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Darfur War - 2014

In Darfur fighting involving government forces, rebels, and ethnic militias continued in 2014. Fighting was often along ethnic lines. These armed groups, including the RSF, which the NISS controlled, killed and injured civilians, raped women and children, looted properties, targeted IDP camps, and burned villages in South, East, and North Darfur. These acts resulted in the displacement of approximately 400,000 persons by August 2014. Renewed violence in the Darfur region left more than 100,000 people newly homeless in early 2014.

An increase in common forms of criminality also contributed to a deterioration of overall security in Darfur. All states in Darfur were under states of emergency, although provisions of the emergency status varied by state.

Government forces primarily provided support, including training, weapons, and ammunition, to the RSF. The government seldom took action against government forces that attacked civilians. Rebel forces received financial support from foreign sources.

On 23 December 2014, the press reported the government and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) finalized security arrangements for 2,085 former LJM combatants from South and East Darfur. Eligible candidates were to be considered for integration into government security forces.

Reports claimed ethnic militias affiliated with government security forces, including the Border Guards and Central Reserve Police, supported their ethnic kin in intercommunal conflicts, further increasing the number of deaths. Sources documented attacks by progovernment militia on civilians in areas controlled by both rebels and the government including east Jebel Marra and Giraida, South Darfur.

Tensions between North Darfur governor Yousef Kibir and former Arab militia leader Sheikh Musa Hilal effectively divided the state into two warring parties. Intertribal tensions between the Rezeigat, Maalia, and Beni Hussein ethnic groups also contributed to North Darfurs deteriorated security situation. In September the Rezeigat signed separate peace agreements with the Beni Hussein tribe and the Zaghawa ethnic groups. Peace and reconciliation talks between the Maaliya and Rezeigat ethnic groups fell short of a peace agreement.

Intercommunal violence continued. In September the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported more than 300 individuals died in mid-August clashes between Maalia and Rezeigat tribesmen. In addition to deaths attributed to intercommunal clashes, many deaths continued to be attributed to the SAF and militia groups. Security deteriorated in North Darfur, and violence, including indiscriminate SAF aerial and artillery bombardments, continued in the Jebel Marra area in Darfur.

The government took few actions to implement provisions of the chapter on justice and reconciliation of the DDPD. Inadequate funding for the Darfur Regional Authoritys (DRAs) Commission on Justice, Truth, and Reconciliation hindered the commissions work. On May 25, the DRA created the Justice Committee and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. The committees are charged with determining compensation for Darfurs victims and formulating recommendations for resolving Darfurs conflict. As of October the committees had limited engagement in peace negotiations for Darfur.

The general prosecutor for crimes in Darfur informed UNAMID that in February and March, an estimated1,000 complaints had been registered in North and South Darfur, six of which had been referred to the Special Court for Serious Crimes in Darfur. According to UNAMID the majority of cases brought forward to the court largely involved public crimes, such as theft rather than substantive war crimes or crimes against humanity, which is the courts mandate.

As of August 2014 the African Union (AU) and the United Nations had not named observers for the Special Court for Crimes in Darfur. The seven JEM members sentenced to death in El Fasher in March 2013 remained in detention.

Security in the Darfur region deteriorated in 2014 due to the rise in interethnic conflict, as well as continued clashes between the government and rebel factions, and attacks by the governments RSF forces on unarmed civilians in South, North, and East Darfur. SAF raids resulted in civilian casualties.

Clashes between the government forces, government-armed militias, and Darfur rebel movements, notably the SLA/MM, Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid faction (SLA/AW), and Justice and Equality Movement/Jibreil (JEM-Jibreil), resulted in significant deaths on all sides. On March 18, the SAFs bombing of villages in West Darfur resulted in a number of civilian casualties and the displacement of more than 15,000 civilians.

UNAMID reported 54 cases and 88 victims of unlawful killings in Darfur between April and July. As of August an estimated 628 persons died as a result of clashes between government and antigovernment forces in Darfur. On May 25, a UNAMID peacekeeper from Rwanda was killed and three others injured in Kabkabiya, North Darfur, while attending a mediation meeting between two disputing ethnic groups.

On June 14, the Sudan Liberation Army/Justice and the SLA/AW attacked two military convoys in Jebel Hireiz, North Darfur, killing 17 government soldiers and destroying seven military vehicles.

On October 6, elements belonging to the SLM/AW reportedly killed 16 government troops in an attack on the military garrison town of Guldo, Central Darfur. On October 30, the SAF bombarded villages in East Jebel Marra, killing a father and his four children as well as dozens of heads of livestock.

There were reports of several incidents involving JEM, the SLM-MM, and the SLM-AW that resulted in civilian casualties and the displacement of an estimated 3,000 civilians from rebel-held areas in Kabkabiya and Tawila, North Darfur. On October 16, in Korma, North Darfur, a group of unidentified armed men killed three UNAMID military personnel on patrol and seriously injured one.

In late December the governments RSF carried out a number of operations in the East Jebel Marra region of North and Central Darfur. Reports indicated numerous civilians killed, entire villages and crops burned, livestock raided, and upwards of 20,000 civilians displaced as a result of these attacks.

The UN SRSG for children and armed conflict reported four confirmed cases of recruitment by the SAF and 14 cases of recruitment by the Border Guards. Additional reports cited 17 cases of children allegedly recruited by the SAF, Border Guards, and the SLA-AW.

In October 2014, Sheikh Musa Hilal initiated a community-based strategic plan to end the use of child soldiers in interethnic and intraethnic fighting. Leaders from the Abbala, Beni Hussein, Fur, Tamma, Gimir, and Awalad Janoub tribes in Kabkabiya, El Sereif, Saraf Umra, Al Waha, and Jebel Si in North Darfur endorsed the plan.

Attacks by armed militia on UNAMID increased. Militia groups carjacked UNAMID vehicles and abducted UNAMID staff for ransom (see section 1.b.). As of August the United Nations reported 25 cases of kidnapping involving humanitarian aid workers, compared with 10 cases in the previous year.

On March 9, armed individuals abducted a UNAMID peacekeeper from Nyala, South Darfur, and kept him in captivity for 54 days. On March 11, unknown assailants abducted a UNAMID contractor from El Fasher, North Darfur. The contractor was released after 94 days.

On June 18, armed militia kidnapped for ransom three members of an international aid organization, including its country director, and 14 members of a Sudanese aid organization near Kutum, North Darfur. All were released the same day.

On October 16, several witnesses reported four gunmen attacked seven peacekeepers near the UNAMID base in Korma, North Darfur. The gunmen seized the UNAMID vehicle and the four peacekeepers, which resulted in the death of three peacekeepers.

In May the UN special representative of the secretary general (SRSG) for children and armed conflict reported the United Nations had documented 15 cases of child abductions in Darfur.

Physical Abuse, Punishment, and Torture: Sexual and gender-based violence continued throughout Darfur. In her June presentation to the UN Security Council, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) noted an increasing pattern of gang rapes of women and girls. Authorities often obstructed access to justice for rape victims. IDPs reported perpetrators of such violence were often government forces or militia members. Assailants assaulted, raped, threatened, shot, beat, and robbed women.

Between April and July, UNAMID documented 209 cases of human rights violations affecting 484 victims. Among the 209 cases, 54 cases involved unlawful killings, 95 cases involved violations of the right to physical integrity, and two cases pertained to arbitrary arrest and detention. The majority of perpetrators were members of government security services or armed groups. UNAMID reported 96 of the 209 cases to government authorities. The government initiated investigations in 39 cases, leading to 15 arrests.

Between April and May, UNAMID also identified 58 cases of sexual and gender-based violence involving 103 victims, including 27 minors. Of the 58 cases documented by UNAMID, 30 reportedly were perpetrated by government security forces. The government initiated investigations in 19 cases, leading to 10 arrests. The majority of the victims were IDPs.

Between July and November, UNAMID recorded 66 cases of sexual and gender-based violence involving 99 victims, among them 30 minors. Rape accounted for 55 cases and 88 victims, including 28 minors. In 21 cases, involving 32 victims, the perpetrators were alleged to be members of the Sudanese Armed Forces.

Separately, the UN SRSG for children and armed conflict reported in May at least 62 girls were raped in 40 separate incidents in Darfur. In Darfur it was believed most rape victims did not report incidents, and the actual number of rapes was likely much higher. Perpetrators included government forces in at least three cases and SLA-MM forces in at least one case.

On September 18, the Special Court for Darfur prosecuted three individuals in North Darfur responsible for an attack on UN peacekeepers. One of the accused was acquitted; three others were found guilty of armed robbery, sentenced to three years imprisonment, and ordered to compensate the victims. One of those found guilty was also convicted of rape and sentenced to an additional five years imprisonment and 100 lashes. This case marked the first time the government prosecuted perpetrators in a UNAMID attack.

Radio Dabanga, a media outlet, reported SAF soldiers belonging to the military garrison near El Fasher, North Darfur, raped approximately 200 women and girls from Tabit village on October 31. The government rejected the allegations and delayed for several days UNAMIDs request to travel to Tabit to investigate the allegations. In December the government submitted to the UN Security Council a report by the special prosecutor for crimes in Darfur documenting the governments investigation into the case. The report stated the special prosecutors team interviewed 88 individuals, including 54 women, in a four-hour period and concluded no rapes had occurred. Local observers believed the heavy presence of security forces during interviews might have intimidated possible victims from speaking openly. Humanitarian and human rights groups reported cases of sexual abuse; however, they were unable to determine the scale or nature of the attacks.

In the last week of February and third week of March 2014, the RSF attacked, burned, and looted properties and livestock, raped women, and destroyed villages in North and South Darfur, displacing 250,000 civilians to major IDPs camps around Nyala, El Fasher, Korma, Milleit, and Kutum.

On March 22, government forces raided the Khor Abeche IDP camp in South Darfur. The attackers completely burned and looted the camp, forcing 4,000 IDPs to seek refuge at a nearby UNAMID base. In August, UN and local sources reported government forces raided Al-Salam and Direige IDP camps in South Darfur.

On September 1, SLA/AW chairman Abdul Wahid Mohammed Nur issued directives for the execution of eight of his top commanders, including the chief of staff. As of October the executions had not been carried out, and seven of the eight commanders remained in an SLA/AW detention center in Jebel Marra. On September 4, government police entered Kalma IDP camp. Clashes between government forces and IDPs on September 5 led to one civilian death and injury to three individuals. The NISS detained and later released eight persons in connection with the clashes.

UNAMID reported that on 05 November 2014, an SAF soldier was found guilty of abducting and raping a 13-year-old girl in February. The soldier was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds ($875), which included 2,000 Sudanese pounds ($350) for the victim.

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Page last modified: 06-08-2015 19:53:38 ZULU