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Violence in Soba IDP Camp, South Khartoum

5/20/2005 11:08pm


Sudan Organisation Against Torture

Human Rights Alert: 20 May 2005

Violence in Soba IDP Camp, South Khartoum

On 18 May 2005, several people were killed, 14 police officers, 6 civilians including two children and several others were wounded when violence broke out in Soba Internally Displaced Camp (IDP), with a population of 10, 000 people in Southern Khartoum.

Along with six other officers, the following police officers were killed during the incident:

Alrasheid Mudawi- Captain
Adil Batran
Gamar Eldawla Ahmed Alsidig
Marco Alfraid
Abdalla Mohamed Yousif
Widaah Abdallah
Yousif Haroun
Mishaal Abdalla

The names of civilians killed are as follows:

Salih Sulaiman Abakar, belongs to Bargo tribe
Abdelshafie Ishag Omer, (45 yrs), belongs to the Fur tribe
Modathir Abdallah, (30 yrs) belongs to the Fur tribe
Mohamed Abdallah Zakaria, (14 yrs)
Salih Sulaiman Abakar, (27 yrs), belongs to Bargo tribe
Child, (f) less than one year old

Civilians Wounded:

Osman Mohamed Ibrahim, belongs to the Fur tribe
Mahmoud Abdalla, (27 yrs)
Ibrahim Yagoub, (32 yrs), belongs to the Fur tribe
Kowag Kao
Flous Chai
Izzeldin Mohamed, (23 yrs), belongs in Dajo tribe
Ismail Zakaria, (42 yrs) belongs to Tama tribe
Dieng Akog, (29 yrs) belongs to Dinka tribe

The incident began when police officers entered Soba IDP camp under the government scheme of relocating IDPs as part a larger area-replanning programme.

There are various versions as to how violence broke out in Soba Camp. According to a government statement issued in a press conference by Khartoum State Wali (Governor) on 18 May 2005, the IDPs initiated the violence by attacking the police officers. The statement also alleged that an influential political party had incited the IDPs. SOAT has received information that police officers attacked the IDPs using tear gas and live ammunition. The IDPs then responded by attacking the police station.

The events in Soba IDP Camp reflect a wider pattern of the treatment of IDPs by government security forces in Khartoum. In the later half of 2004, government security forces undertook a campaign to demolish Dar Salaam (Peace) IDP Camp, housing 120,000 displaced persons; they bulldozed all structures including homes, schools, clinics and latrines as part a larger area-replanning programme. This wanton destruction of homes was not only confined to Dar Salaam, in neighbouring Wad al-Bashir IDP camp which hosts another 74,000 people, government forces destroyed thousands of homes.

SOAT condemns the violence and the deaths particularly of the children. SOAT calls on the government and all parties to the incident to exercise restraint to ensure that the incident does not escalate. SOAT urges the government to acknowledge the major causes of the incident and to respond accordingly through economic, social and humanitarian measures and through respect of the rights of IDPs, the protection of civilians and respect for basic human lives and according to the law particularly in light of the fact that in Khartoum state, 325,000 IDPs are living in four official camps and around 1.5 million are distributed in different squatter and peripheral areas. In addition SOAT urges the government to ensure that security concerns are not the only basis of government policies in regard to the IDP population.

SOAT calls on the government of Sudan to:

Immediately establish an independent, impartial commission of inquiry into the incident and to make the commission findings public upon completion;

Immediately cease its campaign and the wanton destruction of IDP homes in camps outside Khartoum;

Commit to the voluntary return of IDPs, ensure safe passage, and compensate IDPs for loss of livelihood caused by the arbitrary seizure of lands and to return these lands;

End impunity for crimes committed by the government security forces;

Guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association throughout Sudan in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards;

The above recommendations should be sent in appeals to the following addresses:

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

His Excellency Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
First Vice-President
People's Palace

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

Mr. Mustafa Osman Ismail
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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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