Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sudan: No end to violence in Darfur: Arms supplies continue despite ongoing human rights violations

Sudan: No end to violence in Darfur: Arms supplies continue despite ongoing human rights violations The supply of various types of weapons, munitions and related equipment to Sudan in recent years, by the governments of Belarus, the People's Republic of China ...Read the full story >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Three workers for Catholic aid agency arrested in Darfur

JUBA, South Sudan (CNS) -- Three staff members of a Catholic aid agency working in southern Darfur were arrested by security forces in Nyala as they were making preparations to return to South Sudan. The Sudan Catholic Radio Network reported security forces also closed the Nyala office of Sudan Aid, an affiliate of Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic church's aid and development organization. Gabriel Yei, director of Caritas South Sudan, said that Dominic Pathic, James Celestino and William Atorjony when security forces confronted them and took them into custody. No word on their whereabouts was available. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sudan Army in Fresh Clashes With SPLA and Rebels in Darfur and South Kordofan

Khartoum — The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has repelled an attack by South Sudan's army today in al-Meram locality in South Kordofan state, a local official said. The al-Meram mayor Colonel Fathi Abdullah Arabi told the government-sponsored Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website that the assault targeted an SAF brigade in Bahr al-Arab region which lies 62 kilometers south of al-Meram town. Arabi said that the SPLA wants to disperse SAF efforts in trying to liberate the Heglig region occupied by the south last week. He claimed that they inflicted heavy losses on the assailants that are still being counted. The mayor called it a violation of borders and promises made by South Sudan in the agreements signed and vowed a "double response" to rebellion in his area. In South Darfur, the deputy governor Abdel-Kareem Moussa said that the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attacked Sispan area in Katila locality on borders with South Sudan. The mayor of Katila said that JEM destroyed a communication tower and seized fuel supplies and disclosed that Goghana area was also attacked and killed one cattle herder while injuring another. He added that livestock also perished in the aftermath. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, April 16, 2012

Obduracy at the New York Times: Refusal to Acknowledge Errors or Problems in the Representation of Realities in West Darfur

Eric Reeves On April 4, 2012 I published an extensive challenge to the claims of the New York Times dispatch from Nyuru, West Darfur (February 26, 2012) by Jeffrey Gettleman, this in the form of an open letter to the Public Editor, nominally charged with “representing the readers of the NYT.” My subsequent communications with the New York Times have not produced any acknowledgement of errors or problems in the reporting from Nyuru: there has been no recognition of how deeply problematic it is to use self-interested UNAMID sources, and even the in-country personnel of UN humanitarian agencies (I attach at the end of this brief links to a series of analyses of demonstrable mendacity on the part of senior UNAMID and UN humanitarian officials). Nor has there been a meaningful response to the substantial issues raised by a lengthy series of reports by Radio Dabanga in the wake of the NYT dispatch, as well as in its general reporting from the region. Most significantly there has been no acknowledgement by the NYT that the dispatch as it was published clearly implies that there have been massive returns of refugees from eastern Chad. This is simply not the case, as Radio Dabanga has conclusively demonstrated on the basis of interviews with the leaders of all twelve Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad and with the Chad representative of the UN High Commission for Refugees. Moreover, the NYT seems unaware that the total Darfuri refugee population living in eastern Chad outside the camps is unlikely to exceed 20,000. UNHCR reports a total registration in the twelve camps as a highly stable 282,000.Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Echoes of Darfur

Will Omar al-Bashir and Ahmad Harun get away with genocide once more? Almost five years ago, on April 27th 2007, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Harun (aka Ahmed Mohammed Haroun), citing 20 counts of crimes against humanity and 22 counts of war crimes in Darfur. Harun is one of three Sudanese wanted by the ICC, including the country's president Omar al-Bashir. Not only does North Sudan refuse to surrender Harun to the ICC, but in September 2007 cynically made him the head of an investigation into human rights violations in Darfur. Harun also served as Sudan's Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs until 2009 and was appointed by the Sudanese government to the committee overseeing the UNSC -approved United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Ahmad Harun later became Governor of South Kordofan – following an election widely believed to have been rigged – and in that capacity suspended the 'popular consultations' which were supposed to have taken place under the terms of the 2005 peace agreement in order for the people of South Kordofan to decide their future. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sudan: Salih Mahmoud - Violence Against Students is 'Racist Phenomenon'

El Geneina — Salih Mahmoud, a Sudanese human rights lawyer, calls the recent arrests and killings of students a 'new and racist phenomenon in Darfur'. Security forces have reportedly arrested 11 Darfurian students from the University of Zalingei, branch of El Geneina on Sunday. The students, including two female students, have not been released till today. The students were arrested during a protest against the poor living conditions and lack of services provided by the university. Security forces used violence and tear gas to disperse the protest. Incidents instill fear Among the 11 arrested students are Babiker Mohamed Adam, Hassan Musa Adam, Muhammad Hassan Abdo, Solomon Markaz Ahmad and Abdul Muttalib Adam Mohammed. Sources told Radio Dabanga they are now tortured by the security forces in El Geneina. Salih Mahmoud, who won the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, told Radio Dabanga today that the arrests of students in Darfur in universities becomes a trend. He said students are now also targeted by security forces outside the universities. Mahmoud explained that the recurrence of the incidents instill fear among Sudanese people and Darfurians in particular. He places the killing of student Abdul Hakim Abdullah Musa, the student killed by security authorities last week in the new trend. According to the human rights lawyer, Musa's dead is inseparable linked to a series of assassinations that specifically target students of different universities in Darfur. 'Break the silence' He said it is unacceptable no officials made statements yet on the arrests and killings. Neither were efforts made by the authorities to make the prosecutions of the students transparent for the public: 'it is the responsibility of political leaders, human rights defenders and civil society organizations to break the silence and indifference on the recent incidents.'Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Why should we worry (like George Clooney) about war crimes in Sudan? Because the weapons used were made closer to home than you might think

Under the glare of Sudan’s sun, a toddler points skywards at the metallic aircraft. Shouts of ‘Antonov!’ go out and everybody runs for cover in the mountain caves. The plane banks left in front of the sun, so it’s hard to make out, but the drone of the engines grows louder. Then come the thundering roar of explosions. I stagger out of my trench with the urge to run – to get anywhere safe. Terrified children look up at me; one has wet herself in fear. These bombings are a daily event in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. George Clooney visited the region last month, and on his return to the U.S. got himself arrested on the steps of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington in an attempt to gain world attention to the ethnic cleansing that is going on here. He is also helping to fund a network of private satellites to watch over the military movements of the Khartoum government, which is behind the terror attacks on its own people. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Medical Evidence of Widespread Torture in Darfur Released by PHR in PLoS Medicine

Today’s issue of PLoS Medicine features a peer-reviewed study led by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) that provides rare forensic medical evidence of widespread, sustained torture and other human rights violations by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and allied Janjaweed forces against non-Arabic-speaking civilians in South Darfur. In the study, PHR’s forensic medical experts reviewed the medical records of 325 patients seen in 2004-2006 at a clinic in Nyala, South Darfur for torture victims. The documentation from this review of medical records provides important validation of extensive testimonies gathered by many organizations and UN agencies over the years “The killing, rape, torture, and other human rights violations documented in our study appear to have been committed as part of widespread, systematic and coordinated attacks directed against non-Arab speaking civilian populations in Darfur,” said Vincent Iacopino, Senior Medical Advisor at PHR and senior author of the study. “These apparent crimes against humanity demand investigation, accountability and justice. Inaction in the face of such inhumanity would be complicity by default.” Key findings of the study include: •90% of patients from 12 different non-Arabic-speaking tribes alleged that they had been attacked by GoS and/or Janjaweed forces in 23 rural areas across Darfur •Of those attacked, 16% stated that GoS and Janjaweed forces attacked in concert, often with aerial bombardment coordinated with simultaneous ground assault by GoS and Janjaweed forces •The most common abuses were beatings (50%), gunshot wounds (43%), destruction or theft of property (37.2%), and involuntary detainment (30%) •Villages were repeatedly attacked, with 5 villages reportedly attacked a total of 41 times during the study period •Virtually all (99%) of the reported attacks occurred in the absence of active armed conflict between Janjaweed/GoS forces and rebel groups •Forensic review of these medical records by PHR’s medical experts corroborated the allegations of abuse in 100% of cases in which there was adequate information on which to base an expert opinion. •Approximately one-half (49%) of all women disclosed that they had been sexually assaulted, and one-half of sexual assaults were described as having occurred in close proximity to a camp for internally displaced persons “This study underscores the necessity of peace and reconciliation for the people of Darfur,” said Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Eisa, Sudan Fellow at PHR and co-author of the study. “Hundreds of thousands of civilians who have been attacked and tortured during the past decade are living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and desperately need security and protection. Once they are safe, these survivors deserve compensation and restitution for what they have endured.” Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>