Pro-government militias continue attacks in north Darfur
Five IDP's (Internally Displaced Persons) have been arrested by pro-government militias yesterday. A relative of one of the detainees told Radio Dabanga that pro-government militias arrested the IDP's in the city of Kutum after they fled from Kassab camp.
Witnesses said that the IDP's fled from refugee camp Kassab yesterday in an attempt to save their own lives after three consecutive days of attacks, killings, beatings, torture, and widespread looting and plundering.
The pro-government militias justified their attacks by claiming they were investigating the murder of a local government official, Abd el-Rahman Mohamed Eisa. Eisa was killed last Wednesday in the town of Kutum. Adding that they believed the people responsible for Eisa's death were hiding in the camp of Kassab.
The witnesses added that more than 32000 IDP's scattered and fled towards Kutum from Kassab camp. While others fled towards the areas of Ain Seerou, west of Kutum. They added that a large number of IDP's now reside in the neighbourhood of el-Qasr, east of Kutum. Sources from Kassab camp told Radio Dabanga that they got separated from their families in the chaos and that the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
Sources from Kassab camp said that during the police raids, which lasted for 3 consecutive days, the pro-government militias arrested more than 300 IDP's. They transported the IDP's to an unknown destination after being beaten, tortured and humiliated. Among the arrested IDP's is el-Sheikh el-Taher Ismail, head of Kassab camp. Ismail was only released yesterday morning, Friday.
IDP's who fled to Kutum, described the different ways of torture and humiliation they were exposed to during the raids. They complained of the suffering they are facing and the deteriorating living circumstances, especially after being forced to flee once again. One of the fugitive IDP's pointed out that a substantial number of others are still wandering in the open and that their lives are in danger.
Immediate intervention required
On the other hand, a number of IDP's expressed their anger and condemnation of the alleged failure of UNAMID troops to protect those subjected to raids, murders, torture and plundering for 3 consecutive days by pro-government militias. They called upon the international community to intervene and protect them.
Ahmed Fadel, spokesperson of the Liberation and Justice Movement, condemned the attack of the pro-government militias on IDP's in Kassab camp. He also condemned the attacks on civilians in the city of Kutum.
Fadel told Radio Dabanga that the attacks were carried out by border guards. He added that the greatest danger of the attack lies in the lack of regulated forces and UNAMID to protect civilians.
Ahmed Ateem, north Darfur camps coordinator and mayor, believes that the Sudanese government as well as the UNAMID are responsible for the alleged negligence in protecting IDP's in Kassab camp and unarmed civilians in the city of Kutum. He added that the attacks were aimed to dismantle the camps in the region.
Ateem indicated that this government scheme started in el-Hamidiya and Zamzam. And has now spread to Kassab and Kutum.
A Zalingei camp coordinator also condemned what happened in the city Kutum and Kassab camp. He said that it is clearly a scheme of the NCP (National Congress Party) and the regional authorities for the implementation of the Doha Document by dismantling IDP camps and thus forcing displaced people to leave the camps.
He called upon the UN to form a committee to investigate the facts and punish the perpetrators. In addition, both Ateem and Fadel called upon the UN's Security Council to take immediate measures to protect IDP's and to impose a no-fly zone in Darfur.
The Student Association of Kutum's universities and higher institutions also condemned the attacks carried out by the regime's militants. The militants plundered the property of citizens under the eyes of the armed forces and UNAMID. The Association issued a statement yesterday in which they accuse border guards of carrying out the operations, which they described as barbaric. They also blamed UNAMID of the alleged negligence to protect civilians and demanded the UN and other humanitarian organizations to intervene immediately and stop the killing and slaughtering of unarmed civilians.
Fatabarno raids by pro-government militias started Thursday
IDP's in Fatabarno, north Darfur, have been exposed from Thursday to Friday to torture and widespread looting of property and livestock by pro-government gunmen.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the pro-goverment militias attacked the camp on Thursday and Friday respectively. They beat the IDP's before conducting a house-to-house search and looted everything they found inside the homes, from clothes to food and whatever the citizens carried in their hands; golden jewelry, watches and mobile phones.
They were said to even having taken children's clothing and poultry. Furthermore they broke into shops and took all the goods available.
Eye witnesses said that the raids and looting by gunmen started on Thursday around noon and ended at 5 pm. The gunmen resumed their inspections and raids with more manpower from 11 pm the same evening until 6 am of the next morning.
Dozens of children fled from the gunfire and the screaming of their family members who were subjected to beatings and torture. They returned yesterday.
Several witnesses said that the gunmen looted the local police station after opening fire on policemen, injuring the head of the station. In addition, they looted the food of first- and secondary school students. Radio Dabanga was informed by witnesses that a large exodus towards Kutum has started.