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Urgent Intervention required in Shearia, Southern Darfur

2/20/2006 9:07am


Sudan Organisation Against Torture

Human Rights Alert: 20 February 2006

Urgent Intervention required in Shearia, Southern Darfur

On 1 September 2005, SOAT reported the build-up of Janjaweed militias in Niteaga, Shearia province, Southern Darfur state following an armed militia attack and looting of Amar Jadeed village, North West of Labado in Shearia province. The incident was initially reported to the African Union observers in the region and to the Governor of Shearia. Despite calls by SOAT and its partner organisation in Darfur for an investigation and for government dispersal of the militias from the area, no action was taken.

In the first week of November 2005, reportedly the Janjaweed militias working with Government forces attacked and looted Shearia market. During the attack, shops belonging to persons from the Zaghawa tribes and persons from the Zaghawa tribe were specifically targeted.

Following the attack and looting, persons belonging to the Zaghawa tribe fled Shearia town to El Fahal, Otash and Dereig Internally displaced Camps, adding to the already large IDP population in Southern Darfur. The remaining population, largely from the Birgid tribe set up camp near the African Union Camp in Shearia. Due to continuing fighting between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLM), armed militia presence in the area and reported widespread rapes, African Union troops provide armed escorts for the women and girls, who ventures outside the camps to fetch water and firewood, a necessary activity.

There are reportedly no aid agencies operating in Shearia town following their evacuation. The remaining population in Shearia are in desperate need of food and water, shelter and medicine. The humanitarian situation in Shearia is precarious and requires an immediate international response both political and humanitarian.


The situation in Shearia worsened in November 2005 as a result of the town becoming the new front for confrontations between government forces and the rebel opposition in Darfur despite the Ceasefire Agreement and ongoing negotiations in Abuja to secure peace for the region. The government strategy of shifting the war to the town began in early September following an SLA attack in Shearia town during which the rebel forces looted approximately 1,000 camels and reportedly killed 18 civilians. The government in response encouraged armed militias to amass in the area and to implicitly allow the Janjaweed militias to loot the local population property including their cows, sheep with impunity. Reportedly, the Commander of the Armed Forces Commander in Shearia town Mr. Asim Torobora.

SOAT is gravely concern by the terrorisation and attacks on the civilian population in Shearia by both government forces and armed militias and prevention of access for aid organisations in the town to undertake their humanitarian activities. SOAT calls for urgent intervention in Shearia

SOAT stresses that the continued attacks on civilians in Darfur with impunity is a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement, UNSC resolutions, international laws protecting non-combatants and the spirit of the ongoing peace negotiations in Abuja.

In light of the serious and ongoing nature of fighting between the warring factions in Shearia and armed militias attacks on civilians, SOAT strongly urges the international community and all parties to the conflict to:

SOAT calls on the Government of Sudan to:

Investigate the attack on Shearia market and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought before an impartial tribunal and guaranteed procedural rights at all times;
Investigate the situation in Shearia including government forces and to immediately disperse the Janjaweed militias and all other militias that are operating in Darfur;
End impunity for crimes committed by government forces and its proxy militias in Darfur;
Ensure safe passage for aid organisations and humanitarian convoys to Shearia;
Immediately take all steps required to prevent attacks, threats, intimidations and any other form of violence against the people of Shearia;
Guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

The above recommendations should be sent in appeals to the following

His Excellency Omar Hassan al-Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan
President’s Palace
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 783223

His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit

First Vice-President
People's Palace

PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 771025

His Excellency Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
People's Palace

PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 771025

Mr. Lam Akol Ajawin

Minister of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 779383

Mr. Al Zubeir Beshir Taha

Minister of Interior
PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 779383

Dr. Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha
Advisory Council for Human Rights
PO Box 302
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 770883

Permanent Representative:

His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Elhassan Ahmed Elhaj


Avenue Blanc 47

1202 Geneva

Tel: 022 731 26 63

Fax: 022 731 26 56

Email: [email protected]

SOAT is an 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:

Argo House
Kilburn Park Road
London NW6 5LF, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7625 8055
Fax: +44 (0)20 7372 2656
E-mail: [email protected]


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