Sudan: Pro-government militia open deadly fire on IDP camp in Central Darfur

Amnesty International has called for an immediate investigation into a deadly attack by a pro-government militia on an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Central Darfur, in which one woman was shot dead and at least 10 people injured.

On 21 May, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a pro-government militia, on board of five pick-up trucks and armed with machine guns, attacked the IDP camp in the city of Zalingei. A 22-year-old woman was shot in the head and later died in hospital. Ten others, including children, sustained serious head, neck, arm and leg injuries. The reasons for the attack remain unclear.

The victims of this appalling attack were forced to flee from their homes by the violence that has plagued Darfur for years, and this camp was supposed to be a place of safety. Unless the perpetrators of gross human rights violations like this are brought to justice, the voluntary and safe return to home of Darfur’s displaced will remain a distant prospect
Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa

“The victims of this appalling attack were forced to flee from their homes by the violence that has plagued Darfur for years, and this camp was supposed to be a place of safety. Unless the perpetrators of gross human rights violations like this are brought to justice, the voluntary and safe return to home of Darfur’s displaced will remain a distant prospect,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa.

“We are calling on the Sudanese authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into this brutal attack, and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials. All parties to the conflict in Darfur must stop attacks against civilians and ensure respect of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

According to information collected by Amnesty International, following yesterday’s attack, protesters gathered in front of the state government building, the hospital and the market in Zalingei to denounce the use of excessive force. The security forces arrested seven people including Abdel Karim Abdalla, a 26-year-old student activist.

Amnesty International has closely monitored the conflict in Darfur since its eruption more than 15 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese remain displaced and face dire humanitarian conditions and serious human rights violations.

Amnesty International has received credible information and evidence that between August 2017 and April 2018, incidents of unlawful killings, rape, abduction, looting of villages and livestock, and torching of homes and arbitrary detention continue in Darfur.

Amnesty International recorded 244 incidents of unlawful killings in different parts of Darfur, allegedly committed by pro-government militias from August 2017 to April 2018. Approximately 75 percent of the incidents that led to loss of lives took place in North Darfur and Jebel Marra area.

Amnesty International has also received reports of sexual violence and prior research indicates that the pro-government militias, especially the RSF, are implicated in most of these violations.