al‑Bashir’s travels remained a matter before the Council as did his status as a fugitive from justice.

Sharing the Council’s deep concern at the serious deterioration of the security situation in Darfur and its profoundly negative impact on civilians, in particular women and children, she said massive new displacements this year had compounded an already fragile situation. Equally concerning was the ongoing patterns of aerial bombardments and armed attacks on civilian populations by militia/Janjaweed, particularly, the ongoing involvement of the newest iteration of the Janjaweed, the Rapid Support Forces, led by Mohamed Hamdan.

The Government of Sudan had the primary responsibility and was fully able to implement the Court’s warrants of arrest consistent with its sovereign authority, she said. That Government had consistently failed to do that or provide any meaningful measure of justice at the national level. “I remain open to constructively engage with the Council on the Darfur issue. What is needed is a dramatic shift in this Council's approach to arresting Darfur suspects,” she said, suggesting that concerted effort to promote cooperation with the Court may help to fill the gap.

Statements

MICHAEL BLISS (Australia) said the Council had previously expressed concern at reports of mass rape in Thabit and called on the Government of Sudan to investigate the allegations. Taking into account the challenges associated with the investigations of crimes of sexual violence, it was essential to ensure that the Sudanese Government’s domestic criminal investigations met international standards. Sudan must fully cooperate with UNAMID to enable thorough and independent investigations of those allegations, and meet its obligation under Council resolution 1593 (2005) to cooperate with the Court. While it continued to be important that the Council provided strong support to political reconciliation efforts in Sudan, the ongoing violence demonstrated the challenges the process was facing. Without justice, it would be difficult to bring an inclusive and lasting peace to Darfur.

KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) commended the Secretary-General for launching a review of the allegations concerning manipulation of UNAMID reporting and stated that UNAMID had issued a press release on 10 November, finding no evidence of a mass rape in Thabit. Sudanese authorities must continue to cooperate with the Mission. Nigeria also commended the Prosecutor’s Office for monitoring trends in Sudan and unequivocally condemned any acts that targeted civilians, aid workers and peacekeepers. Millions had been displaced within the country and faced crisis levels of insecurity. Nigeria urged all concerned to lift restrictions on humanitarian agencies. There could be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur.

EVGENY T. ZAGAYNOV (Russian Federation) said that the main source of violence in Darfur was the intercommunal conflict and welcomed the Sudanese authorities’ efforts to appease the warring tribes. The economic hardships that Sudan suffered from must be resolved through timely implementation of the Doha Document and lifting of the United States-imposed sanctions against Sudan. Due to obstruction by insurgents, the November negotiations in Addis Ababa had failed and it was time for targeted Council resolutions against the hard-line rebel groups. Both UNAMID and the Sudanese authorities had conducted investigations into the alleged mass rape. Not a single victim or witness was found by either. There had been demonstrations by locals angered by the scurrilous claims by Radio Dabanga that cast aspersion on the dignity of local women. Such allegations were an example of the information war. He urged the Court to carry out an objective assessment of events in Sudan.

MAHMOUD DAIFALLAH MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan) reiterated his country’s continued support for the Court and the principles for which it was founded. The Rome Statute had provided for the mechanisms to end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious and achieve international criminal justice. Darfur was the first case referred by the Council to the Court. However, the relationship between the Council and the Court must not be limited to referrals of cases and public briefings. The Council must give the Court more support to implement its mandate without interfering with its proceedings. Jordan was deeply concerned about what the Prosecutor’s report said about continued serious crimes, aerial bombardments, attacks against civilians and sexual crimes. The Court must continue collecting evidence against the new crimes.

HELEN MULVEIN (United Kingdom) said that her country regretted the lack of improvement in the situation in Darfur. The ongoing aerial bombardments, sexual and gender-based violence against civilians, and the arbitrary arrest of opposition figures painted a deeply worrying picture. The United Kingdom was also concerned that the latest round of talks had not reached a breakthrough. All parties must resume talks at the earliest opportunity. Condemning the attacks against UNAMID, she called on the Sudanese authorities to take steps to ensure safety of its personnel. UNAMID must be able to investigate any allegations and it was vital that all findings should be shared transparently. 31 March 2015 would mark 10 years since the situation in Darfur was referred to the Court. The Government of Sudan had “comprehensively and conspicuously” failed to meet its obligations to cooperate with the Court. She called on the Government to enforce all the arrest warrants issued by the Court. Where States failed to comply with their obligations, the Council must respond and it was regrettable that the Council had not yet done so.

SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg) said 10 years after the Council had referred the Darfur case to the Court, the Sudanese Government had failed to extradite the individuals indicted for committing crimes there, which was unacceptable. She expressed hope the Council would follow up on cases it had referred to the Court. The situation in Darfur had deteriorated and required concerted international action. Instead, crimes likely to fall under the Rome Statute continued to be perpetrated. She encouraged the Court’s Prosecutor to continue to investigate the situation in the ground despite the difficulties posed by the non-cooperation by Sudanese authorities. It was disturbing that UNAMID had not been allowed unimpeded access to Thabit to conduct comprehensive and impartial investigations of the allegations of rape. The fact that the Council could refer cases to the Court made it an important actor in determining culpability.

CAI WEIMING (China) supported the Government of Sudan’s efforts to promote a political solution and welcomed recent initiatives in that regard. He expressed hope that the parties concerned would show maturity and work strenuously towards a comprehensive solution. Only by promoting an inclusive political process in good faith could a comprehensive and lasting solution be achieved. China had taken note on the Thabit attacks and hoped UNAMID would strengthen cooperation with the Government of Sudan to find a settlement without exacerbating the situation.

EMMANUEL NIBISHAKA (Rwanda) said that since February 2009 African Heads of State and Government had consistently requested that the Court’s proceedings against President al‑Bashir be withdrawn in the interest of finding a peaceful solution. The African States that had received the Sudanese President were acting in conformity with that joint stand. The deterioration of the situation on the ground threatened innocent civilians, which was a source of concern. The Sudanese Government needed to cooperate with UNAMID to investigate the attacks in Thabit and elsewhere. The Government had the primary responsibility to protect the people. There must be a balance between peace and justice to achieve lasting peace. Without the goodwill of the parties involved and support of the international community, that goal could not be attained.

MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina) said that she would not speak today about the proliferation of weapons or the women who were raped or the children who ate only in refugee camps twice a week. Instead she would focus on the Prosecutor’s report. “Argentina laments that human rights violations continue,” she said. It was absolutely vital to remove obstacles to the work of UNAMID. Given the proliferation of violence against women, it seemed that gender-based violence had become one of the key features of all conflicts that were addressed in the Council. “Is this new or is it that those crimes had become more visible?” she asked. The Government of Sudan must allow UNAMID unrestricted access to investigate the rape in Thabit. The Prosecutor must also investigate that crime. The Government of Sudan must also cooperate with the Court, providing all necessary assistance. The arrest warrants issued by the Court in 2007 were still not executed. The fight against impunity was not limited only to those countries who had signed the Rome Statute. Argentina urged all States to cooperate with the Court. If she was being repetitive, it was because the Prosecutor had also been repetitive. It was alarming that the repeated letters from the Court to the Council had not been responded to.

DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) said the current year “marked a truly sad milestone”. It had been 10 years since the Council urged the Government of Sudan to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and when it failed to do so, the Council had taken the historic step of referring the situation to Court. Over the past decade, the world had shown that it would combat impunity, bringing to justice a range of perpetrators from Charles Taylor in Liberia to the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime. But the progress that had occurred elsewhere had bypassed Darfur. The Sudanese Government’s lack of cooperation was so profound that a cooperation request from the Prosecutor regarding one of the indictees was returned to the Court, “envelope unopened”. The United States was deeply concerned about the mass rape in Thabit, which had not been fully investigated. The Government of Sudan must remove all obstacles to UNAMID’s full discharge of its mandate. The Mission had played a critical role in monitoring the facts on the ground. The Mission’s engagement with the public must be open and forthcoming. Justice could not bring back the lives lost, but it served as a foundation for healing. The Sudanese people had waited far too long to see the crimes against them punished.

NIDA JAKUBONÉ (Lithuania) said 10 years after the Council had referred the Darfur case to the Court, the people of Darfur still continued to suffer from widespread violence, impunity and displacement. Her delegation remained concerned about reports of mass rape of 200 women and girls in North Darfur, and the displacement of over 359,000 people by the attacks of pro-Government militias. Given that, she called upon the Government of Sudan to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of civilians and guarantee justice for the victims of attacks. Further, it was concerning that the Prosecutor of the Court faced numerous challenges in fulfilling its mandate, including lack of cooperation on the enforcement of the arrest warrants. She called upon Sudan to meet its obligations under Council resolution 1593 (2005) and welcomed accurate and timely reporting of UNAMID on the situation in Darfur.

OH JOON (Republic of Korea) said that despite the decade-long effort of the Prosecutor’s Office to achieve justice and end impunity in Darfur, the situation was deteriorating there. Simply denouncing or reprimanding attacks and abuses would not be enough, as events had demonstrated. The Prosecutor should continue to monitor the situation and required the full support of all concerned in conducting a full investigation of the attacks in Thabit. The Republic of Korea reiterated its support for all efforts of the Council to end impunity in Darfur and elsewhere.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) noted with concern that the humanitarian and security situation had deteriorated during the reporting period. The Court was absolutely essential to fighting impunity. The Prosecutor’s Office needed to continue investigating all reports of attacks and abuses. UNAMID should be allowed free access and freedom of movement to fulfil its mandate. The Council had a special commitment to the situation in Darfur and needed to continue its close cooperation with the Court, with the support of parties and non-parties of the Rome Statute.

TANGUY STEHELIN (France) said that 10 years after the adoption of Council resolution 1593 (2005), UNAMID was not fully able to implement its civilian protection mandate. The aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Army and the attacks against civilians by Sudanese security forces, the continued rapes and sexual violence by governmental armed forces and threats against humanitarian workers were all matters of concern. The situation of impunity would encourage continued atrocities. The November talks in Addis Ababa had not created any headway. The obstacles to the discharge of UNAMID’s mandate dashed any hopes of stabilization. Unhindered humanitarian access was crucial, but UNAMID was still subjected to restrictions, as in the case of its investigation of the alleged rape in Thabit. The Council must mobilize on two fronts, first by inducing all parties to stop attacking civilians and ensuring that UNAMID could implement its protection of civilians’ mandate. The Council must also improve cooperation with the Court and enable the arrest warrants to be implemented.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad), speaking in his national capacity, said that the deterioration of the security situation in Darfur and the negative impact on civilians was well-documented in the Secretary-General’s report. Chad believed that only independent and impartial investigations could clarify the matter of the alleged mass rape in Thabit. It was important to condemn the violence wherever it came from. Taking note of the efforts of the Sudanese Government to improve the situation, Chad urged that Government to fulfil its responsibilities to its citizens. To end to the suffering of the Sudanese people, it was necessary to the war in Darfur. And to do so, it was necessary to support the African Union-led peace process. Chad invited the Council to consider the situation in Darfur in a global context, bearing in mind all the agreements signed by different parties and the regional mediation efforts.

For information media. Not an official record.

Sudan: Security Council inaction on Darfur ‘can only embolden perpetrators’ – ICC prosecutor

12 December 2014 - 2:33pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Sudan

12 December 2014 – The Security Council must rethink its approach to the deteriorating crisis in Darfur and fully pursue those individuals deemed responsible for atrocities, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told the body today as she firmly criticized its lack of action on crimes committed in the war-torn region.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to appear before you and purport to be updating you when all I am doing is repeating the same things I have said over and over again, most of which are well known to this Council,” Fatou Bensouda lamented in her statement this morning. “To date, none of these individuals have been brought to justice, and some of them continue to be implicated in atrocities committed against innocent civilians.”

Ms. Bensouda’s briefing to the Council comes amid a worsening security climate and dire humanitarian crisis in the Sudanese region with ramped-up hostilities between Government forces and armed movements, deadly inter-communal conflicts and a precipitous rise in criminality and banditry.

Moreover, according to UN estimates, the number of people displaced by conflict has increased to more than 430,000 since the beginning of the year, with close to 300,000 remaining displaced in addition to the more than two million long-term internally displaced persons, or IDPs.

However, the ICC Prosecutor added, not only was the situation in Darfur “deteriorating,” but the brutality with which crimes are being committed there has become “more pronounced.” In particular, she warned that women and girls were continuing to bear the “brunt of sustained attacks” on innocent civilians.

Fresh allegations of a mass rape of 200 women in Tabit, located in North Darfur, for instance, have fuelled concerns regarding the overall security situation in the region and the general safety of women and girls in the area. The UN-African Union hybrid mission (UNAMID) recently declared it had initiated an investigation but said its team had found no evidence confirming the claims and received no information regarding the purported acts. Village community leaders, meanwhile, reiterated to UNAMID that they “coexist peacefully” with local military authorities.

Nonetheless, Ms. Bensouda observed that UNAMID had been denied full access to Tabit, “thus frustrating full and transparent investigations” and argued that it was “unacceptable” that such investigations were conducted in a situation in which perpetrators maintained effective control over their victims.

“Victims of rape are asking themselves how many more women should be brutally attacked for this Council to appreciate the magnitude of their plight,” she continued. “We find ourselves in a stalemate that can only embolden perpetrators to continue their brutality.”

Ms. Bensouda, in fact, pointed out that ICC Judges had already concluded that certain individuals in Sudan be brought to the International Criminal Court to answer charges, including Sudanese President Omar A1 Bashir, for whom a warrant of arrest has been issued. However, until the Council applied “a dramatic shift” to its approach to arresting Darfur suspects, it would be increasingly difficult for her and the ICC to continue doing their work, she concluded.

“Given this Council’s lack of foresight on what should happen in Darfur, I am left with no choice but to hibernate investigative activities in Darfur as I shift resources to other urgent cases, especially those in which trial is approaching. It should thus be clear to this Council that unless there is a change of attitude and approach to Darfur in the near future, there shall continue to be little or nothing to report to you for the foreseeable future.”

Sudan: ICC prosecutor criticizes UN council for inaction over Darfur

12 December 2014 - 2:33pm
Source: International Criminal Court Country: Sudan

12/12/2014 - 18:01 GMT

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda rebuked the UN Security Council on Friday for failing to push for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for crimes committed in Darfur.

Presenting her 20th report to the council on Darfur, Bensouda warned that without action from the top UN body, the cases against Bashir and three other indicted suspects will remain deadlocked.

"What is needed is a dramatic shift in this council's approach to arresting Darfur suspects," Bensouda told the 15-member council.

Her comments came amid a Ugandan-led campaign for African countries to pull out of the ICC, following the collapse of the case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for 25 years, became the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC in 2009, but he has since continued to travel to countries that have been unwilling to arrest him.

Over the past months, he traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Ethiopia, which were asked by the court to arrest the Sudanese leader.

Bensouda said "massive new displacements" have taken place this year in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting the Khartoum regime since 2003.

The council remains deeply divided over the Darfur crisis, with China a key ally of the Khartoum regime.

Bensouda warned that unless the council takes action, there will be "little or nothing to report to you for the foreseeable future."

The prosecutor also said allegations that Sudanese forces raped 200 women and girls in a Darfur village in late October "should shock this council into action" to demand a full investigation.

Sudan has refused to allow UN peacekeepers to fully investigate the allegations. A first visit by a UN team to the village of Tabit in November was conducted under heavy Sudanese military presence.

At least 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur and two million forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday called on African countries to withdraw from the ICC, saying the court had become a "tool to target" the continent.

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