Home | News    Thursday 31 January 2013

Sudan’s border force linked to Darfur gold mine attacks: Amnesty

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January 30, 2013 (LONDON) - Members of Sudan’s security forces were reportedly involved in January attacks that left up to 200 people dead near a goldmine in Darfur, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, calling for an urgent government investigation.

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Fighting broke out on 5 January between members of rival Arab tribes - Beni Hussein and the pastoralist Rizeigat community - who have clashed in recent months over control of the region’s gold mines.

The incident, which occurred in the Jebel Amir region in North Darfur state, was sparked when a Rizeigat leader, who is also an officer in Sudan’s Border Guard, reportedly laid claim to a gold-rich area in Beni Hussein territory.

Gunmen driving government vehicles are alleged to have opened fire on people in the mostly Beni Hussein area of Kebkabiya using grenades and heavy machine guns, the human rights watchdog said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

The United Nations reported that clashes between the two communities spilled over into surrounding areas, resulting in the burning and looting of a number of villages and the displacement of thousands of civilians, many of whom were in Jebel Amir to work in the gold mines.

The incident is one of the Darfur region’s worst recent outbreaks of violence, with the unrest displacing more than 70,000 people, according to government figures cited by the UN.

“The Sudanese government should immediately investigate the reports that its security officers are involved in attacks against civilians and ensure they are not involved in any further attacks,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Africa director.

Amnesty said it had been told by one witness that 53 residents of his village in Martam Bay were killed in the early hours of 9 January. He said the attack was carried out by a group of gunmen in eight vehicles which included Border Guard officers whom he was able to identify by name.

Half a million artisan miners have joined a gold rush across Sudan, according to the government, which estimates it made $2.5 billion from gold exports last year.

Khartoum is currently attempting to exert greater control over the licensing and export of gold, which comes at a time of fiscal crisis, depleted foreign exchange reserves, and widespread gold smuggling.

Members of the Beni Hussein community have controlled the awarding of artisanal mining licenses in the area since the discovery of gold in March 2012.

Despite the signing of a government-brokered truce between the two communities on 17 January, attacks are reported to continue and tensions in the area remain high.

There have also been reports of further attacks by Border Guard militiamen against other Beni Hussein villages in the area on 22 and 23 January.

Militiamen have blocked roads into the region throughout January, creating shortages of essential food items and reportedly causing the deaths of vulnerable children and elderly people. UN observers were also prevented from entering the area, it was reported.

“The allegations of Border Guards committing unlawful killings and other violations in relation to control over gold resources are extremely serious, and with tensions still simmering there is a real risk of further fighting,” said Gaughran in the statement.

More than one million people are living in camps for the displaced in Darfur, a decade after rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum, with the conflict-ravaged region in Sudan’s far west remaining a flashpoint for violent clashes, banditry and tribal unrest. The UN estimates more than 300,000 people have died in the conflict since 2003.

(ST)

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  • 31 January 2013 05:19, by Jalaby

    Although this report seems to be false and smells very bad but the fighting between the two Arab tribes in Jebel Amir goldmine in Darfour is over now and Beni Hussein and Rizeigat accepted the peace agreement between them and usually this type of conflict between Darfourian tribes is resolved through civil administration!!
    This report is obsolete!!

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2013 05:25, by Observer

      Jalaby,
      You seem to miss the real point of the story ( yet again)
      That the governmment border guards started this and are involved.
      Also if this is so obsolete what about the 70,000 displaced people- tell them it is obsolete as they are still displaced and are being denied any humanitarian assistance by the administration.

      repondre message

    • 31 January 2013 05:28, by Jalaby


      Oooops!
      I think Sudantribune needs to post a correct map for Sudan because this map shows South Sudan as part of Sudan which is wrong because we amputated that rotten part (the south) from our body! Please revise your map, many thanks!!

      repondre message

      • 31 January 2013 06:25, by Hardball

        Jalaby, which part of South Sudan that you seem to hate and the one that you’re fighting every time in Addis-Ababa as your own? Aren’t you the same people who claim Abyei, Panthou Abiemnom and all the other border regions as yours? When did you become that rational to think you don’t want South Sudanese territories that I just reference?

        repondre message

      • 1 February 2013 04:15, by Panthou

        I agreed with you jalaby about the map! We already got a modern map, rather then an evil map called Sudan. I think he paste it from the previous one. Instead of Googling the new one. I hate still seeing this stupid map together. Hallelujah!

        repondre message

    • 31 January 2013 09:48, by Turism

      You like people and killing but you will not get them together the report is correct what do u want adjust there, shame on bashir and his supporters.... it your habit guys, you are not new to us tell us something difference.

      repondre message

  • 31 January 2013 05:22, by Observer

    At last what most of us in Sudan knew is finally published.
    All the local papers in Khartoum are now be getting a visit from NISS telling them that they are not allowed to print any story mentioning this.
    Thank goodness that the truth can still get out somehow to the outside world.

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2013 06:53, by mohamed mahgoub

      This might explain the mysterious kidnapping the surperisingly release of the Chinese workers plus some of their sudanese associates without further details of how or who was responsible! we know something fishy is going on there!

      repondre message

  • 31 January 2013 07:25, by Pif Paf

    Sudantribune Motto should be, Get yesterdays news today !!
    But then again this news is way too old. Incase you still dont know both Beni Hussein and Rizegat singed a peace deal and have moved on, i would suggest sudantribune do the same.

    repondre message

    • 31 January 2013 08:56, by mohamed mahgoub

      Pif or whatever this is not the point ,fact is ur govnt still carryingout its genocidal progrom of killing its own pple through intelegence and ARM forces along with proxy militia- janjaweed-

      repondre message

  • 31 January 2013 09:43, by Turism

    woow! when will this fuckens guys stop involving serious attack in darfur, is darfur where you pple deficeat ha sudanese fake gov’t? God will hell you soon if you don’t stop that.

    repondre message

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