Sudanese forces crush Darfur sit-in protest, killing woman
One woman was killed and eight people injured after Sudanese government forces violently dispersed a peaceful sit-in protest in the Belil area of South Darfur on Wednesday, the Anadolu news agency has reported.
Belil is a settlement 15 kilometres east of Nyala, the capital of south Darfur, where a large number of internally displaced people live.
The sit-in protest began last Sunday to demand essential services including electricity for homes in Belil, the completion of a road between the settlement and Nyala, and the provision of ambulances and fire-fighting equipment, according to the Darfur 24 news website.
The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) rebel group, which is active in Darfur, condemned South Darfur state authorities for the violence against the protesters.
"The South Darfur state government committed a crime against peaceful protesters in the Belil area by using live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the sit-in," a statement from the group, seen by Anadolu said.
The SLM also held the Sudanese government responsible for the events. Sudanese authorities have issued no comments about the incident by Wednesday evening.
A state of emergency has been declared by local authorities in the area with a week-long curfew between 7pm and 6am enacted.
Since 2003, tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions more displaced as a result of ethnic violence in Darfur.
The former Sudanese government of ousted dictator Omar Al-Bashir was accused of committing genocide in the region and the ICC issued two arrest warrants for Bashir in 2009 and 2010.
In August 2020, the Sudanese government signed a peace agreement with Darfur rebel groups including the SLM. However, fighting continues in the region.
Earlier this month thousands of people fled from West Darfur to Chad as a result of clashes between Arab and Massalit tribes.