The National Consensus Forces (NCF), the No to Women's Oppression Initiative, as well as the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Minni Minawi, have welcomed the outcomes of an independent investigation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of the mass rape of more than 200 women and girls by army troops in Tabit in October last year.
Ihsan Figeiri of the No to Women's Oppression Initiative told Dabanga that they were already convinced that a mass rape had taken place in Tabit before the outcomes of the investigation were published yesterday. “The HRW report only confirmed our suspicions.”
She said that she met a high-ranking Unamid officer “before”, who told her he had not witnessed a more atrocious rape case as the one of Tabit.
According to Figeiri, the Sudanese government is using rape on a large scale to break the resistance of the rebel movements.
She called on “all Sudanese to fight the current regime, peacefully as well as militarily, as the demise of the ruling National Congress Party is the only solution for the crises in the country”.
The NCF coalition of opposition parties also condemned the sexual crimes allegedly committed against 221 women and girls in Tabit over 36 hours, on 30-31 October last year.
Abubakar Yousef, NCF media officer, and spokesman for the Sudanese Congress Party, said in an interview, broadcast today by Radio Dabanga’s Sudanese Files programme, that the mass rape is not an anomaly with regard to the ruling National Congress Party.
“There is even no need for investigations into the mass rape, as it has been confirmed. Sexual violence, including mass rapes, happened many times before in Darfur, and in other parts of the country.”
Yousef appealed to “all Sudanese to stand up and bring down the NCP regime in Khartoum”.
Minni Arko Minawi, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement-MM and Co-Deputy President of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance, also welcomed the outcomes of the HRW investigation by Human Rights Watch of the mass rape by army troops in Tabit in October last year.
“The outcome of the human rights investigation into the Tabit mass rape affirm the ruthless crimes committed against the population of Darfur since the start of the war in 2003,” Minawi told Dabanga.
“The SRF calls on the international community, the UN Security Council, and its permanent member states to immediately act, and protect the people in Darfur from killing, rape, forced displacement, and settlers from abroad, who are occupying their lands.
“Since the beginning of this year the Sudanese government deployed its militias to continue its ethnic cleansing and scorched-earth policies against civilians in Darfur, this time in East Jebel Marra, Tawila, Kutum, even in Um Baru locality.
“More than 200,000 villagers were forcibly displaced, at least 45 villages went up in flames, and tens of thousands of people were robbed of their livestock,” he stressed.
Minawi said that the stolen animals are openly sold at the markets of El Fasher and Nyala. “Also large numbers of livestock are transported to Khartoum by train, or flown to Qatar and Jordan.”
The rebel leader furthermore accused Qatar of supporting “this genocide” with its funding of development projects in the war-torn western region.
“The Qatar authorities are providing logistical and financial support to the Sudanese government and its militias, with which they continue to forcibly displace the people, with the aim to re-populate their villages and lands with Arab Darfuri and foreign settlers.”
Over the past years, displaced in Darfur repeatedly reported to Dabanga that their lands are occupied or “bought” by people coming from other parts of Darfur, or from Chad, the Central African Republic, Niger, and Mali.