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

 

UN News: Vaccine Inequity Triggers ‘Huge Disconnect’ Between Countries

Although COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline globally for a second consecutive week, the UN health agency chief said on Monday that “a huge disconnect” is mounting between some highly vaccinated countries, which see the pandemic as largely resolved, ... More>>

Save The Children: Almost 60 Children Killed In Gaza In The Last Week Alone

Save the Children is calling for an immediate ceasefire by all parties, as 58 children[i] in Gaza and two children in southern Israel have been killed in the last week. More than a thousand people in Gaza, including 366 children[ii], have also been injured. ... More>>


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>