350 Darfuris illegally detained in prisons throughout Sudan

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) announced that 350 Darfuris are illegally detained in prisons throughout Sudan. This figure includes 12 minors. All were detained without any legal justification, mostly by infamous the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The West and North Darfur Detainees Defence Committee, which was set up in cooperation with the DBA and the Rule of Law Initiative, visited Shala Prison in North Darfur capital El Fasher, to inspect the conditions of those subjected to human rights violations by being illegally detained.

DBA lawyer Igbal Ahmed Ali told Radio Dabanga after the visit that eight minors are held in Omdurman and four in Port Sudan. The other Darfuris are illegally detained in Ardamata Prison in West Darfur capital El Geneina, El Huda Prison in Omdurman, and Port Sudan Prison in Red Sea state.

Ali said that the majority of the victims are displaced people residing in the camps for the displaced in Darfur. All were detained without any legal justification. A few of them were released but plenty are still in detention.

The Darfur lawyers have addressed the head of the judiciary to demand their release on the basis that the majority of the detainees were held without any legal procedures, she said.

The West and North Darfur Detainees Defence Committee has threatened to resort to regional and international mechanisms if the detainees were not released.

At a press conference in Khartoum, the joint body said it plans to submit a memorandum to the Sovereignty Council, accusing the Attorney General of abandoning his responsibilities. A committee member said that the detainees have become like hostages. “Some of them are negotiating with mediators to pay ransom money for their legitimate right to freedom.” The sums of money for their release allegedly range between SDG50,000 and SDG500,000.

RSF

Ali added that “a number of these detentions were ordered by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) peace committee”, referring to the RSF-led West Darfur Peace and Tribal Reconciliation Committee whose head, RSF Col Mousa Hamid Ambeilo, is also held responsible for “committing grave crimes in the region, including crimes against humanity”.

In August, the RSF held at least 197 people in a campaign that targeted tribal leaders who refused to partake in RSF-led reconciliation efforts and other activists, teachers, students, and farmers. Several people disappeared.

The reconciliation agreements brokered in Darfur by Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, who co-led the 2021 coup and is deputy-chairman of the Sovereignty Council and commander-in-chief of the infamous RSF, have been criticised as being ‘superficial’ and as not representing the interests of the people.

In July, joint forces, including the RSF Darfur division led by Ambeilo, detained 177 people of the Tama tribe and Aura clan and some other clans living in the area under the Emergency Law after a tribal conflict, despite the lifting of the State of Emergency in May.

Targeting camps

The lawyer further accused the RSF of detaining young people from the Abu Shouk camp for the displaced near El Fasher, North Darfur, without any legal justification.

The DBA also received testimonies from the displaced in Zamzam camp, south of El Fasher, that the forces raped more than 165 women and girls and killed a number of displaced.

Ali added that all the camps they visited “lack the necessities of life completely” and that there are no health and education services anymore. Displaced are still subjected to grave violations without protection from the authorities in their areas.

Source: Radio Dabanga

Over 180 die in Malawi as cholera death toll rises

LILONGWE— The number of deaths from cholera in Malawi rose to 183 at the end of October from 110 at the beginning of the month, the health ministry announced.

The rate of infections has been rising, with the cumulative number of cases since the outbreak began in March now at 6,056, the ministry said in a statement.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection usually caught by eating or drinking contaminated food or water and is closely linked to poor sanitation.

Malawi’s health ministry attributed the deaths to poor food hygiene among the communities, lack of safe water and a lack of and improper use of toilets.

Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda also noted that some patients were not seeking treatment for religious reasons, while others were visiting hospitals when it was already late.

He appealed to religious institutions to encourage their members to seek proper health services to avoid “unnecessary” loss of lives.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Relative calm in Sudan’s Blue Nile region, but humanitarian situation deteriorates

There is currently a “relative though tense calm” in the Blue Nile region but, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, not all bodies have been buried yet. The humanitarian situation has also deteriorated as displaced are about to run out of food.

Mohamed Mousa Ibrahim, head of the Hausa* Group in the Blue Nile region told Radio Dabanga yesterday that there is currently “a relative though tense calm” in the areas that witnessed violence.

Because of the relative calm, the Council of Deans of Blue Nile University decided to resume studies in all faculties yesterday, starting on Thursday.

Nevertheless, chaos is also very present among the remaining people and those who fled their burning homes. Several bodies of those killed in the recent clashes in Wad El Mahi in the south-eastern part of the Blue Nile region have not yet been buried.

They have not been able to bury those killed in Medina 8 in Wad El Mahi, Ibrahim said. An unknown number of people are also still missing.

Humanitarian situation

The humanitarian situation for the displaced in Wad El Mahi is deteriorating, enhanced by the difficulty for humanitarian aid convoys to reach the area, Ibrahim explained. The displaced depend on whatever food is left of their farms in the area, but they are about to run out.

The number of displaced increased to 235,000 people in the Blue Nile region and neighbouring states since the outbreak of inter-communal clashes.

Ramadan Yasin, the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid in the Blue Nile region, told Radio Dabanga that some of the displaced walked 80 kilometres on foot to find refuge. He also explained that some displaced people “got stuck” in residential areas in the Wad El Mahi, Bau, and El Tadamon governorates**.

He called on the government and donor countries to provide assistance to the displaced as soon as possible, especially food, shelter, and medicine.

Last Friday, Yasin said that the relative calm of the situation in the region allowed for the careful start of humanitarian interventions.

Inter-communal violence renewed in October in Wad El Mahi. The clashes originally started in mid-July south of El Roseires when indigenous El Funj, El Hamaj, and Berta tribesmen attacked Hausa families in the area. The violence flared up again in September, when at least 24 people were killed.

At least 200 people died so far.

Source: Radio Dabanga

Pipeline sabotage in Kordofan shuts Sudan oil refinery

A major section of the Khartoum Petroleum Refinery that processes Nile Blend crude oil has been shut down after sabotage to the pipeline in the area of Kharasana in Keilak, West Kordofan. The closure has prompted fears of technical damage to the infrastructure, environmental risks, and is expected to impact the supply of fuel and cooking gas in Sudan. The director of the refinery, Munira Mahmoud, told reporters on Monday that the second section of the refinery, which processes crude oil coming from the area of the West Kordofan capital El Fula, continues to work normally.

Engineer El Taher Abulhasan confirmed that sabotage was the reason for stopping the pipeline carrying the Nile Blend crude*. He said that the pipeline is operated by PETCO, one of the companies of the Sudanese Oil Corporation, and warned that “remnants of the sabotage” may cause environmental problems in the area.

The Oil Workers Association reported last week that protesters closed the El Neem, Dafra, and Balila oil fields in West Kordofan on Thursday morning. The pipeline connecting the Heglig-Khartoum Refinery and Port Sudan was also blocked on Thursday.

The Association said in a statement via social media that this pipeline transports most of Sudan’s oil production, and part of the oil production of South Sudan, to the Khartoum refinery and Port Sudan – about 75,000 barrels a day. The statement called on the oil engineers to expedite the repair of the pipeline warning of the technical consequences that “may reach the stage of a disaster”.

The closure of the El Neem, Dafra, and Balila oil fields is causing a loss of about 7,000 barrels a day, in addition to damage caused to the El Neem-Dafra and the Dafra-Heglig pipelines by suspension of the oil flow.

The Oil Workers Association clarified in a social media statement that although the workers were able to maintain and restart the Nile Blend pipeline, this was not enough to avoid the refinery’s suspension, as the flow of Nile Blend crude stock decreased below the minimum required for its operation.

The Association warned that this halt will result in serious consequences for the availability of oil products, including fuel and cooking gas, and said that “the Sudanese people will bear the brunt of the burden in the coming days”.

The statement accused the acting Minister of Energy and Oil, Mohamed Abdalla, and “the opportunists around him” of ignoring reports about the deteriorating security situation in the El Neem, Balila and Dafra oil fields.

Border dispute

Misseriya youth protesters involved in a border dispute with the Hamar tribe stormed the Um Adara oil field in West Kordofan on October 6, forcing the station to halt its activities and detaining the oil workers. The oil pipeline transporting oil from the station has also been closed down, which might cause severe technical issues and permanent damage.

Following a conflict concerning the demarcation of the border between the Hamar and Misseriya nomad tribes in the area, fighting broke out in Abu Zabad on September 11. The clashes that lasted until the next morning, left at least six people dead. More than 20 others were injured. Recently, Hamar held a series of protests to demand a new, Central Kordofan state.

Hamar Nazir, Abdelgader Mansour, told Radio Dabanga in August that the demarcation would almost certainly lead to the expropriation of large areas of land belonging to the Hamar, in favour of the Misseriya.

Despite Hamar requests to discuss the issue, the unilateral committee proceeded to redefine the borders. The Hamar then launched a number of protests in the state, including the closure of the En Nehoud-El Obeid road, and sent a delegation to Khartoum to bring the matter before the Sovereignty Council.

Sovereignty Council member Shamseldin El Kabbashi responded on August 31 by suspending the demarcation process. The Misseriya now demand the cancellation of this decision.

Conflict and tension surrounding the oil industry in Kordofan had been a bone of contention for many years. In 2011, an armed group belonging to the Misseriya tribe opened fire on workers in a Chinese oil field in South Kordofan’s Balila area, which left a Chinese engineer dead and three other workers injured. They demanded that the (Al Bashir regime) government reverse its policy to deny employment opportunities to local residents in the oil fields, which activists said, “are bringing employment opportunities to the people in the north, while thousands of graduates in the region are unemployed”.

Source: Radio Dabanga