Search

 

Cablegate: South Darfur Human Rights Update

VZCZCXRO9318
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1150 2870524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140524Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4551
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001150

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL PINR KDEM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: SOUTH DARFUR HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATE

REF: A) KHARTOUM 425 B) KHARTOUM 194 C) 08 KHARTOUM 1302

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Human rights violations as a whole have declined
in South Darfur due to a reduction in tribal violence, human rights
officers at the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID) told poloff on October 7. They expressed alarm, however, at
the increase in politically-motivated arrests and detentions, most
notably of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) members
believed to be related to upcoming national elections in 2010. They
also reported increasing harassment of internally displaced persons
(IDPs) at Government of Sudan (GOS) military checkpoints. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On October 7, poloff met with Marcel Akpovo, head of the
Human Rights Office at UNAMID Sector South in Nyala, South Darfur.
Akpovo reported that clashes among South Darfur's heavily-armed
nomadic tribes had subsided since the beginning of the year. "When
things are calm, the likelihood of grave human rights abuses
decreases," he said. "That's the situation we're in right now."
Akpovo credited the reduction in tribal clashes to
government-brokered reconciliation agreements and land demarcation,
but whether such efforts were sustainable remains to be seen, he
said.

3. (SBU) Akpovo also credited an improving human rights situation in
Muhajeriya to the Government of Sudan (GOS)'s re-taking control of
the town following the departure of Sudan Liberation Army/Minni
Minnawi (SLA/MM) former rebels from the area (ref B). The center of
clashes between SLA/MM and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
in January 2009, Muhajeriya is "getting better by the day," said
Akpovo, noting that the local administration is working hard to
establish a rule of law and law enforcement mechanisms.

----------------------------------
UPTICK IN OPPOSITION ARRESTS NOTED
----------------------------------

4. (SBU) While the situation in South Darfur remains calm overall,
Akpovo expressed concern about the uptick in politically-motivated
arrests and detentions. Such arrests were common following the March
4, 2009 issuance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest
warrant against President Omar Al Bashir, but until recently had
largely ceased, he said. Now, UNAMID Human Rights has documented a
number of individual cases of opposition party members, most notably
those belonging to the SPLM, being arrested and detained for
political activities in advance of the 2010 elections. "We fear such
arrests will become more widespread when the campaign starts in
earnest," said Akpovo.

--------------------------------
REPORTS OF IDP HARASSMENT RISING
--------------------------------

5. (SBU) Akpovo also noted increased reports of harassment of IDPs
at GOS road checkpoints, particularly those leading to Kalma IDP
camp. Numerous IDPs have reported being harassed and having
foodstuffs and other personal property confiscated by GOS soldiers
at the entrance to Kalma, he said, though there have been no reports
of detentions at the checkpoints. IDP leaders continue to claim an
increase in rapes of female IDPs, but there is no evidence to back
this up, said Akpovo. "Rapes are still occurring, but there is a lot
of misinformation" being propagated by highly- politicized IDP
leaders, he said.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: The easing of tribal tensions in South Darfur can
just as easily be attributed to a lack of GOS instigation as it can
to positive intervention; the GOS is notorious for exploiting ethnic
tensions and competition for scarce natural resources to its own
advantage through "divide and rule tactics." GOS administration of
Muhajeriyah, nonetheless, seems to be an improvement from the
thuggery of SLA/MM. The rise in politically-motivated arrests,
meanwhile, is worrying. It could be an indication that in advance
of the April 2010 elections, the National Congress Party (NCP) has
already begun to harass the opposition.

WHITEHEAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>