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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hundreds of protesters keep up rally in Sudan's Darfur

Demonstrators are calling for an end to continued rights violations [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 July, 2020

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Protesters in Sudan's conflict-stricken Darfur region have vowed to continue a sit-in until their demands are met.
Hundreds of Sudanese protesters have kept up a demonstration in Central Darfur for more than a week, calling on the government to beef up security in the long-marginalised region. 

The angry demonstrators have camped outside a government building in the town of Nertiti since late June following multiple recent killings and looting incidents on farmland and properties. 

One of the protesters, Samya Adam, said her family's farming business is under continuous threat of attack by armed groups.

"We, the women of Nertiti, have no business other than farming," she told AFP. "And when we go to work in the fields, we often get beaten and sometimes even raped." 

Darfur has long been plagued by poor security and armed groups.

In 2003, a deadly conflict erupted in Darfur between African minority rebels and forces backed by the government of ex-president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in April 2019. 

Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Osama Abdalla, another protester, likened the situation for residents in Central Darfur to being "held captive" by armed groups.

"If men go to work in the fields, they get killed and if women go, they get raped. Livestock gets stolen," he added.

This week, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok sent a delegation to address the protesters' demands.

The delegation sacked several local security officials and ordered a security force be formed to defend the region, according to government spokesman Faisal Saleh.  

But protesters insist on staying put until their demands are met.

"We will keep our sit-in going until we see all our demands implemented on the ground," said protester Modather Eissa.

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