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Government militia accused of killing tribesmen in North Kordofan

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Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in a rally held in Ed Damazin on Tuesday 31, 2016 (ST Photo)

April 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Hamar tribe has accused government militia of killing and burning innocent tribesmen during recent clashes in North and West Kordofan states.

Earlier this month, armed clashes erupted between Hamar and Kababish tribes over a theft of camels claiming more than 50 lives from both sides. During the clashes, gunmen from the Kababish killed 36 miners from Hamar and set them on fire.

In a detailed statement Monday, Hamar Community Union said “the crime of burning innocent people constitutes a systematic case of aggression against a specific population component”, pointing such an act “is forbidden by international humanitarian conventions and laws ratified by Sudan”.

The statement described the killing of the innocent miners as “organised and systematic genocide”, saying it was committed by the “Desert Shield” militia which belongs to Kababish tribe and holds government arms.

“So, all those responsible for this crime must be held accountable and brought to fair trial” read the statement.

According to the statement, the victims were hastily buried in Sodari, North Kordofan state without meeting the requirements of the proper criminal work, “as if they wanted to hide the traces of the ugly humanitarian crime”.

The statement demanded the investigation team formed by the attorney general to take the required measures to put the criminal investigation into the right track “even if it became necessary to exhume the bodies and re-do the autopsy”.

It pointed the official bodies have buried the bodies hastily in order to hide crimes committed against Hamar tribesmen, saying “they amount to crimes against humanity according to the provisions of international law”.

The statement demanded the government to disband the “Desert Shield” militia, saying it poses a serious security threat in the region especially as it is made up mainly of bandits and criminals.

“What confirms this [claim] is that one of its [Desert Shield] leaders, the so-called Mahimid, is the person who led the criminal group that committed the tragic acts of killing and burning of the innocent miners”.

The statement stressed the need to conduct a comprehensive, fair and impartial investigation by a neutral third party “so that the public opinion can see the political, security and administrative flaws in the approach adopted by North and West Kordofan states in dealing with the incidents”, calling for holding accountable those responsible for the security flaw.

It further pointed that peaceful coexistence and ties of brotherhood and joint interests between the Hamar and Kababish could only be maintained after capturing the perpetrators and bringing them to just and deterrent trials.

Tribal fighting occurs frequently in several regions of Sudan, including Kordofan and Darfur where over 300,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

Last year, Sudan’s president, Omer al-Bashir, warned against tribal strife in some areas of the country, noting the country is facing challenges that need the cooperation from all people.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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