UN sources indicate that from 20 June 2007 to mid November 2007, there were at least 15 land and air attacks on civilian centers in all three Darfur States that were carried out by Government, affiliated militia and SLA/MM forces. On several occasions, civilian casualties were reported to have resulted from clashes between warring parties who failed to distinguish between combatants and non combatants, and used disproportionate and indiscriminate means of warfare. As a result of these attacks, over 170 civilians were killed, approximately 30 civilians suffered injuries and at least three women were raped. The attacks led to widespread looting and destruction of civilian property, including hundreds of houses, the theft and killing of large numbers of livestock, as well as the displacement of thousands of people.
i) Bir Dagig and Kondonbe (West Darfur), 1 July 2007
On 1 July 2007, in the Bir Dagig area, an attack began around 11:00 am when a group of approximately 12 militiamen on horses and camels came into the area. They tied up and beat six or seven men, some of whom were working in the gardens and others who were inside the village. These men were then taken west to a nearby mountain where many of them were severely beaten. UN sources interviewed one woman who was raped and four women who were beaten in their houses. Some of the attackers, who grew to around 36 in number by the evening, went into the village to loot property, such as clothes, radios, blankets and money. The 2 July 2007 intervention by the Government official did prevent further violations by militia. A day or two later the same militia returned to Bir Dagig and held a man for ransom, which the community paid. This was followed by further incidents on 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 July 2007 inside and outside of Bir Dagig. Most of the victims were women who were attacked while travelling between Bir Dagig and a market in Kondobe (a one hour walk south of Bir Dagig).
ii) Hillet Hajar (North Darfur), 9 July 2007
On 9 July 2007, Hillet Hajar village was attacked; it seems by SLA/MM forces. A witness reported that the attack took place in the morning, around 11:00, and was carried out by over a hundred armed men mostly dressed in grey plain and camouflage uniforms. Two males, a 35 and a 15 year old, were killed each shot and then stabbed and two other persons were also injured.
iii) Kafod and Kutum (North Darfur), 26 July 2007
On 26 July 2007, in the vicinity of Kafod and Kutum (North Darfur) three men in green khaki uniforms described as Government soldiers from Sheg al Nakhara threatened villagers in Deba Fooka with their weapons and demanded possessions, including cars. On 30 July, the Security Committee in Kutum promised villagers to prevent the soldiers from coming back, but reportedly, the soldiers came to a nearby hill on the morning of 1 August, and fired several rounds of shots towards the village. On 31 July, the northern Rizeigat group many dressed in the uniforms of the Border Intelligence mounted an attack on the Tarjem group which left at least 68 people dead. On 21 August, in the course of an operation to arrest about 35 IDPs in the Kalma Camp, security services looted shelters housing IDPs.
iv) Bulbul area (South Darfur), 27 July 14 August 2007
On 27 July 2007, members of the Abbala tribe attacked Ruhud al Bujut (28 kilometers south of Nyala), which resulted in the death of three Tarjum and the injury of two others. On 30 July 2007, several hundred Abbala militia, on camels, horses and land cruisers with mounted machine guns, attacked the market of Bulbul Abu Jazzo (45 kilometers west of Nyala). Seventy five Tarjum men were killed, most of whom were armed, while they were attempting to defend their cattle. On the following day, over 60 people were killed and many others wounded, including civilians, in another attack by Abbala tribesmen, reportedly drawn from the Border Intelligence Guards, on the village of Gawaya, near Sania Dileiba (45 kilometers southwest of Nyala). The attack took place during a condolence procession for the Tarjum men, who had died during a previous attack on Sani Dileiba area.
In August, at least two further attacks occurred. On 3 August 2007, an attack took place on the Tarjum villages of Dondora and Umhimada (south of Misik, and 20 kilometers northwest of Nyala). Preliminary information received indicated that 22 people had been killed and 11 were injured on the side of the Tarjum, and two Abbala were injured. On 14 August 2007, Amarjadeed was attacked by approximately 150 Abbala militiamen, dressed in green camouflage uniform. The attackers fired randomly at residents as they entered into the village. Five men were reportedly killed and two injured. Property and cattle was stolen.
v) Majlis Waylo (West Darfur), 29 July 2007
From 29 July 2007 to mid November, members of armed militias launched a series of attacks on Erenga villages, which involved assault and pillage. The attacks were concentrated on Majlis Waylo villages, located northeast of El Geneina, but also affected Kondobe and Bir Dagig. Serious human rights violations were reported, including the unlawful killing of a civilian, the rape of two Erenga women, several cases of physical assault and intimidation of civilians, extortion, extensive looting and destruction of property. These attacks resulted in the displacement of a large number of families from Majlis Waylo villages to Kondobe as well as to Dorti IDP camp.
According to villagers, more than 300 families, representing the entire population of the 12 cluster villages, fled but at by mid November 2007, these numbers had not been confirmed by UNHCR. During their exodus, many persons reported having been robbed and beaten as they walked along the road. Families displaced to Dorti IDP camp reported having been forced to pay large amounts of money in order to have their belongings safely transported to the camp. The police reportedly failed to protect civilians to investigate any of these incidents. During the incident in Bir Dagig, on 29 July 2007, the police were alerted, but did not deploy to the area. The incidents in Majlis Waylo were also reported to the police in Kondobe but the police commander for Kondobe/Bir Dagig indicated that he did not intend to take any action.
vi) Kondobe area (West Darfur) 29 July 1 August 2007
Between 29 July and 1 August 2007, civilians in 12 villages in the Kondobe area of West Darfur including Bir Dagig, Hashaba, Messelma, Sadyo, Bagado, Majlis Waylo, Kabaro and Chir Chir were simultaneously attacked by militias. The militias killed one person in Hasahaba and destroyed personal property and crops in other areas. On 17 August 2007, militia from the Maalya tribe attacked the village of Kilikil Abu Salam, near Haskanita, North Darfur. About 500 heavily armed militiamen demolished the market in the village and killed a large number of cattle/livestock.
vii) Guldo (West Darfur), 10 August 2007
On 10 August 2007, a group reportedly affiliated with Abdul Wahid’s faction of the SLA (SLA/AW) surrounded a Government military camp located outside Guldo town, in Jebel Marra. According to information received, a confrontation took place outside the town and the assailants were able to enter and take control of Guldo town. A few hours later, the Government deployed men into Guldo, entering in direct clashes with the assailants inside the town. As a result, one civilian was killed. Thousands of residents fled to nearby villages. Eyewitnesses to the events reported as well that as a result of the launching of long range rockets by Government forces, one woman was killed, and another woman and her three children were injured.
viii) Jamal Naga (West Darfur), 4 September 2007
UN agencies, bodies and programs operating in Darfur received information of an alleged attack on Jamal Naga (seven kilometers northwest of El Geneina) on 4 September, at around midnight, by militiamen from Shakawaya, Koncongha and Beyra. On 8 September 2007, victims and witnesses from Jamal Naga reported that, on 4 September 2007, about 70 militiamen on horseback surrounded Jamal Naga.
UN staff interviewed three victims, a man and two women, who had been physically assaulted and abducted by the attackers. The victims indicated that they have been held in Shakawaya (a village) for 24 hours. The attackers demanded a ransom of 5,000 Sudanese Dinars for their release from the Adar police, where the abductees were subsequently taken. The police commander in Adar told the abductors that the police do not have the ransom and then advised them to hand over the detainees to the police in Ardamata. Subsequently, the abductors refused to hand over the detainees to the police and transferred them to Shakawaya. Reportedly, detainees were released the following day and on their way back to Dorti IDP camp were assisted by the AMIS patrol that brought them to the Ardamata police station. The male victim who was seriously injured was immediately transferred to the military hospital where he was admitted and treated. A police file was opened at Medina police station in El Geneina.
ix) Beli Sereif and Dobo (North Darfur), 8 September 2007
In the early morning on 8 September 2007, Beli Sereif village was attacked by about 50 armed militia men. The attackers, reportedly dressed in Government style uniforms and on horse and camelback, fired randomly while entering into the village. It was reported that, two men were killed and two boys, of 10 and 15 years old, were injured. Large numbers of livestock were stolen by the militia group. The majority of the population fled the attack scattering in the surrounding mountain area. Other IDPs from the Dobo area, reported that the on going insecurity forced them to abandon their villages. The Dobo area has been under current attacks since the beginning of 2007, in an apparent attempt to clear the area of its civilian population.
x) Merkele and Modogulu (West Darfur), 9 September 2007
On 9 September, at around 18:00, about 40 armed militiamen, reportedly on horseback, surrounded Merkele and Modogulu villages, located approximately eight kilometers north west of El Geneina and inhabited by people of predominantly Erenga origin. According to eyewitnesses and victims, the attackers dispersed in both villages and pillaged about 80 houses out of 400. It was reported that anyone who resisted the pillage even women and children, were systematically beaten with sticks and whips. The sheikh of sheikhs of both villages, a 60 year old Erenga man, was attacked with sticks and whipped by four men described as militia men wearing green camouflage military uniforms and covering their faces with scarves. The assaulters accused the sheikh of sheikhs of hiding 12 rebel members who had allegedly arrived to Merkele the same day. The attack lasted approximately one and a half hours. UN officials heard that the attack was reported to Adar police station and El Geneina Police headquarters. At around 20:30, a joint NISS, police and Sudan Armed Forces force in three vehicles evacuated the sheikh of sheikhs. The victim lodged a complaint at Ardamata police station and was later transferred to El Geneina Hospital.
xi) Haskanita (North Darfur), 10 September 2007
On 10 September 2007, the Government forces bombed and launched a ground attack on certain non signatory areas in Haskanita, which caused an unconfirmed number of civilian casualties. According to Commander in the area, five helicopter gunships and Antonovs bombed Haskanita town on 10 September. No casualties were reported but it seems that rebel forces shot down two helicopters. About 30 minutes later, Government troops in 75 vehicles attacked the town by land and UN officials were told that two women were killed and 25 civilians injured. The attack was repelled by the rebel forces. In the aftermath of the 30 September 2007 attack on the AMIS camp in Haskanita, which resulted in the death of 10 AMIS officers and in scores of injured, the town, including the marketplace, was completely burnt down and destroyed. The 6,000 to 7,000 inhabitants fled the area to a number of locations around Haskanita.
xii) Tanjeke (West Darfur), 18 September 2007
A series of incidents began on 18 September 2007, when a group of nine armed and uniformed militiamen beat three IDP men, injuring one seriously. On 19 September 2007, a group of armed men abducted another IDP. He was taken to a house and held there for two days until his release. On 22 September 2007, about 100 armed militiamen, reportedly from the Awlad Janoub clan, attacked Tanjeke village and pillaged several houses. They shot and killed a man who resisted the looting of his home. After the attack had concluded, a police force and senior state Government officials came to the area and spoke with the police and the community. The Government officials and police attempted to negotiate a settlement of dia between the Awlad Janoub and the family of the victim. In a follow up meeting with UNMIS Human Rights Observers (hereinafter HROs), the Commissioner of Sirba Locality admitted that the Government was unable to resolve this kind of issue through official legal channels as the police lacked human resources and logistics and were not able for the time being to conduct proper investigations and arrest the suspects. He indicated to UN officials that he thought it was reasonable to resolve this kind of incident through Sudanese customary laws promoting mediation.
xiii) Birmaza (North Darfur), 18 September 2007
On 18 September 2007, Government Antonov planes carried out aerial bombardments in the area of Birmaza. The bombings resulted in the death of an eight year old boy, and the serious wounding of a 12 year old girl. Eye witnesses, confirmed that three bombs were dropped on Birmaza by three low flying Government planes. The mother of the 12 year old girl reported that her daughter was outside playing when the first bomb dropped that injured her daughter with shrapnel. Other eyewitness described the destruction of houses and the killing of animals. Birmaza earlier had been the scene of aerial and ground attacks in November 2006, where an estimated 50 civilians were killed.
xiv) Umshijerah (South Darfur), 20 September 2007
On 20 September, heavily armed militiamen, dressed in military uniforms, attacked Umshijerah village, which led to the death of two Zaghawa men. When villagers were gathering at the village cemetery the next day to bury the two men, a group of militiamen attacked them again, resulting in the death of another 13 men and the injury of three others. Umshijerah village is located in a SLA/MM controlled area.
xv) Dajo (South Darfur), 24 September 2007
On 24 September 2007, Dajo village (seven kilometers east of Beleel) was attacked by 18 to 20 armed militiamen in government style uniforms. During the attack, a man was killed and three others were injured. A complaint was filed at Beleel police station but, according to community leaders, no investigation was launched subsequently.
xvi) Um Hijelij (North Darfur), 25 26 September 2007
Aerial bombardments and clashes between governmental forces and non signatory factions in the area of Um Hijelij (about 150 kilometers east of El Fasher) on 25 26 September 2007, resulted in at least 15 deaths. On 25 September, a bombing of Um Hijelij by Government left at least three women dead. On 26 September an attack by a rebel faction against a commercial truck convoy guarded by governmental soldiers left 12 dead. According to a victim’s relative, a 22 year old female was shot in the head by rebel attackers.
xvii) Muhajiria (South Darfur), 8 October 2007
On 8 October 2007, Muhajiria town, a SLA/MM stronghold, was attacked by approximately 900 militiamen, reportedly from the Maalia and Rizeigat tribes, with the apparent support of the Government’s Popular Defence Forces (PDF). An Antonov plane belonging to the Government was also reported to have flown around Muhajiria during the attack and to have bombed two locations on the southern side of the market area. According to eye witnesses, the attackers first headed towards the market and kept shooting at people randomly. After looting the market, they torched the shops and headed towards the residential area, where they continued to fire indiscriminately on people and houses. At the time of writing of the present report, the number of casualties had yet to be confirmed, but reports indicated that the attack resulted in at least 30 civilian deaths, and in the burning of 70 to 100 houses. Residents from the area fled to Abu Dangal, Labadu, Khazan Gaddid, El Fasher and Nyala.
UN agencies, bodies and programmes operational in Darfur documented incidents over the last several months of killings, physical assaults, harassment and intimidation, perpetrated by Government and militia forces, as well as by SLA/MM members. In North Darfur, there were at least 10 murders, three of which seemed to have been perpetrated by SLA/MM, and seven by Government and allied militia forces. Additionally, 14 cases of physical assault and five cases of harassment and intimidation were also documented. Eleven out of these last 19 cases involved IDPs; seven were reportedly perpetrated by SLA/MM members, five by armed militia and the remaining by Government security forces.
In the eastern part of West Darfur, there were five cases of arbitrary killings and two cases of physical assault and intimidation directed at IDPs reported, which seem to have been perpetrated by both Government officials and armed elements located inside or in the vicinity of the camps.
In the western part of West Darfur, UN staff received information on incidents of unlawful killings, including of a minor. Four out of six of those killed were IDPs. Information was also received about a further documented 10 incidents of attacks against civilians, involving 11 victims, nine of which were IDPs. All cases were reported to the police but, at the time of the writing, no suspects had yet been identified. In two cases, where a woman was shot and injured and in a case where the suspects were Central Reserve Police (CRP) members, the police took action and launched investigations. In eight other cases, the police did not investigate.
Tensions between military and police in Government held areas have blocked the access of civilians to justice. In North Darfur, in several cases against IDPs involving military personnel, although the victims reported the incidents to the police, no follow up was taken because the military failed to cooperate. On 23 July, in a dispute with an IDP family over a flood barrier, the perpetrator claimed that he had been armed by the Government, threatened to kill a woman and her family, and then opened fire on them. No one was injured. The police initially informed UN staff that they needed more witnesses before acting, but later informed them that the file had been forwarded to the prosecutor in order to have him request the military legal adviser to bring forward the accused. To date, the military had not done so. In other two other cases in North Darfur, involving the assault and harassment of shopkeepers in Kabkabiya by Border Intelligence Guards in late July and early August 2007, although the police registered the cases and contacted military authorities to turn over the suspects, the cases were later suspended, because the military ignored the request. In both cases, victims reported the police had stated that they were unable to bring a case against members of the armed forces.
There were many other examples of cases documented which involved IDPs. An UNMIS mission to Shangil Tobayi (North Darfur) on 11 July 2007 met with a group of new arrivals from Beli Serif (in the Dobo area), who reported that they were victimized by militia. Some one hundred families arrived from the Dobo area in Shangil Tobayi during June and July. On 29 June, a group of six women accompanied by an unconfirmed number of children were stopped by militias in Debaneira while fleeing, where they, including a twelve year old girl and another girl of unknown age, were raped by the militias and robbed of their personal possessions. The children were mistreated, whips were reported to have been used, and all but one child managed to escape.
An attack near Kassab camp (North Darfur) prompted an intervention from the Government on 13 August 2007. An unknown assailant reportedly threw a hand grenade at a Government military checkpoint near Kassab IDP camp in which one soldier was wounded. Government military forces allegedly responded by entering Kassab camp and firing indiscriminately, prompting many IDPs to flee the camp temporarily for safety. No civilian casualties were reported.
On 2 September 2007, a 40 year old Erenga IDP from Riyadh camp, in West Darfur, was shot dead by two unidentified men in Abugabina village, where he had gone to visit his relatives. He was reportedly shot twice in his father’s hut when he refused to go outside and give the two armed men wearing green camouflage uniforms, directions. The next day, a group of people from the village traced the footprints of the attackers, which led them to Shigarate nomadic settlement. The nomads found in the settlement denied having seen anyone coming to their camp from Abugabina. The case was reported to the police station and to a nearby military camp. However, the military commander refused to intervene explaining that it was not his responsibility to arrest criminals. The case was recorded at the police station, but no action was taken.
In North Darfur, the situation in Kabkabiya town grew tense with the killing of two young girls on 15 and 19 October 2007. On 15 October, widespread fighting erupted in the market area and, on 19 October, a group of 1000 1500 persons marched with the body of the dead girl to the Commissioners’ office. On 20 October, a demonstration took place with approximately 200 people in front of the AU. Information received indicates that the demonstrators were armed with sticks and stones, but no firearms.
In Kalma camp (South Darfur), a number of violent incidents broke out between Fur and Zaghawa IDPs following incidents that took place from 16 19 October 2007 during which three IDPs were killed and seven wounded. Efforts by the Government to enter the camp were met with violent resistance. Humanitarian agencies were obliged to evacuate the camp. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 IDPs had fled the camp and moved to Al Salam, Otash and Dereige camps and Majok village, while others dispersed in Nyala town itself. In a meeting with UN agencies and NGOs and the Governor of South Darfur on 20 October, the HAC representative stated the intention to relocate IDPs out of Kalma as of 22 October. HAC later provided OCHA and IOM with a list of locations that they were promoting as areas of resettlement for the population that left Kalma. HAC confirmed that they were in consultation with IDP Sheikhs to convince them to accept the HAC plan.
Violent incidents reported to have occurred inside Kalma camp between 18 23 October 2007, included attacks on civilians in market areas, restrictions on movements within the camp among tribal lines, as well as of those attempting to leave or return. Much of the violence reported has been attributed to armed Fur, including children, against other tribes in the camp. Four Zaghawa men were reported killed and one wounded on 18 October 2007. The perpetrators were not identified. Also on 18 October, a group of 30 armed and uniformed Fur men reportedly ordered shopkeepers in a Kalma market to close. They shot in the air, destroyed some shop displays and provoked civilians to flee. On 19 October, the same group returned in greater number and beat civilians. On 20 October, groups of men armed with riffles and children armed with sticks from the Fur community organized in four sectors of the camp, where they implemented road blocks between the sectors to control the movement of IDPs along tribal lines, beating and arresting those from outside the Fur community. Additional reports were received that Zaghawa and Massaliet IDPs were detained and beaten by armed Fur men and children. Also on 20 October armed men reportedly fired in a market, killing one person and wounding another. On 22 October, an IDP who entered the camp to collect his personal belonging was reportedly captured by a group of children, tied and beaten. He was released with orders to return to the camp.
Between 16 and 17th October 2007, tribal gunfights between Dajo Massalit linked to a political conflict between Sudanese Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) (Massalit/Zaghawa) and Sudanese Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW) (Fur/Dajo) were reported to have resulted in two wounded from Dajo tribe. On 16th October, a shop in Kalma camp market belonging to a Dajo IDP was reported looted and the owner seriously beaten. The same day, two youths from Dajo tribe were reportedly kidnapped. Reports were received on the build up of armed Massalit. On 18 October, gunshots were reported and humanitarian agencies decided to evacuate the camp. The same day, information was received on the massive arrival of SLA/MM elements in the camp from Labado area. In the evening of 18 October, reports were received on the exchange of fire and in the early morning of 19 October, AMIS sent a patrol to Kalma and discovered that Government of the Sudan (forces including military and police components) entered the camp with around 30 vehicles. According to sources, this operation provoked a minimum of 17 wounded, one IDP killed and the burning of approximately 175 IDPs’ structures (shelters) as well as facilities belonging to INGOs. Damage was reported on an INGO clinic, INGO offices, an INGO community centre and the Kalma social center. There were also indications that a large number of children have gone missing.
Implementation seems to have begun, to the extent that in October 2007, the Government indicated that it had issued and circulated rules to enforce discipline in the Sudanese Armed Forces. The information received indicates that attacks have been ongoing, between June and September 2007. At the time of writing of the present report, it was still premature to assess whether the Armed Forces orders issued in October were having any real impact at ground level.
The above Code of conduct issued to the armed forces partially implements recommendation 1.1.1. It prohibits the following actions: making civilians or civilian objects the object of attacks (see item 5, line 5). The code also does not specifically prohibit indiscriminate attack. The Code also refers in item 7 above that immunity would be waived for bearers of command responsibilities.
Recommendation 1.1.1 recalls that attacks against the civilian population can amount to a war crimes and crimes against humanity. No explicit reference was made to such crimes in the Code.
The code is addressed to the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) but does not refer to other militias that might operate under the control or in cooperation with the Government of the Sudan. It is recommended that the Code refers to other militias as required in recommendation 1.1.1.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
The Disarmament Commission was given 85 tractors with a full range of accessories worth 4 million. They were distributed to a number of areas for use in reintegration programmes.
Conditions have not been conducive in Darfur for disarmament. The Plan of Action has a funding problem. However, there have been some isolated activities to disarm undertaken by governors. One million illicit small arms have been circulating in Darfur. The spread of weapons in the whole sub region has worsened the crisis. In addition to the absence of Government infrastructure in the area, there has been a lack of resources, which contributed to competition between tribes over weapons. UNICEF and SLM have initiated a program for children. Each tribe is permitted to carry arms to defend themselves against the other tribe. On 5 September 2007, there was a symposium on the disarmament of children with the National Council on the Protection of Children and UNICEF. Thirty members of the regular forces and 30 members of integrated units participated. The Government informed the group of experts of a plan to control and disarm the militia in cooperation with the UN and AMIS, but indicated that because of a lack of funds and an environment in Darfur that was not conducive to such steps as long as the conflict continued, no progress had been made.
Disarmament of irregular forces and reduction in the number of armed forces remains part of the peace process. A plan for the disarmament of militias has been in the process of being implemented in Kass, southern Darfur. A disarmament plan was given to the AU, but so far the Government has not received an official response, perhaps because of a lack of funds for implementation.
No information received relating to the period 20 June 2007 to mid November 2007.
Assessment of Implementation of Recommendation 1.1.2
Implementation seems not to have started. The plan was not published. Some equipment was acquired, but it is unclear whether or not it will be used in the Darfur region. Insufficient action seems to have been taken to control or disarm the militia and downsize security forces such as the Popular Defence Forces (PDF), Border Intelligence Guard, Central Reserve Police, Popular Police or Nomadic Police, as well as to vet such organisations to exclude members who have committed serious human rights violations.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
At 16:00 on 1 August 2007, the armed forces fought off an attack by a group known as the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM Unity) against the city of Adilah. The attack was carried out against citizens and their property and struck terror into the people’s hearts. The armed forces forced the rebels to withdraw after losing 11 of their own men. The armed forces and the police continue to use checkpoints and mobile patrols to secure transport roads and pathways in Darfur. There are checkpoints in: (a) Shaqrah (b) Dunuki Shattah (c) Awm (d) Taratur Ajabu (e) Shanqal Tubay (f) Kumah (g) Umm Draysai and (h) Umm Attash. There are mobile patrols: (a) securing the Al Fashir Al Kumah Umm Kadadah road; (b) securing the Al Fashir Niyala road; (c) securing the Al Fashir Katam road; (d) securing the Al Fashir Malit road; and (e) securing the Al Fashir Kabkabayah road.
An armed forces committee was set up to estimate the losses arising from the mistaken bombardment of the Al Ara’is area in the Umm Kadadah district of North Darfur. It established a figure of 35,154,653 (thirty five million, one hundred and fifty four thousand, three and fifty) dinars to be distributed to those who had been wounded (four persons), killed (five persons) or had suffered damage to property (46 persons). The third and final instalment was disbursed on 12 September 2006.
A joint plan between the Ministry of Interior, authorities of the three Darfur provinces and the African Union to protect IDPs exists. Since May, the evidence shows that there have been spontaneous returns: 351 000 IDPs and refugees have returned to villages. There is a committee for the protection of IDP camps, which has met weekly, and is comprised of representatives of international agencies, as well as and police and provincial representatives. They have received no reports on any problems regarding the camps. Joint patrols continue. In one incident in Kalma Camp, police entered the camp as they were pursuing people who had attacked a police station and killed two persons despite the fact that they knew that they should not enter the camp. The criminals were arrested and the police showed great self constraint.
The Permanent Mission of the Sudan to the United Nations Office in Geneva, provided a copy of a Report on the attack on Muhajeria Village on 8 November 2007. The Report was submitted by HQ Sector 8, African Mission in the Sudan, dated 21 October. The report provides information relayed by the SLA(M) Humanitarian Assistant officer, Mr Awwad reporting that militias supported by the Government attacked Muhajeria village on 8 October 2007. The report’s findings established the following: Thatched structures have been burned and some shops were looted. Eleven SLA/MM combatants and 48 civilians died while 28 combatants and 22 civilians were seriously wounded. Militias reported that 11 men were killed, 21 wounded and 5 were still missing. The report indicates that these figures could not be independently verified because no graves were shown. No evidence of aerial bombardment and no craters or bomb castings were seen in the general area where the attack took place, although a white Antonov aircraft was reported to have been seen flying around the village on 8 October prior to the attack. The Muhajeria attack was carried out by militias in relation for rustling activities by unknown groups operating around Muhajeria area. However, there was no evidence that the Government was involved in this attack. The weapons used by militias which include AK 47, RPG and mounted guns coupled by the professional manner in which they are employed might have given the erroneous impression of Government support. However, there was no evidence to prove the Government’s involvement in the attack on Muhajeria on 8 October 2007. There was also a suspected collaboration between the SLA/MM and non signatory factions as one of their vehicles mounted with a multi barrel launcher was captured by the militias when SLM/MM attacked one of their locations. Even though there was an aircraft seen flying over Muhajeria village prior to the attack, no signs of bombs dropped by any aircraft were found. The attack caused displacement of civilians.
According to UN figures, 2670,000 people had been newly displaced between January and end of October 2007 with particularly high figures in August, September and October, putting the total number of displaced at 2.2 million and the total number of people receiving relief assistance at 4.2 million, nearly two thirds of Darfur’s population. Some of Darfur’s IDP camps could no longer absorb new arrivals.
Information received indicates that attacks have been continuing and the necessary measures have not been taken to avert the threat of and prevent attacks on civilians and intervene to protect populations under attack in all areas under Government control. The Muhajeria incident as reported by AMIS, other incidents reported under recommendation 1.1.1 as well as the high number of new displacements indicate that despite certain activities undertaken by the Government of Sudan, the civilian population remained largely unprotected. The Government failed to meet its positive obligation under human rights law to control militias and to protect the civilian populations from acts committed against civilians.
Written information submitted to the Special Rapporteur during her mission in Sudan from 25 July 2007 to 2 August 2007
The Woman and Children Desk of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Sudan has expressed its readiness to undertake joint work with the UN and the international community in various areas concerning children, including pressuring the Government of the Sudan to abide by the international protocols and charters regarding children. This was expressed in a “Memorandum on visit of the UN Secretary General Envoy for children affected by armed conflict in the Sudan”, of the Women and Child Desk of the Human Rights Secretariat.
A census was taken of child soldiers in the Abyei area (150 children). Sixteen children in Wau and 24 children in Bantiyu were reunited with their families. A census was taken of child soldiers in the state of the Blue Nile (227), the areas of Karmak (270), Kassala (24) and Qadarif (857) and Sha`iriyah east of Jebel Marra.
The Government reported that it had identified 857 child soldiers in eastern Jebel Marra Sheria, however, it did not provide information on other areas in the Darfur region. In June 2007, UNICEF and the SLA/MM signed a joint action plan to demobilize, disarm and reintegrate child soldiers.
UNICEF and the Sudan Liberation Movement Army (SLM/A) signed a joint Action Plan on 11 June 2007 regarding the Disarmament, Demobilization and Re Integration of children associated with the SLM/A, as part of efforts to implement commitments made in the Darfur Peace Agreement. Short term commitments (i.e. within 2 months after signature) in the Plan include: to identify the locations and number of children have been associated with the SLM/A; to conduct joint missions with SLM/A and the UN to identify these children and understand their reintegration needs and to raise the awareness of SLM/A commanders in the field of the rights of the child. Implementation was delayed due to move towards renewed peace talks, but in mid August 2007, SLA commanders reiterated to UNICEF their commitment to the Plan. UNICEF has agreed to provide services to the released children through a community based reintegration programme. No concrete commitments to release children have been made by other armed groups.
Between June and October 2007, UN agencies, bodies and programmes operational in Darfur reported fewer cases of child recruitment into the armed forces and militia than had been done previously over a comparable time period. During the reporting period, UN staff gathered evidence indicating that JEM/Peace Wing (JEM/PW) recruited children among IDP communities in Dereig, in South Darfur. JEM/Peace Wing is signatory of the June Declaration of Commitment with the Government of Sudan, and therefore considered in favor of the DPA. A 15 year old girl, recruited in May 2007, reported that this recruitment usually took place following public meetings between JEM/PW commanders and IDPs. The girl reported that at least 120 children of both sexes were sent to JEM/PW training in Um Dum at the end of July. When interviewed on this question by UN staff, the JEM/PW commander in South Darfur denied the allegations, but acknowledged that among his forces there were minors, some of whom, according to him, were about to be demobilized.
Some limited progress seems to have been made with regard to the registration of children recruited into armed groups and follow up to these cases.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
To implement a memorandum of understanding between the Sudanese Ministry of the Interior and the African Union Mission, a plan was established to provide security for IDP camps, whereby internal camp security will be provided by the Sudanese police, while the African Union Mission will secure and protect the areas outside the camps. The following have been deployed: in North Darfur: 142 officers and 6,353 men of other ranks, securing 20 displaced persons’ camps; in South Darfur: 119 officers and 6,148 men of other ranks, securing 25 displaced persons’ camps, in West Darfur: 114 officers and 5,413 members of other ranks, securing 28 displaced persons’ camps. The security situation in all camps has been calm. In 2007, there have been no security incidents in the camps.
The Government claimed that the security situation in IDP camps has improved, evidenced by the fact that IDPs went farther from the camps to engage in farming activities. According to the Government, AMIS continued to carry out firewood patrols and even increased their number. No information was provided as to how many camps benefit from effective and regular patrols. The Government also stated that 351,000 IDPs and refugees had returned spontaneously to their homes in an improved security situation.
The report states that the Government has taken certain measures to support women and children since 2005 such as establishing state level committees in each of the Darfur States and a unit to combat violence against women and children. This committee comprises representatives of the UN, the Police, the Prosecution service and the Humanitarian Aid Commission. The report indicates that an Advisory body was set up for women and children, deputy public prosecutors have been designated to liaise with IDP camps to review women’s cases, police women were appointed to protect IDP women, a directive was issued to facilitate treatment for victims and another for the facilitation of the procedures for organizations concerned with women and children issues.
The report provided tables showing the location, number and villages of IDPs present in north, west and South Darfur. According to Government figures displaced persons and affected persons in Darfur are as follows. North Darfur No of IDPs in camps 163 282, No of affected persons in gatherings or villages 287 456 total 450 738. South Darfur No of IDPs in camps 417 232 of affected persons in gatherings or villages 205 681 total 622 913. West Darfur No of IDPs in camps 141 585. No of affected persons in gatherings or villages 852 042 total 993 627. TOTAL 2 067 278.
Information submitted to the group of experts on 15 November 2007
Police have made available forces to strengthen and secure camps and villages where voluntary return has taken place involving the deployment of some one thousand soldiers. There has been a reduction in the number of incidents relating to violence against women.
Between July to November 2007, 359,000 displaced persons have returned to their villages from camps in Chad and IDP camps in Darfur.
See under recommendation 1.1.1
Assessment of Implementation of Recommendation 1.1.5
Some actions to protect IDPs have reportedly been undertaken by the authorities. However, the group of experts did not receive specific and detailed information from the Government or other sources on where and how often patrols were carried out and whether they had a positive impact on the number of attacks in the areas patrolled.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
On 14 June 2007, a workshop on combating violence against women was held, in cooperation with the UNMIS (Human Rights Component) Gender Unit, at police headquarters, to reaffirm the commitment to the implementation of the action plan on combating violence against women in Darfur, based on Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), Women, Peace and Security.
On 17 July 2007, a seminar was held, in collaboration with the Human Rights Section of UNMIS and the General Union of Sudanese Women, on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. An analytical paper was presented that compares the contents of the Protocol with the Constitution and national laws of the Sudan. The main objective was to involve civil society organizations in the decision on signing and acceding to the Protocol. A recommendation was made in that regard.
The Government of the Sudan has pledged to: Condemn violence against women and reaffirm that such crimes shall not go unpunished and that prompt action will be taken to investigate them, to identify and bring the perpetrators to justice and to award legal compensation to the victims; and reaffirm its commitment to implementing the national plan to combat violence. This has been done in a Declaration on measures to eliminate violence against women in Darfur of the Government of the Sudan, para. 1, 2.
The Government indicated that plans of action have been set for the state committees in Darfur for the next 6 months (July December 2007). In North Darfur, during the period (July September 2007) three workshops were conducted, highlighting criminal circular No 2 issued in the localities of: Kotum, Kabkabia, Malit. There were also subcommittees for combating violence established in the localities of: Kutum Kabkabia Malit. Seventeen newly prosecutors have been appointed and trained in El Fasher Region in: violence against women (1); and the international law of human rights (2). The committee for combating violence against women in North Darfur was technically and financial supported to implement the approved plans until December 2007. In West Darfur, technical and financial support was provided to implement the approved plan to commence in the end of October 2007 to raise the capacity of the cadre and highlighting criminal circular No. 2 issued by the Minister of Justice, at the local level. In South Darfur, technical and financial support was provided to the Unit of Combating violence against women to implement the approved plan, which will be implemented in the last week of October until mid November 2007. A number of workshops will be conducted to highlight criminal circular No 2 and the National Plan of Action. A committee has been established to set a plan to celebrate the 16 days of activism to combat violence against women in Khartoum and Darfur state comprising Government, UN, and civil Society from during 25 November until 10 December 2007. A workshop to train community police in international human rights law will be conducted from 4 6 December 2007 in coordination with the Ministry of Interior.
A report prepared by HAC, Darfur sector, covers the following issues: humanitarian indicators (good nutrition, reduction on malnutrition rates, settled health situation), humanitarian assistance (provided by WFP and ICRC), facilities and support provided by the Government (custom exemptions, capacity building for national NGOs, social reconciliation, affected population work force and support for humanitarian organizations, voluntary return to the villages.
The National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women was launched in November 2005. An inter ministerial technical committee was created in Khartoum to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan, and workshops were held in all three States for local authorities. State committees to combat sexual and gender based violence were subsequently created in all three Darfur States. In December 2005, the Government created a new unit to Combat Violence against Women and Children under the Minister of Justice, reportedly to institutionalize and coordinate the Government’s response to the problem and oversee the implementation of the Plan.
On 18 August 2007, the Minister of Justice passed a Declaration on the measures for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Darfur in which the Government condemned violence against women and reaffirmed a zero tolerance policy for such crimes. The Government also undertook to investigate, identify and prosecute perpetrators, as well as provide legal compensation to victims; to strengthen commitment towards the implementation of the 2005 National Action Plan; to ensure that women who suffered sexual violence were provided with medical care; disseminate and promote compliance with rules of application of Criminal Circular No. 2 and to deploy more women police officers to Darfur trained to deal with victims of sexual violence and other forms of gender based violence.
A National Action Plan was launched but, from the many reported incidence of sexual and gender based violence, there seems to have been no significant improvement. The unit established within the Ministry of Justice to oversee the implementation of the plan seems not to have made any considerable advancement in addressing the issue of violence against women.
Implementation has started. The recommendation has been partly implemented. The National Action Plan has been published. Plans of action have set for the state committees in Darfur for the period July December 2007 have been adopted. Some activities are planned during November and December 2007. However it seems that these activities had yet little impact on the ground.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
An important draft declaration was prepared affirming the State’s determination to implement the plan on combating violence against women in cooperation with UNMIS and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which made reference to the authoritative force of Security Council resolutions. The draft circular for the armed forces refers to the criminalization of acts of violence against women, including rape, and the prosecution of perpetrators.
The group of experts received statistics on complaints, trials and verdicts concerning violence against women and murder inculpating officials and members of the armed forces, the police forces and security forces in South, West Darfur and North Darfur. A workshop was to highlight the civil society about the declaration. The UNFPA agreed to conduct 3 workshops to disseminate the declaration. Statistics of rape cases were submitted, which cover reported cases for the period June to October 2007, are as follows:
North Darfur State: 7 rape cases reported between 4 February 2007 and 9 October 2007. Two cases were allegedly committed by unknown members belonging to SAF, two by unknown armed individuals, the rest by named individuals. The place of the alleged rape incidents were in Kutum, Elfasher, Salaam camp, Rwanda camp and Kassab camp. All the 7 cases remain under investigation.
Another separate document was received in regard to a number of other rape cases that were committed in North Darfur during 2007. It referred to 13 cases of rape. 7 individuals punished by imprisonment ranging between 6 months to 8 years imprisonment in addition to lashing between 40 to 139 lashes. Two cases were punished by the infliction of between 80 and 100 lashes. One case was decided to have been manifestly unfounded. Five cases remained under investigation. There were four other cases against members of the Armed Forces in Kutum court, North Dafur during January September 2007. Two individuals received 7 and 8 years imprisonment and two were in the process of being tried.
West Darfur State: 4 rape cases were reported between 3 May and 16 October 2007. All of the accused were named and identified individuals and were not armed or belonging to SAF. The places of the alleged incidents were Ardmta, Geneina and Four Brenga. Three cases remained under investigation while one case was pending. Rape crimes committed by members of the armed forces during 2007: 10 cases, 3 received 4 to 5 years imprisonment and 100 lashes, one not arrested 5 under trial, one under investigation. Six cases of killing were committed by members of the armed forces. Members belong to Border Guards, Reserve Police, SAF, Central Reserved Police. One acquitted, one under trial, two under investigation and two received death sentence by hanging. 11 cases were reported during August two cases received 80 lashes, one imprisonment and fine, six under trial, one under investigation, and one not yet detained.
South Darfur State: 16 rape cases were reported. Some of them were unknown individuals; some two from SAF and the rest were unknown armed individuals. All cases were under investigation while only one case was subject to legal proceedings.
On 18 August 2007, the Ministry of Justice publicly reiterated its commitment to ending sexual and gender based violence in Darfur.
An established pattern of violence against women has emerged in Darfur over the last several years of the conflict, and has been well documented by several UN bodies as well as international NGOs. Many instances of rape have been perpetrated by armed men in military uniform or in civilian clothes, travelling in groups on horses or camels. In North Darfur, however, in particular in the Tawila area and in Gereida area of South Darfur, incidents of sexual violence have been mainly perpetrated by men who victims claimed were SLA/MM members. Female IDPs have stated that, despite the severity of incidents perpetrated against them, they have had to continue to venture outside the camps to gather means of subsistence.
The majority of incidents of sexual violence have gone unreported. Many victims have chosen not to file complaints with police because they have felt that the police cannot or will not take appropriate action against perpetrators. In some cases, police action has been limited to receiving complaints with no further action being taken. In other instances, it was evident that victims were not adequately informed about the use of Criminal Form 8 and the proper procedure for filing a police complaint in cases of sexual assault. In other instances, police have decided to register depending on the gravity of the physical harm/injuries indicated on the Criminal Form 8 by the examining doctor on a purely discretionary basis. Fear of social stigma and continual denial by local authorities on the occurrence of rape has discouraged reporting. In many cases documented by UN agencies, bodies and programmes operational in Darfur, rape victims sought treatment in clinics run by international NGOs instead of those locally operated by the Government. While this choice may give victims access to better medical facilities, it may have reduced the victim’s access to justice in many cases because international NGO clinics have not been authorized by the Government to provide Criminal Form 8.
Between June and October 2007, UN agencies documented incidents of sexual violence almost every week totalling 45 women victims and one 10 year old boy.
Several cases of sexual and gender based violence have been documented in South Darfur, most of which involved female IDPs from Kalma and Al Salam camps, Umbraida and Gereida. In most of the cases documented, victims failed to report to the police for fear of social stigmatization or because police had failed to act adequately in previous occasions. Medical care in the cases documented was provided only by international NGOs working in IDP camps and not by Government run clinics. In at least one case, police refused to hand over a Criminal Form 8. From eastern West Darfur, the UN received reports of three attempted rape and six rape incidents involving a total of 12 women and girls. The majority of victims were from the Fur tribe. Although most of these cases were reported to the Police, and victims were provided with a Form 8 and referred to the hospital, in many cases, police failed to take any action after the complaint had been lodged.
In the western part of West Darfur, fewer cases were reported in 2007 than for the same period in previous years. Since 20 June 2007, there were 11 reported SGBV incidents, including rape, gang rape, assault and harassment. Due to logistical problems in gaining access to the field and to a general under reporting known to occur in SGBV related incidents, the actual number of incidents is estimated to be significantly higher than what has been actually reported. In the south west corridor of West Darfur, the prevalence of SGBV incidents was much lower than in the northern area of El Geneina. No cases were reported over this period in south West Darfur.
In North Darfur a total of 30 cases of SGBV were documented, of which there were 19 rapes, four attempted rapes and seven physical assaults and harassment. In 23 out of the 30 cases, victims were IDPs. The majority (15 cases), occurred in Tawila and the remaining in Kutum, Kabkabya and El Fasher, and seem to have been perpetrated mainly by militia or armed men (11) cases or SLA/MM soldiers (8). In terms of access to medical care, in 24 out of the 30 mentioned cases, victims sought and received assistance. During the period under review, UN staff did not document any case where a victim was prevented from receiving medical treatment in Government, or other, facilities. There have also been improvements in the delivery of Criminal Form 8. In 10 of the documented cases, victims were provided with one. In 17 cases, a Form was not issued mainly because Government facilities, such as in areas controlled by SLA/MM.
In most cases documented in North Darfur, victims chose not to file a report to the police, either because perpetrators came from armed forces or militia in control of the area (such as in cases involving SLA/MM), or because they had low expectations that anything would be done to assist them or to investigate the crime. In the cases where victims did report to the police, they faced major obstacles. On 16 August 2007, an 18 year old woman was gang raped by a group of soldiers in El Fasher. The victim was able to identify one of the soldiers by his first name. The case was reported to the police, military and prosecutor, who together with the victim’s father visited the scene of the crime. On 27 August 2007, the prosecutor informed UN staff that the military had insisted on knowing the full names of the perpetrators before they could take any action. On 6 September 2007, a 17 year old IDP girl was raped by seven men when she was returning from school to Al Salaam camp, in North Darfur. The incident was reported to the police, who stated to the father of the victim that the case would be difficult to pursue because the perpetrators belonged to the military. On 8 October 2007, the prosecutor stated that the first names of four of the perpetrators were known, but that, in order to take action, the military needed their full names. Only one case in Darfur reached the Court in the period between 20 June 2007 and the time of writing of the present report. The case involved a 10 year old boy who was allegedly molested by a man on 13 July 2007. The case was being processed in Kutum, North Darfur.
There have been a number of other documented cases. For example, on 21 June 2007, three Fur women from the Rwanda IDP camp near Tawila in North Darfur were severely beaten and raped by three armed men who arrived on camels. Two of the men wore khaki uniforms while the third was in civilian clothes. The three women had gone in search of food and were intercepted by the armed men. The women told UN personnel that they thought that the men were SLA/MM soldiers. All three women, who were carrying children on their backs, were subjected to severe beatings when they tried to resist being raped. The men later separated the women, took them to different locations and raped them. One of the women became unconscious after her ordeal.
On 23 June 2007, a 35 year old IDP Massalite woman and her 7 year old daughter were attacked by an armed militia man near a hillside northwest of Kerenek, West Darfur. While the daughter managed to escape, the woman was caught by the perpetrator and whipped several times. She sustained injuries on her arms, legs, shoulders, and back. She later attempted to file a police complaint but was advised by the police to come back after ten days. On 29 June 2007, six women and girls were raped. These displaced women fled attacks by Governmental Forces and militia in Beli Siref and went to Debaneira, where they were all robbed and raped.
On 8 July 2007, two female IDPs went to collect firewood outside Zalingei when they were intercepted by two armed men on camels, suspected to be militia. The men were wearing green and beige camouflage khaki uniforms and their faces were partially covered. The armed men first verbally assaulted the IDPs and later instructed them to surrender their personal belongings. They took away their axes and knives and later shot one of the IDPs in the foot. The Zalingei police issued the victim with a Form 8 which enabled him to undergo treatment at the Zalingei hospital. However, they refused to register a formal complaint unless the victim was able to establish the identity of the perpetrators.
On 22 July 2007, a 28 year old Fur woman from the Kalma camp, in South Darfur, was raped by a suspected militiaman, when she was returning to the camp with two female companions. The man asked the women to which tribe they belonged and to where they were headed. When the women replied, the man insulted them, referring to them as ‘torabora’. He then held the 28 year old and ordered the other two women to leave. When they refused, the man pointed his gun at them and threatened to shoot, forcing them to flee. The 28 year old was raped.
On 26 July 2007, in Deba Fooka village (North Darfur) three Government soldiers from Sheg al Nakhara raped six women in and around the same village. A 25 year old Tunjur woman from Deba Fooka said she was raped by two Government soldiers on 26 July 2007. The matter was reported to the police, which gave them a Criminal Form 8 to complete.
On 4 August 2007, a 19 year old Fur woman was reportedly attacked by two armed militia and raped by one of them, two kilometers north of Nertiti North camp, in West Darfur. According to the testimony of the woman, she was collecting firewood with two older women and seven men, when two men started shooting at them. While the others managed to flee, she was captured. One of the men held her down while she was raped by the second man who was wearing a green uniform. She was beaten when trying to resist. The victim, who is eight months pregnant, sustained injuries to her neck and hands and complained about back problems. She received medical attention in the camp clinic, but did not report the incident to the police convinced that they would not take any action.
On 15 August 2007, in Zalingei, West Darfur, a 15 year old girl from the Hassa Hissa IDP camp was raped by a man, when she ventured outside the camp to collect grass and firewood. At a location near the camp, the girl was captured and subsequently beaten and raped. She managed to get back to the camp and was escorted to the Zalingei Hospital, where she received treatment. The victim’s family decided not to report the incident to the local police for fear of reprisal.
On 7 September 2007, a 17 year old Fur girl living in Hassa Hissa IDP camp, West Darfur, was raped by two armed men in uniforms believed to be Sudan Armed Forces soldiers, when she was meeting other women. The girl was seven months pregnant as a result of a previous rape. The case was not reported to the police, both due to a lack of trust and for fear for reprisal.
On 8 September 2007, five women from Hamadiya IDP camp, in Zalingei, were attacked by six militiamen. Two of the attackers were wearing green camouflage uniforms while the others wore civilian clothes. The victims were part of a larger group of more than 20 women from the camp who went out in search of firewood. They were confronted by the attackers about two kilometers from the camp. The attackers proceeded to beat them with sticks and stones. Two of the victims including a 15 year old girl managed to escape.
Reports were received about a case of rape involving Government soldiers in Tawilla (North Darfur) that allegedly occurred on 12 September 2007. Three women from the Fur tribe and residents of Tawilla IDP camp went to the mountains to fetch grass for their animals. On their way, they were assaulted and beaten by four armed men suspected to be Government soldiers. One woman was raped by two of the armed men. The case was reported to the Government Police and AMIS. The victims received medical treatment.
On 19 September 2007, in Sisi, West Darfur, a 60 year old woman was shot and killed by a CRP officer when she tried to protect her daughter from being sexually assaulted. The mother and daughter, both IDPs, were sleeping when two members of the Central Reserve Police barged into their room. One policeman grabbed the woman’s daughter, pointed a gun at her and demanded to have sex with her. He then proceeded to drag her out of the room while the other policeman stood watch by the entrance of the door. When the old woman intervened to prevent her daughter from being taken away, she was shot to death. The two policemen escaped but investigators later traced their footsteps to the compound of the Central Reserve Police. The two men have reportedly confessed to the crime and were placed in police custody.
Thus, there have been many reports about serious incidents of rape and other forms of sexual and gender based violence from 20 June 2007 to the time of the writing of the present report.
Implementation has started, in the sense that some action has been taken to denounce crimes of sexual violence, and a number of public statements have been made. A declaration has been made. There have been a number of reported rape cases followed by investigation, prosecution of perpetrators.
However, there still appears to be a gap between the number of reported cases and the much lower number of cases of prosecution for rape and other forms of sexual violence. Moreover, a strong pattern of underreporting of cases of sexual violence continues because of a general lack of confidence in the police and prosecutor’s office. The information submitted also indicates that no compensation has been provided for the victims.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
Training on displaced persons’ camps has been conducted jointly with the African Union in order to protect women who go out to fetch firewood.
The Government indicated that the security situation in IDP camps has improved, as evidenced by the fact that IDPs have ventured farther from the camps to engage in farming activities. The Government stated that the AMIS continued to carry out firewood patrols; however it did not provide information on how many camps benefited from effective and regular patrols.
The Government reported that there were 81 locations where IDPs had gathered, 21 of which were organized IDP camps. Of the 21 organized IDP camps, only eight camps required patrols whereas in other sectors, there was no need for this kind of protection.
Some firewood brigades have been stopped, and according to some sources, these have not resumed. No real improvement has been seen in respect of the number of IDP camps benefiting from regular and effective firewood patrols. See also incidents reported under 1.1.1. and 1.2.2.
According to the Government, only 8 IDP camps benefitted from firewood patrols out of some 81 locations where IDPs had gathered. However, information received from other sources on recommendation 1.2.5 suggests that incidents of sexual and gender based violence have continued as well as other forms of assault and attacks. The recommendation had not been implemented effectively by the time of the writing of the present report.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
Short term plans on combating violence in the three states were drawn up and funding was provided for them. A draft reference was prepared for the team assessing the work of the gender violence committees in Darfur.
The Government claimed that all three State Committees had drafted a plan to combat violence against women, but it did not provide copies of the work plan of the Northern and Western Darfur Committees.
The Government plans of action have been discussed with the state committees and the state unit to combat violence against women.
UN agencies, bodies and programmes operational in Darfur reported that the South and North Darfur State Committees had adopted a work plan but that West Darfur State Committee had not. The South Darfur State Committee has been meeting on a regular basis while the other two State committees had not.
In West Darfur, the Governor established the West Darfur Higher Committee to Eliminate Violence against Women in late 2005. According to a statement made by the Governor at the opening meeting on 3 December 2005, the Committee’s responsibilities were to supervise implementation of the National Plan of Action, receive complaints and follow up on court proceedings. However, the committee only met sporadically since its inception. On 6 August 2007, the acting Governor of West Darfur issued a decree (No. 88 of 2007) reconstituting the Higher Committee for Combating Violence against Women. The decree changed the composition of the committee, appointing the State Minister of Social Affairs and Mass Communication as the chairperson and the Governor’s Adviser on Women and Children as the Secretary. The decree appointed representatives of the West Darfur State Police, National Security, the Office of the Prosecutor, the Judiciary, the Sudanese Red Crescent, the Sudanese Women’s Union, the Sudanese Working Women’s Union, the Family Union, the Chairperson of the Peace Committee of the State Legislative Council, UNICEF, OCHA and two NGOs as members of the committee. Representatives of AMIS, the Head of Office of UNMIS and the Human Rights Team Leader of UNMIS were appointed as observers. The committee’s mandate also was altered to focus on increasing the awareness of women about protection, creating units of women police to receive complaints of violence against women in hospitals, following up on complaints, investigations and court procedures and preparing statistics and reports. Additionally, the committee was tasked to meet every two weeks. As of the end of October 2007, the Chairperson had not convened any committee session and therefore no work plan had been developed by the time of the writing of the present report.
In South Darfur, although the State Committee had finalized its action plan, implementation has been deficient due to a lack of leadership and financial resources. The State Committee appears to have convened more regularly than the other two Committees.
In North Darfur, even though the State Committee has met only occasionally, it has been active on cases of sexual violence, and in organizing activities outside El Fasher. The State Committee had developed a work plan, although most activities planned have not yet taken place, for several reasons including lack of funds. The main objectives in the work plan relate to the dissemination of the rules of application for Criminal Circular No. 2, and to the creation of awareness on women’s rights and on issues dealing with violence against women, mainly in rural areas.
Work plans for State Committees were developed but no clear objectives, targets and time frames were provided in the Government’s Violence against Women Unit’s report. Activities were reportedly limited and had limited impact.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
Draft orders to the armed forces were prepared prohibiting all kinds of attacks on civilians, including torture and violence against women, and stipulating that perpetrators of criminal offences will have their immunity waived and will be brought to justice. The draft was reviewed by the Advisory Council for Human Rights and was submitted for signature to the armed forces command. The People’s Armed Forces Act was approved by the Cabinet. It contains an entire chapter on the principles of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects. It makes no distinction between protection during international conflicts and protection during internal conflicts. It also includes provisions on individual liability and the prosecution of persons who commit abuses.
The Government reported that the Draft Armed Forces Act, which was supposed to improve the protection of civilians against military abuse, had been approved. The Draft is currently pending before Parliament and is expected to be passed following a parliamentary recess in early October. According to the Government, the Director General of the Operational Unit of the Armed Forces had been tasked to draft directives to the armed forced, that would operationalize the Armed Forces Act Bill By letter dated 13 September 2007, the Government reported that the Minister of Justice had appointed an investigative Committee, composed of a judicial advisor and representatives of the Police, National Intelligence and Security Services and the Unit to Combat Violence against Women. No information was provided about action taken as the result of the work of the Committee.
The draft Sudan Armed Forces Act was expected to be debated in the National Assembly in October 2006, but had not yet reached the Assembly by the end of June 2007.
Assessment of Implementation of Recommendation 1.2.5
Implementation has begun, but the continuing reports about incidences of sexual and gender based violence indicate that there have been no discernable improvements on the ground.
Information orally submitted to the group of experts on 18 September 2007
The Government reported that the Ministry of Justice monitored implementation of Circular No. 2 stating that Criminal Form 8 was no longer a requirement that victims of sexual or gender based violence had to meet in order to receive medical care or to initiate criminal proceedings. Instead, doctors could henceforward issue a medical report in cases of sexual violence which could be admitted as evidence in a court of law. No reports were received that women had been refused access to medical care. A circular on the medical care needed by victims of rape has been drawn up by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the WHO and has been distributed to healthcare providers.
The Government Violence against Women Unit stated that the three State committees were following up on the provision of health services without requesting Criminal Form 8. This has been done in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior. The task force team will evaluate the work of the state committees in Darfur to increase coordination between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior in order to ensure health services for victims and to make Form 8 available in all health units in case the victim requested to pursue legal procedures.
In terms of medical assistance, in most of the cases documented, victims have preferred to seek treatment in clinics run by INGO instead of in ones run by the government. Frequently it is a matter of better resources and easier access as many INGO operate medical facilities inside the camps. Other reasons relate to victims’ need to friendlier and more confidential spaces. This poses an extra obstacle to victims’ ability to access justice because many of the INGO clinics are not authorized by the government to provide Criminal Form 8. Measures taken by the Government so far (such as Criminal Circular No.2, the deployment of female police officers, and workshops) have yet to improve the situation for women and girls in Darfur. Perpetrators have been rarely brought to justice and many of the mechanisms the State has established to combat sexual violence, such as the State Committees on Combating Gender based Violence, have functioned poorly and appear to have had little impact.
There were no reports that the lack of Criminal Form 8 has impeded access to medical treatments. Thus, the recommendations seem to have been fully implemented. However, there remain problems regarding access to justice for women who have been treated in NGO clinics.
Written information submitted to the group of experts on Darfur on 21 August 2007
The Advisory Council for Human Rights held a training workshop on human rights and law enforcement (human rights standards in domestic laws; the responsibilities of the police for protecting and promoting human rights; and human rights principles and policing issues) in conjunction with the UNMIS human rights bureau and the gender violence unit. The event was due to be held on 29 30 August, at police headquarters, for 40 women who work in policing.
According to the Government, 40 police women have been deployed to Darfur to investigate crimes and there was a new plan set to commence in early 2008 to ensure that further recruitment of women police for Darfur would come from Darfur itself in order to strengthen the implementation of a policy of community policing. With respect to women police, the Government indicated that deployment from Khartoum was difficult and that it would try to recruit women to the police force locally in Darfur.
UN agencies, bodies and programmes operational in Darfur did not receive any information indicating that female police officers had been deployed to IDP camps and police stations in Darfur between June and November 2007.
Implementation has begun with the start of training of women police officers, which represents a positive first step. It remains unclear whether deployment has actually taken place to Darfur.
Information orally submitted to the group of experts on 18 September 2007
The Government stated that it was committed to reviewing the current legal framework.
The Government stated that Article 145 of the Criminal Code was clear and that there had thus far been no cases which confused rape and adultery. Therefore, there was no problem. The Government also referred to the possibility to hold a workshop to discuss the issue of the interpretation and application of the law.