الخميس، 6 نوفمبر، 2014

Snapshots From Sudan's Hot Summer & "National Dialogue"

"I cannot even describe how I feel but mainly I'm so angry an depressed, my family is being air bombed, they targeted them on Thursday of the weekly market, killing innocents and children, all the victims were from one family, they were my first cousins, I'm incredibly worried about my family there, I pray lord may protect them and give them peace"

Sara* (name changed  for safety reasons), a young lady from Haiban village in Nuba Mountains, expressed her grieves of the recent air strikes on the village happened in the morning of 16th, Oct 2014. The strike left 6 civilians dead, 5 of them were minors and 2 children were severely injured. As Thursday marks the weekly market of Haiban; people from the neighboring villages were gathering, they were all terrified and shocked. Nawal Jafar, a five years old child who was severely injured has died on Sunday 19th, Oct 2014 following 4 of her siblings and leaving an injured sister and overwhelmed mother.

Nuba Mountains is striving in war since June 2011. In 2012, HRW described the international response by "The international response to humanitarian law and human rights violations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile has been muted and largely eclipsed by attention to the deteriorating relations and conflict between Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan. Although the relation between the two neighbors has been quite stable since 2012, yet the violations are not being in the spot light of the international community which is prioritizing  the issue of national dialogue over the humanitarian and human rights situation in Sudan.

Albashir addressed the nation in January 27th and invited the opposition parties to hold on national dialogue in order to resolve economic and political issues affecting the country. On September 4th, Signing parties of Paris declaration (SRF and Umma Party) have met with Thmbo Mbiki of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel. Both Paris declaration group and 7+7 mechanism of the national dialogue has signed separately on code of principles which verifies the needs for national dialogue and constitutional process, calling for suspension of causalities, cease of fire and allowing provision of humanitarian assistance. The NCP regarded the signature as important step forward, says Sudan Tribune. However, recent bombardments of Haiban seems contradicting to what is happening in Addis Ababa, on the dialogue table.

 Abdallah Teia Gumaa, a former Minster and MP and a member of SPLM-N told "The signature over the code of principles was intended to decrease the pressures on the NCP government without making any genuine actions to reach a solution. Soon after the signature; they started to look for financial support and Mbeki requested to alleviate the economic sanctions on Sudan. The NCP government has never committed to cease fire, even to provide access to humanitarian assistance for people trapped in the war zones. They insisted on complete cease fire without reaching a political agreement, moreover relief missions to be managed from Khartoum, despite the trust issues between the people in war zones and the central government" He described the recent shelling of Haiban as continuation of the atrocities against the civilians and the seriousness of the government on implementing "Hot Summer Operations" Which was announced in November 2013 with the purpose of eradicating rebellion. Personally he thinks the signature over the codes was made out of a good intention from the oppositions towards NCP. He emphasized that they have never signed those codes, but the mechanism of the national dialogue did. According to Sudan Tribune; the Sudanese minister of foreign affairs stated that he discussed improving the bilateral relations with US in a phone call with John Kerry. Apparently NCP are making benefits over the national dialogue alleged progress.


The atrocities in Darfur also never ceased. Birka village in North Darfur was attacked at night on Friday March 14th, by Rapid Response Forces (RRF) a pro government militia. Residents of Birka were racially assaulted, their properties were looted, men were severely beaten up while they were trying to protect women from sexual violence. Adam Omer Musa; a father of three minor girls were shot dead while he was protecting his daughters and asking them to run away. By Sunday 16, March Birka village was completely burnt. RRF moved to Serefai village; looting and terrifying the people. Additionally they destructed over 1700 farms by running their vehicles over the plants, putting the local population at risk of famine. By April 15th, the number of looted and burnt villages exceeded 30, with tens of thousands of displaced persons. However the local government in Elfashir claimed that the perpetrators are boarder guards militias and not RRF although that wouldn't make any difference as both militias operate under the supervision of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

On March 11th, University of Khartoum students peacefully protested against the deteriorated humanitarian situation in Darfur displacement camp. Ali Abbakar, a third year student at the faculty of economics and social sciences originally from South Darfur was killed by pro government students militias and around 100 students were arbitrary arrested. The person who shot him in front of his colleagues was never taken to court.

Last January It seemed ironic calling for a national dialogue while two thirds of the population are living in war zones and huge violations of freedom of expression and association was manifested in the killings, arbitrary arrests and detention of peaceful protesters.The NCP regime seems to be more committed to the hot summer operations than the national dialogue process and the international community yet to consider looking at those violations over the one sided so called national dialogue.

People of Birka fleeing their village, Mar 2014, copy rights to Sudanese Dream

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