Sudan Organisation Against Torture
PRESS RELEASE: 26 May 2005
Eastern Sudan: Rebel Attack on Civilians
On 24 May 2005, the rebel groups, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Free Lions Movement and the Beja Congress calling themselves the ‘Eastern Front’ killed fifteen people including a number of administrative officers (Civil Servants) and kidnapped three parliamentarians from Red Sea State along with two police officers according to a Press Release issued by the Group.
The group reportedly carried out the action in protest against a government organised conference on the development of Eastern Sudan with the participation of traditional tribal leaders in Kassala. The parliamentarians were kidnapped in Amadam, 120km North of Kassala, the main road from Kassala to Port Sudan on their return from the conference.
The details of those kidnapped are as follows:
Mohamed Osman, President of Services Committee in the Red Sea Parliament
Issa Aldmoda, Member of the Red Sea Parliament
Tag Alsir Widdah, President of Economic Committee in the Red Sea Parliament
SOAT calls on the Eastern Front to immediately release the kidnapped men and to give assurances that the men will not be subjected to torture or ill-treatment. SOAT expresses concern at the violence and the kidnapping of these people and notes that extra judicial killing and kidnapping of civilians and non-combatant are a fundamental breach of international humanitarian law.
SOAT condemns the action of the rebel groups particularly the involvement of JEM who are party to peace negotiations in the Darfur region and is signatory to the N’Djamena April 2004 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement and calls on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from extending the conflict in Darfur to the East. Destabilising the Eastern region of Sudan will have an extreme adverse effect on the ongoing conflict in Darfur particularly on the stalled peace process. Moreover, SOAT considers that the problems of the East can only be solved through political means and not military and notes with concern that civilians will suffer the brunt effect of any military offensive.
SOAT urges all parties in the Eastern Front to pursue a constructive dialogue with the government in order to reach a political settlement. In addition, SOAT calls on the government of Sudan to acknowledge the major grievances of people in Eastern Sudan and to engage immediately in peaceful negotiations with political groups in Eastern Sudan.
SOAT calls on the Eastern Front to:
Take all necessary measures to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all the kidnapped men;
Immediately release all the men and immediately cease the campaign of intimidation and harassment of persons in Eastern Sudan and to respect international humanitarian law;
SOAT is international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:
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