Human rights violations against farmers and civilians by armed militias in the Darfur region:
21 November 2019. The Darfur Network for Monitoring and Documentation (DNMD) appeals to the transitional government of Sudan, Mohamed Hamden Dagalo (Hemetti) the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the RSF and Janjaweed militia in Sudan to cease committing violations against farmers and civilians in the Darfur region, which acts are against principles of human rights and international humanitarian law.
This follows reports of several incidents of attacks against the integrity of persons, resulting in injury and sometimes death of the victims.
On 31 October 2019 at 11:00am, a displaced man and his daughter were killed on their farm by four armed shepherds riding camels and wearing military uniforms. The perpetrators are said to be associated with the RSF in Um Ajajah Kasi Gabal locality, east of Um Jalbak which is 7 km from Tawila locality near to north Darfur El fasher .
The victims were named as:
1 / Ibrahim Ahmed Juma (Ahmadi), 51 years old
2 / Nabila Ibrahim Ahmed Juma, 16 years old
Their bodies were transported by civilians from Tawila to the morgue at El Fasher Hospital for an autopsy. Following the incident, on 14 October 2019, the Public Prosecutors requested that the El Fasher State Government issue a warrant for the arrest of the perpetrators and the removal of the Rapid support force. The government has failed to respond to the request or conduct any meaningful investigations to arrest the perpetrators.
Several sources have said that the western and northern areas of El Fasher state in North Darfur have experienced repeated violations by armed militias against farmers, and civilians face threats of death, rape and violence, especially during the agricultural harvest season.
Other incidents were documented including on 29 October 2019, when Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Bakr Abdul, aged 57, was killed after suffering gunshot wounds in his chest, and his brother Eddy Abu Bakr Abdul Khadar, aged 40, was injured on his farm. The victims were reportedly attacked by the RSF. Shiekh Ibrahim was one of the leaders at the Grand Mosque in Shaddad IDP camp in the Shanqal Tawbay area near El Faster, North Darfur.
On 28 October 2019 at 7:00pm, five women were assaulted near El Fasher in Shanqal Tawbay, North Darfur, 2 km from Shaddad IDP Camp while returning from farming. The attack was carried out by armed militias and pastoralists riding camels.
One of the victims, Zahra Abdullah Mohammed, aged 50, was beaten with a weapon and sticks on her back and head and the attackers stole her donkey and all her property.
On 20 October 2019, armed militias, supported with weapons and vehicles by the RSF, attacked and displaced communities in three villages – Kiwi, Haddad, and Umm Jaddul in Gereida locality in South Darfur who had returned from the IDP camps to farm. The militia forced them to flee back to the IDP camps, preventing them from harvesting their agricultural crops.
According to a confidential source from Gereida locality, armed militias, including members of the RSF on the back of four-wheel drive vehicles, raided the villages, beating people and looting the markets and homes of civilians. Civilians were ordered at gunpoint to leave the villages immediately. This forced hundreds of families to Umm Kerfa, creating a difficult and complicated humanitarian situation in the area. After forcing the inhabitants of those areas to flee, the armed militias released their livestock on the farms of those fleeing intentionally destroying their agricultural crops.
The source explained that in August 2019, the RSF carried out a campaign of arrests targeting four activists in the area of Geredia locality, and it is likely that the detainees were taken them to the city of Nyala south Darfur.
For years, the RSF have harassed the civilians in villages and towns of Gereida in South Darfur, and have committed multiple crimes against the IDPs, including killing, rape, looting, and forced displacement. Armed pastoralists have targeted IDPs by releasing their livestock on the farms to disrupt their agricultural crops. The South Darfur State Government has not respond to civilians’ request to investigate attacks of armed militias. And In July 2019, a written civil application was delivered to them.
On 15 August 2019, in Bendsi area near Zalingei in Central Darfur, farmers complained that pastoralists forced their camels and cattle onto their farms causing the destruction of large quantities of crops. The affected civilians called on the authorities to intervene and expel the pastoralists so that they can cultivate their farms.
On 14 August 2019, dozens of farmers were attacked in the Kalo Keng area, north of Kass city, South Darfur. A number of armed men in military uniform attacked them at night, beating and flogging them, before looting their money, phones and other property.
- DNMD appeals to UNAMID to urgently investigate violations by armed militias and the RSF against farmers and civilians.
- DNMD requests the transitional government in Sudan to disarm the RSF and militias, especially the pastoralists, in order to begin working towards achieving peace and justice in the Darfur region.
- DNMD appeals to UN Panel of Experts on Sudan to take into account these reports in their regular review of the situation on the ground according to their mandate of monitoring violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.