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Sudanese students in Uganda condemn SAF over Blue Nile rape claims

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December 18, 2014 (KAMPALA) – The Nuba Mountain Students Association in Uganda (NUMSAU) has condemned the allegations that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) is responsible for committing rape in Blue Nile state.

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Sudanese refugees wait to board a truck heading to Batil refugee camp in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 15 July 2012 (Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The reports were published by US-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has called for an international investigation.

NUMSAU spokesperson Akram Joseph said Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) was responsible for brutal killings in the country’s conflict-affected periphery in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and the Darfur region.

“First of all, [the] Khartoum regime did not give birth to Sudanese citizens; neither [did they] bring them to that geographical area of Sudan, but Sudanese found themselves in the land of Sudan and there is no way to detest them among others,” said Joseph.

The group has called for government troops to show respect for human rights and refrain from mistreating civilians in conflict-affected areas.

It has also called for a deeper investigation into the claims raised by HRW.

The NUMSAU is campaigning for self-governance in the Two Areas and has urged the wider Sudanese population to join a military uprising against the NCP.

“We are urging all other states of Sudan to equally demand and mobilise for self government in Sudan,” said Joseph.

He told Sudan Tribune that Sudan will never be stable until civilians are given more opportunities to have their voices heard and are allowed to take a bigger role in the country’s decision-making processes.

Joseph described Sudan as among the worst human rights violators in Africa, calling on the international community to do more to support the implementation of a democratic system of governance.

“The regime must leave the power, because they are just a ceremonial regime,” he said.

“All those perpetrators of war must immediately surrender themselves to [the] ICC (International Criminal Court) or else Sudan will remain without inhabitants,” he added.

In a report released on Tuesday, HRW said that internally displaced people inside Sudan and refugees in South Sudan had reported being raped by Sudanese government troops, who detained and beat them before sexually assaulting them.

The claims are the first indication of a pattern of sexual violence in the region since the outbreak of conflict between the government and SPLM-N rebels in September 2011.

HRW has called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to establish an international commission of inquiry and impose an arms embargo against the Sudanese government and individual sanctions on those found to be responsible for human rights abuses.

Of the 48 Sudanese refugees and displaced civilians interviewed by HRW in inside Blue Nile and in neighbouring Upper Nile state in South Sudan, almost half said they had either experienced sexual violence themselves, knew of an immediate family member or neighbour who had been a victim of sexual violence or witnessed sexual assaults committed during home raids or house-to-house searches by security forces.

The Sudanese government continues to strongly reject similar claims of mass rape in North Darfur which emerged last month.

(ST)

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