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Killings, protests and tension in Rashad


In late July one person of the Hawazma ethnic group was found dead in a village called Tabadlyia on the outskirts of Rashad, South Kordofan. It was established that the person responsible for the killing was from the same ethnic group but had dumped the body in Tabadlyia in order to cause confusion.

When these facts were established the Rashad community asked that the family of the killer be made to leave the town. Initially the family complied but later they returned to Rashad. It is reported that the father of the family is a cousin of the Commissioner of Rashad.

On the 22nd of July one person from the Hawazma ethnic group was found dead. The armed rebels of the SPLM/N were suspected of responsibility. On the 23rd of July members of the Hawazma community who belonged to the Peoples Defence Forces (Government armed paramilitaries) gathered with arms and went to the village where the body had been found. They followed the tracks of those responsible for the killing but they were unable to find them.

The PDF group then returned and found a farmer near Jebbel Fallatah called Musa Ibrahim Musa (nicknamed Krongo) from the Rashad ethnic group. They shot him dead. They then went to another farm where they found Adam Ismail Omar (nicknamed Sukar). Adam Ismail Omar was also from the Rashad ethnic group and was the Immam of the Hafiz Mosque. They shot him dead.

Both bodies were brought back to Rashad town. The families of the dead men refused to bury them unless the killers and their families were transported out of Rashad on a permanent basis. After some intervention by community leaders promises were made that the situation would be resolved peacefully and the funerals proceeded.

After the funeral there was a demonstration with slogans that “there is no Government, there is no law, there is no justice,” and, “some people are held accountable for a pound of sugar and some people are carrying weapons and killing, but are not held accountable.” The demonstration moved from the graveyard to the front of the local administration buildings. It included women, children and elders. They made the following demands:

1) disarming the PDF and all the Baggara ethnic group;

2) arresting the killers and bringing them to justice;

3) transporting all the Baggaras from Rashad;

4) removal of the local Commissioner.

The people continued to hold a sit-in in front of the offices until evening when they took Iftar. Then the paramount chief of Rashad came and told them that their demands were going to be met. The people dispersed but returned to demonstrate in the same place on the next two days.

A delegation came from Kadugli and held meetings with the conflicting ethnic groups, but without reaching any solution. The situation is very tense and may lead to disastrous confrontation.

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