Sudan: Women and Human Rights Groups Protest Regional Violence

Khartoum — 69 women and human rights groups organised a protest sit-in in front of the buildings of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) in Khartoum, to condemn the recent violence in Wad El Mahi in Blue Nile region and Lagawa in West Kordofan.

Women and human rights groups, including the Strategic Initiative for Women of the Horn of Africa (SIHA), the No to Women’s Oppression Initiative, and the Nuba Mountains Women’s Union, submitted a memorandum to the UNCHR office on Sunday, condemning the failure of the authorities to contain conflict and to protect people in both areas.

Six people were killed, dozens were injured, and an entire village was burned to the ground in renewed tribal clashes in En Nehoud in West Kordofan on November 19 and 20.

En Nehoud witnessed violence earlier this year following a conflict concerning the demarcation of the border between the Hamar and Misseriya tribes in the area. The clashes left at least six people dead. More than 20 others were injured. The conflicting parties signed a reconciliation agreement on September 21.

Last week, the Minister of Health in the Blue Nile region Jamal Nasir warned of an impending health catastrophe owing to the lack of adequate sanitation facilities available in the school buildings being used as shelters by the recently displaced.

In Wad El Mahi, near El Roseires in the Blue Nile region, inter-communal violence renewed on October 13. “As fighting continues, at least 1,200 people have been displaced and an unconfirmed 170 people have been killed and 327 have been injured”, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) writes in its latest update.

As part of the protest, the women also demanded that the UN pressure the military junta to hand over power to civilians and called on the security forces to play their role in protecting people in all of Sudan.

Awatif Abdelrahman, chair of the Darfur Displaced Women, stressed to Radio Dabanga last week the need to reach a comprehensive political agreement that does not exclude any political party, rebel movement, displaced, or refugees.

On November 20, Resistance committees in Khartoum said that any agreement that the FFC-CC makes with those responsible for the coup d’état on October 25 last year means that there will be no retributive justice done for the many victims of the military rulers.

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