Home | Press Releases    Thursday 19 May 2005

Under Emergency Law, Continuous Losses in Lives and Property



May 19, 2005
Press Release

Commanded by senior police officers and administrators of the Khartoum Metropolitan Government, a police force made an attempt to displace families of the displaced people residents of unplanned areas in the locality of Soba in the southern space of Khartoum to other unplanned areas yesterday May 18, 2005. The evacuation attempt was met with violent resistance by many residents. As a result, 14 policemen and 3 residents lost their lives in the conflict.

Preliminary reports indicate that Commissioner Muta’afi, the top official of the Khartoum administration, and his assistants in the Jebel Awliya Locality had insistently rejected recurring attempts by the displaced people and their legal representatives to negotiate the issue in a democratic manner, substitute a suitable residential area, and provide necessary services including planned housing, health, transport, and education.

A major reason for the Khartoum’s negative attitude towards the right of displaced citizens to enjoy decent housing conditions might be related to the administration’s plans to convert the space in dispute into "high life" residential quaretrs, as repeatedly enforced in the other areas of Khartoum (for example, Ishash, Mayo, and now Jebel Awliya), as well as security plans to push displaced people by force outside the National Capital all together.

The Sudan Government failed to recognize the right of displaced citizens to enjoy decent living conditions in the areas in conflict, or to be properly returned to their original homes from which they have been forcibly dispossessed in State-incited civil war by government authorities and/or militias under permanent emergency law and unabated abuses of security operations.

Earlier on January the 29th, 2005, the Sudan Police Force brutalized a group of the Beja Congress supporters who had been peacefully demonstrating with other demonstrators in the streets of Port Sudan. Tens of citizens were immediately murdered by police firearms, besides the serious injury of many others, including women and children.

The unlawful attitude of the Sudan Police towards demonstrators, including the rapid suppression of peaceful assembly by immediate, direct, and maximum use of firearms, recalled the fire-squads the government troops to suppress the public in many cities of the country, as well as the bombing of villages in war zones.

A government-controlled committee (poorly-representative of the victimized Beja) has been established to investigate the Port Sudan massacres. But the committee has not yet produced any tangible results. The continuous absence of an Independent Judiciary continues to jeopardize the tranquility of people and the public order at large.

The reported brutality of the Sudan Police was made possible by the continuous State of Emergency, which the president and his national council regularly renewed, regardless of all announcements about peace and constitutional rule.

Most likely, direct orders by the ministry of interior, the commissioner of police, and the chief police officers in the city of Port Sudan allowed the massacre of Port Sudan demonstrators in gross violation of international law and the Sudan criminal procedure.

As reported in Kilma Camp in Darfur (SHRO-Cairo latest report on the situation of human rights in the country), police brutality was largely exercised against the displaced people. In addition to a destruction of property, many citizens were murdered. Police regulars were also violently attacked or killed.

The killings of both citizens and policemen in South Khartoum yesterday added a new testimony to the transgressing policies of the government against citizenship, and its dangerous management of public affairs.

In light of the continuous brutality of the police and security forces of which innocent citizens, including policemen, lost their lives in many instances, SHRO-Cairo repeats previous demands on the Sudan Government to:

- End the State of Emergency which continues to legalize authority abuses by the government forces against the fundamental freedoms and human rights of people;

- Include all political parties and civil society groups in the Interim Constitution Committee to help create the conducive climates for peace, decent treatment of the displaced communities, and sound procedures to ensure the human rights and freedoms of all citizens, indiscriminately;

- Allow uninterrupted exercise of the right to peaceful assembly, demonstration, and the other public freedoms, indiscriminately to all citizens or political groups;

- Establish a joint committee by representatives of the displaced citizens in South Khartoum and the Khartoum Governorate to enter in democratic negotiations on the living conditions of residents and the other related issues;

- Conduct an immediate judicial investigation by legally-competent committees, including membership of the Bar Association and representatives of the victimized citizens, to investigate the involvement of the ministry of interior, local government authorities, the police force headquarters in Khartoum and Port Sudan, and all other concerned parties in the massacres of the city of Port Sudan, Kilma Camp, and the newly committed violence in Soba. The Committees should take full consideration of all legal claims by the victimized citizens or their legal or political representatives.

- Release to the Press and the international community results of the findings.

- Deal with the wrong-doers by Independent Judiciary in accordance with the law, regardless of any religious, political, or administrative status.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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