---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Reeves <eree...@smith.edu>
Date: Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 6:03 PM
Subject: Darfur Detainees and the U.S.—Betraying Those Who Would Speak
Truth to Power
To: Eric Reeves <eree...@smith.edu>


*Darfur Detainees and the U.S.—Betraying Those Who Would Speak Truth to
Power*

Eric Reeves | September 22, 2016 |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-1W4

Since January of this year Khartoum’s regular and militia forces have been
conducting in the Jebel Marra region of central Darfur one of the most
savage campaigns in its thirteen-year genocidal counter-insurgency. As
always, the victims—murdered, raped, bombed, displaced, stripped of all
possessions, including farmland and livestock—are overwhelming from the
African tribal groups of Darfur; in the case of the area of the Jebel Marra
massif, the victims have been almost exclusively Fur people, the most
populous of all these groups. Reports that have emerged—from Radio Dabanga
in particular—paint a devastating portrait, although the severe limitations
on cellular and satellite telephone service imposed by Khartoum’s security
services have made gathering a full picture of the devastation impossible
to assemble.

On July 27 – 28, 2016, U.S. Special Envoy for the Sudans Donald Booth, as
part of a trip to Sudan, traveled to Darfur and invited representatives of
displaced persons living near Nierteti, Central Darfur, to meet with him
and give details of a campaign that his office already knew well, in part
by virtue of briefings by human rights investigators. Whatever details
might have been new, the broad outlines of this brutal offensive had been
clear since January/February 2016.

For having the courage to speak with Booth at his invitation, some 20 of
those who spoke with him were arrested almost immediately after Booth left
the country. All of those arrested had of course been observed by the
National Intelligence and Security Services (as well as their informants).
Only after almost two weeks had passed did the U.S. State Department
declare itself “gravely concerned” about the arrests, which it specifically
attributed to “the Government of Sudan” (State Department transcript,
August 12, 2016 <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/08/261050.htm>). As
of this writing, most of the men arrested for meeting with Booth—again, at
his invitation—have been freed*; but two have not been*.

[On the absurdly implausible assertion by Khartoum that the two men who
remain incarcerated were members of a rebel group (Sudan Liberation
Movement/Abdel Wahid) see *Appendix A*.]

The U.S. has issued no further statement beyond the “grave concern” of
August 12. Why is this?

The U.S. has had no trouble speaking loudly about civil rights abuses in
South Sudan:

The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said
she is "outraged" over reports that the South Sudanese government harassed
activists who met with a UN Security Council delegation during their visit
to the world’s youngest nation.

Power, in a statement issued Sunday, said the Security Council delegation
observed "chilling" living conditions for civilians trapped in the ongoing
conflict between the South Sudanese government and the armed opposition
forces. “The United States condemns any attempts by governments to silence
freedom of expression, and we condemn all restrictions on civil society
actors who organize peacefully and provide constructive criticism,”
stressed the UN envoy. “The voices of civil society must be elevated, not
silenced,” she added. (*Sudan Tribune | *September 12, 2016 (JUBA)
<http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article60206>

Juba, with which the U.S. bilateral relationship has soured, is an easy
target for “outrage”: the failing government has nothing to offer the U.S.
except an escape from a regional diplomatic headache, to which poor U.S.
policy under presidents Bush and Obama have contributed mightily.

But the “silenced” voices of those who best represent civil society in
Darfur—*Sudan*—haven’t provoked “outrage” of the sort Ambassador Power so
freely vents, only “grave concern”—a concern that seems less “grave” by the
day as some of those arrested for speaking with the U.S. Special Envoy
remain silenced by virtue of continuing incarceration.

I have written repeatedly and at length about the expediency of U.S.
refusal or inability to secure the release of these men—on the basis of
dispatches from Radio Dabanga, *Sudan Tribune*, human rights researchers,
and Darfuri sources—and cannot escape the conclusion that these men remain
incarcerated because the U.S. values its relationship with Khartoum too
much to say or do more than some behind-the-scenes cajoling of questionable
vigor:

*• Darfur and Sudan Following the Visit by U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth:
Undiminished catastrophes | *August 28, 2016 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1VI

*• Khartoum Denies Its Security Services Detained Those Interviewed by U.S.
Envoy Donald Booth in Darfur: How will the Obama administration
respond? | *August
17, 2016 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1VE

*• U.S. Demands Release of Darfuris Arrested for Daring to Meet with
Obama’s Special Envoy | *August 13, 2016  |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-1VA
<http://wp.me/p45rOG-1VA>

*• Arrests in Darfur by Khartoum’s security forces continue to increase in
the wake of interviews given by displaced persons to visiting Obama
administration Special Envoy for the Sudans | *August 8, 2016 |
http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Vt

*• Following Visit to Darfur by Obama Administration Special Envoy Donald
Booth, the Arrests Continue | *August 4, 2016 | http://wp.me/s45rOG-7401

• *"U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth in Khartoum—and Darfur: Consequences
and Responsibilities"* | August 1, 2016 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Vk

More broadly, I must ask why can’t the U.S. and the international community
more broadly find their voices on Darfur, where violence and deprivation at
extraordinary levels define the entire region? Why does the UN, for
example, speak so forcefully about rape in South Sudan but say virtually
nothing about the rapes of tens of thousands of girls and women in Darfur?

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has condemned rape and
sexual violence in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, adding that it has
intensified its patrols in and around the Protection of Civilians Sites as
well as in the wider Juba city area, following reports of sexual violence,
including rape. In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, UNMISS also
reported that as an enhanced protection measure, it is working with
community leaders and partners to coordinate the peacekeepers escorts of
women and young girls leaving protection sites to collect food and other
items. (*Sudan Tribune* | August 2, 2016
<http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59805>)

The hypocrisy of strenuous statements condemning Juba by the U.S., UN, and
EU while Darfur’s agony—including an unaddressed epidemic of sexual
violence that has seen the rape of many tens of thousands of girls and women
<http://sudanreeves.org/2016/03/06/continuing-mass-rape-of-girls-in-darfur-the-most-heinous-crime-generates-no-international-outrage-january-2016/>—continues
amidst almost complete silence is simply disgraceful and bespeaks moral
cowardice and expediency.

I assemble below, in chronological order, excerpts from key dispatches by
Radio Dabanga and *Sudan Tribune *that make clear—unambiguously clear—that
the U.S. is refusing to take sufficient responsibility for men arrested by
Khartoum’s security forces for courageously speaking the truth about their
region to a senior U.S. diplomat. Additionally, excerpts from a report
of *August
8, 2016 by Amnesty Internationa*l have also been included. All materials in
this compendium are fully known to the Office of the Special Envoy for the
Sudans, Donald Booth, and to the Obama administration State Department
generally.

If we want a glimpse of what animates the Obama administration’s Sudan
policy of *rapprochement *with the genocidal regime in Khartoum—a regime
preparing even now for renewed ethnically-targeted assaults on Darfur,
South Kordofan, and Blue Nile at the end of the current rainy season—we
should look closely at how these men have come to be abandoned.

[The somewhat copious material that appears here may be seen in brief
overview in the form of a non-annotated timeline of events: *Appendix B]*

[All emphases in *bold* have been added.]

*“U.S. envoy to assess humanitarian situation in Darfur, discuss peace
plan: Foreign Minister” <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59758>** |
Sudan Tribune | *July 27, 2016 | Khartoum

The visit of United States Special Envoy, Donald Booth, aims to assess the
situation of displaced people in Darfur and to brief the government
officials on the outcome of his contacts with the opposition holdout
groups, said the Sudanese foreign ministry on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Booth
has started a visit to North Darfur state where he visits the newly
displaced people to assess the security and humanitarian situation. Also he
will meet with the state authorities and UNAMID officials. Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Garib Allah Khidir, told reporters that the
ministry is organizing Booth’s visit and his meetings with the different
officials, in coordination with the relevant authorities.

* “Darfur's displaced share concerns with US envoy”
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfur-s-displaced-share-concerns-with-us-envoy>
*| Radio
Dabanga  | July 29, 2016 | TAWILA / NIERTETI / EL FASHER

United States special envoy for Sudan Donald Booth visited displaced
populations in Nierteti, Tawila and El Fasher as part of his visit to
Darfur where he assessed the humanitarian situation and gauged the opinion
on the national peace efforts.

On Wednesday [August 27, 2016], Booth met a *group of displaced people from
the Nierteti camps in Central Darfur *in the headquarters of the African
Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The *twenty elders, women
and youth* were asked them about their opinion on the ongoing peace
process, the Darfur referendum that was held last April, the activities of
humanitarian organisations and the work that UNAMID does.

A member of the committee informed Radio Dabanga that the displaced people
told Booth that the killings, rapes, arrests and torture by the government
and its militias and the occupation of their land by new settlers are still
ongoing. They called for security and stability and the new settlers to be
expelled from their lands. They told Booth that they find UNAMID incapable
of protecting itself, “let alone protecting the displaced people. Their
work is [confined] to the writing of reports.”

Finally the committee complained about the shortage of aid organisations in
the camps and that there are not enough education services. The displaced
demanded authorities to reconsider the inventory process of the monthly
food rations cards that are provided by the World Food Programme.

*Tawila*

The US envoy also visited Tawila in North Darfur, where he met with the
leaders of displaced people in camps on Thursday [July 28, 2016]. They
informed Booth that security is missing in the area and claimed that the
population is trapped by gunmen in the camps. Farming has become difficult
as armed herdsmen and nomads occasionally raid the farms. The leaders said
that there is a lack of health services, as there is only one health centre
that belongs to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) organisations that is unable
to cover the entire population's needs.

*El Fasher*

Also on Thursday [July 28, 2016], Booth met with representatives of civil
society organisations in the North Darfur capital El Fasher, to discuss the
current situation in Darfur, the peace process and today's challenges in
the region. In turn the representatives criticised the marginalisation of
the Darfuri civil society organisations, and complained that regional and
international stakeholders in the peace process in Sudan do not listen to
them. They also criticised the West for abandoning Darfur, despite the
security and humanitarian situation going for the worst and the focus on
pressure on the armed rebel movements to sign a peace deal. “But when they
do so, we are abandoned without follow-up of implementation of the deal,” a
representative complained to Radio Dabanga.

*“Five displaced men detained in Nierteti, Central Darfur
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/five-displaced-men-detained-in-nierteti-central-darfur>”
|* Radio Dabanga | July 31, 2016 | NIERTETI

*Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained
five displaced men in Nierteti in Central Darfur today **[July 31,
2016].* Speaking
to Radio Dabanga,* multiple sources reported *that *Adam Siddig*, of the
Northern Nierteti camp* Abdelkarim Adam Abdelkarim*, of the Southern
Nierteti camp were held at the town's bus station this morning*. Nasreldin
Yousef* and *Adam Mohamed*, the owner of a welding workshop*, *were
detained in the market of Nierteti.* Ahmed El Tijani Abdeljabar Yousef* was
taken from a house in the Dar El Naeem district.* The sources said that the
NISS officers seem to be still searching for others.*

Last week, the US special envoy for Sudan, Donald Booth, paid a visit to
Darfur. On Wednesday he spoke with a number of displaced in Nierteti.

*“Sudanese security arrests Darfur IDPs after meeting U.S. envoy
<http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59795>” | **Sudan Tribune* |
August 2, 2016 | Zalingei

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday
[August 1, 2016] has *arrested at least 21 leaders of the Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the locality of Nirtiti, Central Darfu*r state
following a meeting with the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South
Sudan, Donald Booth, said IDPs official.

Deputy Chairman of IDPs and Refugees Association Adam Abdalla Idris told *Sudan
Tribune* that the* NISS is now making intensive efforts to arrest dozens of
IDPs leaders after it accused them of providing Booth with misleading
information pertaining to the security and humanitarian situation in the
region particularly in areas of east Jebel Marra.*

*He added that several IDPs leaders have disappeared from sight for fear of
being arrested by the NISS,* pointing [out that] the latter *has a list
including names of all IDPs who met with the American envoy.*

According to Idris, a *security source disguised as an IDP has attended the
meeting with Booth and submitted a report including details of the meeting
to the NISS.*

Idris pointed out that the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID),
human rights groups operating in the area, and the IDPs *have provided
identical reports to the American envoy including numbers of those killed
in the recent clashes in Jebel Marra besides numbers of the newly displaced
persons and the rape incidents*. “The humanitarian situation is at its
worst particularly after food and drug supply have stopped besides the lack
of blankets and other basic necessities,” he said.

*He added that the American envoy will likely delay his visit to South
Darfur state in fear of subjecting dozens of IDPs to harassment and
detention by the NISS.*

*“More detentions days after US envoy's visit to Darfur
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/more-detentions-days-after-us-envoy-s-visit-to-darfur>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | August 2, 2016 | NIERTETI

*An appeal has been made for the release of six displaced men in Nierteti,
Central Darfur, detained by security services just days after the US
Special Envoy to Sudan spoke to displaced people in a Nierteti camp. *El
Shafie Abdallah, the coordinator of Central Darfur camps, confirmed that
six men are still in detention today. He told Radio Dabanga that several
others may be detained too. “Their detention on Sunday has to do with the
visit of the envoy because it took place shortly after his meeting with a
committee of displaced people,” Abdallah said.

*According to El Shafie Abdallah, the wanted men all attended the meeting
with Booth on Wednesday.* Some of the six detainees did not attend the
meeting. *Participants in Wednesday's meeting **told Booth*
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfur-s-displaced-share-concerns-with-us-envoy>*
that
the killings, rapes, arrests and torture by the government and its militias
and the occupation of their land by new settlers are ongoing*. They called
for the new occupiers to be expelled from their lands, a
participator informed Radio Dabanga.

Abdallah appealed to the Embassy of the US in Khartoum, Special Envoy
Booth, and the Sudanese government to intervene and stop the detention
campaign of people who attended the meeting in Nierteti*. “Bring them to a
fair trial if there is a charge, or release them, and stop the ongoing
prosecution of displaced people,” Abdallah said.*

*“Nierteti youth leader joins Central Darfur detainees
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/nierteti-youth-leader-joins-central-darfur-detainees>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | August 4, 2016 | NIERTETI

The youth leader of Nierteti in Central Darfur, *Mohamed El Tijani Seif,* is
the latest person to be detained by security services following the meeting
last week between representative of the displaced and US Special Envoy
Donald Booth.

Saif was detained by agents of the security services at Nierteti Grand
Market on Wednesday [August 3, 2016] morning*. His arrest, preceded by that
of Omda Eisa Mohamed Rashid, Adam Hamid Adam and Ahmed Abdallah Omer,
brings the number of detainees following Booth’s visit to 11.*

The coordinators of the displaced persons of Central Darfur appealed to the
US administration, its special envoy in Sudan Donald Booth, and its embassy
to Khartoum to immediately intervene to release the detainees. Security
services in Nierteti arrested eight people on Sunday, and released them
later. Sources told Radio Dabanga that the security services released two
people on Monday and Tuesday.

*“**Four more displaced who met US envoy held in Central Darfur
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/four-more-displaced-who-met-us-envoy-held-in-central-darfur>**”
| *Radio Dabanga* | *August 7, 2016 | Nierteti, Central (formerly West)
Darfur

*Agents of the Sudanese security apparatus detained four displaced people
in Nierteti in Central Darfur on Friday and Saturday.* The detention of the
four camp residents brings the *number of displaced people who were
detained after meeting US Special Envoy Donald Booth two weeks ago to 15.* Two
of them have been released, Shafee Abdallah, coordinator of the Central
Darfur camps for the displaced reported to Radio Dabanga.

*Ishag Adam Abdelshafi and Yahya Mohamed Yousef were detained in the centre
of Nierteti at about 6 pm on Friday*. Late on Saturday afternoon, security
agents in four Land Cruisers stormed the Northern Nierteti camp. They took
Adam Ishag Abdelkarim with them after searching his shelter and the
shelters of four of his neighbours. Displaced secondary student Khalil
Hassan was detained in Nierteti on Saturday as well.

*According to Abdallah, the 13 detainees must be in “an extremely difficult
situation” as their relatives, lawyers, and representatives of human rights
department of UNAMID have not been allowed to visit them.* He added that
relatives of the detainees went to the main office of the security
apparatus in Nierteti with food and clothes for the detainees, but security
officers refused to take the goods.

*The camp coordinator appealed via Radio Dabanga to the US special envoy,
and the US embassy in Khartoum to intervene for the release of the
displaced. “If they have committed a crime, they should be charged and
brought to trial. Yet, meeting with Special Envoy Donald Booth, and telling
him the facts about what is happening in Darfur, is not a crime.”*

*“Ten displaced still detained in Central Darfur
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/ten-displaced-still-detained-in-central-darfur>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | August 10, 2016 | NIERTETI

*Ten of the displaced people, who have been held after speaking to US
Special Envoy Donald Booth last month, are still reportedly in detention
without charge in Nierteti in Central Darfur.*

Activists and witnesses in Nierteti told Radio Dabanga that the security
services have released Abdelkarim Adam Abdelkarim of Nierteti North camp,
Ahmed Suleiman of camp Garsila, Adam Mohamed Mousa of Nierteti South camp,
Ahmed El Tijani Abdeljabbar Yousef of Dar El Naeem district, and Ishag Adam
Abdelshafi of Goz Beida district over the past days.

*However Adam Hamid Adam, Ahmed Abdallah Omar, Osman Abdelgader Abdelsadeg,
Adam Ishag Abdelkarim, Ali Abdelaziz, Adam Siddig Abdallah, Yahya Mohamed
Yousef, Abdelrasoul Nasreldin Yousef Abdelrahman, Adam Mohamed Ali, and
Rashid Eisa, are all still in detention*. Witnesses confirmed that the
security services have neither charged them, nor allowed visits from
lawyers or family.

*Campaign of detentions*

A total of 15 people were detained in a campaign of detentions that began
shortly following Booth’s visit. He met with a group of 20 displaced
elders, women, and youths in Nierteti, and asked them about their opinion
on the ongoing peace process, the Darfur referendum that was held last
April, the activities of humanitarian organisations, and the performance of
UNAMID.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gariballah El Khidir,
told reporters on the occasion that the US envoy was interested to speak
with people who had fled the recent fighting in Jebel Marra.

A member of the committee informed Radio Dabanga on 27 July that they told
Booth about the killings, rapes, detentions, and torture by the government
and its militias, and the occupation of their land by new settlers. They
further said that *UNAMID is incapable of protecting itself, “let alone
protecting the displaced people*.”

*Four days after the meeting, five displaced who had met with Booth were
detained. On 2 August, the camp coordinator reported that another displaced
man was detained. Five others were held last week.*

*“USA calls on Sudan for ‘immediate release’ of Nierteti detainees
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/usa-calls-on-sudan-for-immediate-release-of-nierteti-detainees>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | August 15, 2016 | WASHINGTON, DC

*The USA has called on the Sudanese government to release all the displaced
people who were detained in Nierteti in Central Darfur over the past two
weeks. *In a press statement on Friday, Elizabeth Trudeau, Director of the
Office of Press Relations of the US State Department, says that the US “is
gravely concerned about the Sudanese government’s ongoing detention of at
least 15 Darfuri individuals, including one Sudanese national employee of
the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)”.

The detentions followed a visit by US Special Envoy to Sudan and South
Sudan, Donald Booth, to North and Central Darfur in late July. Booth met
and spoke with a number of displaced in Nierteti on 27 July. Four days
later, security agents held five of the people the US envoy had met. In the
following weeks, ten more were detained. Five of them have been released,
Radio Dabanga reported on Wednesday.

*“Many others who were not detained were nonetheless questioned by security
officials about the nature of their contact with the Special Envoy,”* the
US statement reads. “The United States immediately expressed its concern
about the reported detentions to senior Sudanese officials, and *we call on
the Government of Sudan to immediately release all of those detained.* These
actions are particularly unfortunate as they undercut the government of
Sudan initially granting permission for the special envoy’s fact-finding
visit and allowing him to travel to areas and speak with individuals of his
choosing. Such first-hand knowledge is important to shaping future US
engagement with the Government of Sudan and opposition groups and leaders
regarding Darfur.

“As Sudan seeks to pursue an inclusive national political dialogue, the
Sudanese people need to be free to voice their opinions. The United States
urges the Government of Sudan to respect its citizens’ rights to freedoms
of expression, peaceful assembly and association, including by the press,
as these are vital elements for an environment conducive to an inclusive
national dialogue for which all continue to work,” the statement concludes.

*“Darfur Bar demands release of Nierteti detainees
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfur-bar-demands-release-of-nierteti-detainees>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | August 15, 2016 | KHARTOUM

Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained 15
of a group of 20 displaced elders, women, and youths, after they met with
Donald Booth, the US Special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, during his
visit to Nierteti on 27 July. Five of the detained were released again.

*The displaced met with Booth on his request.* He asked them about their
opinion on the ongoing peace process, the Darfur referendum last April, the
activities of humanitarian organisations, and the performance of UNAMID. In
their letter to the National Secretariat for Human Rights, the Darfur Bar
lawyers state that the detained displaced did not commit any offence. “They
did not violate any law. They only spoke with the US envoy, on his request,
during an official visit endorsed by the Sudanese authorities,” DBA deputy
chairman Saleh Mahmoud told Radio Dabanga. He also pointed to the
responsibility foreign envoys have towards the people they speak with in
the countries they visit.

*“We fear that the detained may be subjected to mistreatment and torture,”
Mahmoud added. “Among the detained are a number of elderly people who
suffer from chronic diseases, and need regular medical care. By detaining
them, the security apparatus is depriving them of their constitutional
right to human dignity.”*

*“Washington says concerned about Darfur IDPs detained after meeting US
envoy <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59932>”* | *Sudan
Tribune | *August 15, 2016 (KHARTOUM)

The United States has expressed deep concern over Sudan’s government
continued detention of at least 15 Darfurians including one Sudanese
national working for the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). On
July 26, the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald
Booth, started a visit to Darfur states to assess the security and
humanitarian situation on the ground particularly in Jebel Marra area.

“Many others who were not detained were nonetheless questioned by security
officials about the nature of their contact with the Special Envoy,” read
the statement. It pointed that the US immediately expressed its concern
about the reported detentions to senior Sudanese officials, calling on the
Sudanese government to immediately release all of those detained.

“These actions are particularly unfortunate as they undercut the Government
of Sudan initially granting permission for the Special Envoy’s fact-finding
visit and allowing him to travel to areas and speak with individuals of his
choosing” it added. The statement further urged the Sudanese government “to
respect its citizens’ rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly
and association, including by the press”, saying they are vital elements
“for an environment conducive to an inclusive national dialogue for which
all continue to work.”

*“Sudan’s FM denies detention of Darfuris after U.S. envoy’s visit
<http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59948>”* | *Sudan Tribune
| *August
16, 2016 (KHARTOUM)

*Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Tuesday has denied the arrest
of Darfuris who had met the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South
Sudan during a recent visit to Darfur region.* Last Friday, U.S. State
Department issued a statement condemning the arrest of 15 people including
a local employee of Darfur hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID), after a
meeting with Ambassador Donald Booth who visited North and Central Darfur
states from 26 to 28 July.

The arrested local leaders and representatives of displaced persons
reportedly briefed the American diplomat about the atrocities committed by
the Sudanese government militiamen during their attacks on rebel positions
in Jebel Marra earlier this year.

*In statements to the official news agency SUNA on Tuesday [August 16,
2016], Ghandour said they had been informed about the alleged detention by
the Special Envoy Booth after his return from Darfur. He added that they
approached the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) which
denied the claim.* "This is the official answer that we received, and the
Envoy is aware of this answer,” Ghandour said. However he was quick to add
“May be, there is someone arrested by the local authorities."

“But certainly there are some circles that try to sabotage those efforts
(to improve bilateral relations) after the visit of the Envoy who got
firsthand information on the situation in Darfur personally.”

*“Student detained in Nierteti, Central Darfur
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/student-detained-in-nierteti-central-darfur>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | August 22, 2016 | NIERTETI

*Military intelligence officers detained a displaced student in Nierteti in*
 *Central* *Darfur on Saturday. Seven of the 15 displaced people who were
held after their meeting with US Special Envoy Donald Booth in Nierteti at
the end of July, are still in detention.*

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from the Northern Nierteti camp, an activist
reported that *secondary school student Abakar Mohamed Idris was detained
in the camp by military intelligence* agents at 5 pm on Saturday. “They
took him to the military garrison of Nierteti, without disclosing the
reason for their action,” he said.

*US Special Envoy*

Seven of the 15 displaced held by the security apparatus following their
meeting with US Envoy Donald Booth during his visit to Nierteti on 27 July
are still in detention. Eight were released, and two of them were banished
from Nierteti for good.

The seven displaced who are still in detention are *Ali Abdelaziz Adam
Saleh*, *Adam Mohamed Ali*, *Nasreldin Yousef Abdelrahman*, *Adam Hamed
Adam*, *Ahmed Abdallah Omar*, *Mohamed El Tijani Seifeldin*, and *Ahmed
Suleiman*.

*“Nierteti detainees transferred to Central Darfur capital
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/nierteti-detainees-transferred-to-central-darfur-capital>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | September 1, 2016 | NIERTETi

*Seven displaced people from Nierteti in Central Darfur, who were arrested
after meeting with US Special Envoy Donald Booth in late July, have been
transferred to the state capital of Zalingei. *El Shafie Abdallah, the
Coordinator of the camps for the displaced of Central Darfur, told Radio
Dabanga that Ahmed Suleiman, Adam Mohamed Ali, Ali Abdelaziz Mohamed, El
Tijani Seifeldin and Nasreldin Souf Ibrahim, who were being held at the
Nierteti security apparatus detention centre, and Adam Hamid Adam and Ahmed
Omar, who were held in Military Intelligence cells, were all transferred to
Zalingei on Thursday 25 August.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, faced criticism after he denied
the arrest of anyone by the security apparatus in Nierteti. In response,
Central Darfur camps coordinator Abdallah likened Ghandour to Musalyimah El
Kazab (a false Muslim prophet also known as ‘the liar’).

*“Darfur Bar renews call for release of ‘Nierteti detainees’
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfur-bar-renews-call-for-release-of-nierteti-detainees>”*
| Radio
Dabanga | September 4, 2016 | KHARTOUM

*The international community and in particular the USA should act and
pressure the Sudanese government to release seven displaced men held in
Central Darfur after meeting with US Special Envoy Donald Booth on 27 July,
says the Darfur Bar Association (DBA).*

In a statement on Friday, the Darfur Bar Association expressed its regrets
that “more than three million people live in deplorable conditions and
continuous suffering in Darfur for more than a decade,” while their cases
“no longer find the international humanitarian concern, as in the past.”

The detentions prompted a chorus of condemnation, at home and abroad, with
statements from the USA and the DBA. Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim
Ghandour faced criticism after he denied the detention of anyone by the
security apparatus in Nierteti. Eight of the detainees were released in
August.

*The seven others, Ahmed Suleiman, Adam Mohamed Ali, Ali Abdelaziz Adam, El
Tijani Mohamed Seifeldin, Nasreldin Yousef Abdelrahman, Adam Hamid Adam,
and Ahmed Abdallah Omar were transferred to Zalingei, capital of Central
Darfur, on Thursday 25 August.* The Darfur lawyers state that they sent a
memo to the National Commission for Human Rights, “to no avail.”

*“Arrest in Central Darfur’s Nierteti camp
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/arrest-in-central-darfur-s-nierteti-after-vehicle-search>*”
| Radio Dabanga |  September 7, 2016 | NIERTETI

*Agents of Military Intelligence arrested displaced man Mohammed Abkar
Ahmed in a camp near Nierteti in Central Darfur. *A coordinator of the
Nierteti camps for the displaced told Radio Dabanga that the military
intelligence agents, driving in their vehicle, arrived in Nierteti north
camp on Wednesday afternoon.

They detained Mohamed Abkar Ahmed and took him to the military garrison in
Nierteti. The coordinator said that no reasons have yet been released for
the arrest. Nierteti has seen dozens of detentions of displaced people over
the past months. Several members of a committee, who spoke to US Special
Envoy Donald Booth when he visited Darfur at the end of July this year,
have been detained, prompting condemnation from the USA and within Sudan.

*AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL*

Sudan Date: 8 August 2016
<https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6u6D2Zk1JrQJ:https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR5446172016ENGLISH.pdf+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>

URGENT ACTION (UA: 185/16 Index: AFR 54/4617/2016)
<https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6u6D2Zk1JrQJ:https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR5446172016ENGLISH.pdf+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us>

*EIGHT ARRESTED, WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN*

10 people, seven of whom are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), were
arrested by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in
Darfur on 31 July. The 10 had attended a meeting with the United States
Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan before their arrest.

Two people have been released, while the whereabouts of the other eight
remains unknown.

10 people including seven IDPs were arrested by the NISS on 31 July. The
seven IDPs arrested in Nierteti City, Central Darfur State are: Adam Siddiq
Abdel Rahman, 75, the head of Southern IDPs camp in Nierteti; Adam Hamid
Adam, 60, the head of Northern IDPs camp in Nierteti; Al Rasheed Mohamed
Essa, 49, African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
employee; Ahmed Omer, 37, UNAMID employee; Ali Abdel Aziz Ali, 33, student;
Nasser El Deen Yousef Abdel Rahman, 30; and Abdelkarim Adam Abdelkarim, of
the Southern Nierteti camp. The others arrested include Adam Mohamed Ali,
69, Mohamed Al Tejani Seif El Deen, 30, and El Tijani Abdeljabar Yousef,
70, a medical doctor.

Abdelkarim Adam Abdelkarim and El Tijani Abdeljabar Yousef were released on
1 August, but the whereabouts of the other eight remains unknown. Their
families have had no contact with them since their arrest. They could be at
risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

The 10 had attended a meeting on 30 July with the U.S Special Envoy for
Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, during his four-day visit to Darfur.
He was visiting Darfur to assess the security and humanitarian situation on
the ground and meet with IDPs. He visited Nierteti City in Central Darfur
State where he met with representatives for the IDPs, especially from the
Jebel Marra area where intense fighting between a rebel group and
government forces has been ongoing since January 2016.
*Appendix A: Who are the two men who remain incarcertated for meeting with
Ambassador Booth?*

According to a U.S. State Department official, Khartoum insists that the
men were affiliated with the Sudan Liberation Movement/Abdel Wahid
(SLA/AW). In other words, in the NISS round-up of those who met with
Ambassador Booth, they just “coincidentally” happened to net two rebels.

Nothing in what has been reported by Radio Dabanga or the Darfur Bar
Association supports such an assertion; on the contrary, those arrested
have been identified, and their role within the displaced persons community
specified. Nor would representatives of the Darfur displaced persons be so
foolish as to include members of SLA/AW in the extraordinary meeting with a
senior U.S. official, risking undermining the very effort to communicate
from the perspective of civilians. The world is being asked to take
“Khartoum’s word” for the identity of these two men who met with Ambassador
Booth and were shortly thereafter arrested. And as the Khartoum regime has
revealed on countless occasions, its “word” is utterly worthless. Here we
should recall that Khartoum initially denied that *any* of those who met
with Booth had been arrested:

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Tuesday has denied the arrest of
Darfuris who had met the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South
Sudan during a recent visit to Darfur region. (Sudan’s FM denies detention
of Darfuris after U.S. envoy’s visit
<http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59948> | *Sudan Tribune *|
August 16, 2016 (KHARTOUM)

To be sure, members of the SLA/AW have sometimes been reported in some of
the displaced persons camps, but we must ask also: How much sense does it
make for a rebel soldier to attend a meeting to discuss with the American
envoy atrocities in Jebel Marra, knowing that the event would be crawling
with security agents and informants?

The vengeful character of actions by Khartoum’s security agents is captured
all too well in a dispatch from *Sudan Tribune*, cited above:

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday has
arrested at least 21 leaders of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in
the locality of Nirtiti, Central Darfur state following a meeting with the
United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, said
IDPs official.

*Deputy Chairman of IDPs and Refugees Association Adam Abdalla Idris
told Sudan Tribune that the NISS is now making intensive efforts to arrest
dozens of IDPs leaders after it accused them of providing Booth with
misleading information pertaining to the security and humanitarian
situation in the region particularly in areas of east Jebel Marra. He added
that several IDPs leaders have disappeared from sight for fear of being
arrested by the NISS,* pointing the latter has a list including names of
all IDPs who met with the American envoy.

According to Idris, a security source disguised as an IDP has attended the
meeting with Booth and submitted a report including details of the meeting
to the NISS. (“Sudanese security arrests Darfur IDPs after meeting U.S.
envoy <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59795>,” *Sudan Tribune*,
August 2, 2016 | Zalingei)

The character of those who met with Booth is noted in a Radio Dabanga
dispatch, also cited above:

*An appeal has been made for the release of six displaced men in Nierteti,
Central Darfur, detained by security services just days after the US
Special Envoy to Sudan spoke to displaced people in a Nierteti camp.*

El Shafie Abdallah, the coordinator of Central Darfur camps, confirmed that
six men are still in detention today. He told Radio Dabanga that several
others may be detained too. “Their detention on Sunday has to do with the
visit of the envoy because it took place shortly after his meeting with a
committee of displaced people,” Abdallah said.

Last Wednesday, US Special Envoy Donald Booth met with the committee in the
headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID). The 20 elders, women and youths were asked about their opinion of
the ongoing peace process, the Darfur referendum that was held last April,
the activities of humanitarian organisations, and the work that UNAMID
does. (“More detentions days after US envoy's visit to Darfur
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/more-detentions-days-after-us-envoy-s-visit-to-darfur>,”
Radio Dabanga | August 2, 2016 | NIERTETI)

The Darfur Bar Association also characterized those incarcerated:

“We fear that the detained may be subjected to mistreatment and torture,”
Mahmoud added. “Among the detained are a number of elderly people who
suffer from chronic diseases, and need regular medical care. By detaining
them, the security apparatus is depriving them of their constitutional
right to human dignity.” (“Darfur Bar demands release of Nierteti
detainees” | Radio Dabanga | August 15, 2016 | KHARTOUM
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfur-bar-demands-release-of-nierteti-detainees>
)

Finally, if Khartoum has captured two members of the SLA/AW, why don’t they
name them and accuse them publicly?* In the words of* El Shafie Abdallah,
the coordinator of Central Darfur camps, “Bring them to a fair trial if
there is a charge, or release them, and stop the ongoing prosecution of
displaced people,” Abdallah said. On August 22, Radio Dabanga reported the
names of those still detained: “The seven displaced who are still in
detention are *Ali Abdelaziz Adam Saleh*, *Adam Mohamed Ali*, *Nasreldin
Yousef Abdelrahman*, *Adam Hamed Adam*, *Ahmed Abdallah Omar*, *Mohamed El
Tijani Seifeldin*, and *Ahmed Suleiman*.” Which two are members of the
SLA/AW? Why can’t they be named and identified as Prisoners of War?

Why doesn’t Khartoum do this? The answer is all too clear. Why doesn’t the
U.S. speak louder in the absence of any evidence against these men beyond
the fact that they spoke with the U.S. Special Envoy about the massive
suffering and destruction their people are enduring? Sadly, here also the
answer is all too clear.
*Appendix B: A brief timeline of events from Envoy Booth’s meeting with
displaced in Darfur to the present*

*July 26, 2016*: Ambassador Donald Booth, U.S. Special Envoy for the
Sudans, begins a trip to North Darfur;

*July 27*: Booth meets with a group of representatives of displaced persons
from the Nierteti area; the group is characterized by Radio Dabanga, on the
basis of interviews, as “*twenty elders, women and youth”;*

*July 28*: Booth meets leaders of displaced persons camps in the Tawila
area, including those from spontaneous Sortoni “camp,” to which many
displaced from Jebel Marra had fled; he returns to the capital of North
Darfur, el-Fasher, the same day; he returns to Khartoum the following day;

*July 31:* “*Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service
(NISS) detained five displaced men in Nierteti** in Central Darfur today
[Sunday]” (Radio Dabanga);*

*August 1:* “Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on
Monday has *arrested at least 21 leaders of the Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs) in the locality of Nirtiti, Central Darfu*r state following
a meeting with the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan,
Donald Booth, said IDP officials” (*Sudan Tribune*);

*August 3:* Youth leader of Nierteti in Central Darfur,* Mohamed El Tijani
Seif**,* is arrested in Nierteti town.* “H*is arrest, preceded by that of
Omda Eisa Mohamed Rashid, Adam Hamid Adam and Ahmed Abdallah Omer, brings
the number of detainees following Booth’s visit to 11” (Radio Dabanga);

*August 5 – 6:* “*Agents of the Sudanese security apparatus detained four
displaced people in Nierteti in Central Darfur on Friday and Saturday.* The
detention of the four camp residents brings the *number of displaced people
who were detained after meeting US Special Envoy Donald Booth two weeks ago
to 15” (**Radio Dabanga);*

*August 8:** Amnesty International issues** as “Urgent Action” statement: “*10
people, seven of whom are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), were
arrested by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in
Darfur on 31 July. The 10 had attended a meeting with the United States
Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan before their arrest”;

*August 10:* Radio Dabanga reports that five of those arrested have been
released by NISS* but that ten remain incarcerated**;*

*August 12:** the U.S. State Department **issues a “press statement,
declaring that the Obama administration *“is gravely concerned about the
Sudanese government’s ongoing detention of at least 15 Darfuri individuals,
including one Sudanese national employee of the African Union-United
Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).” The statement also notes
that, *“Many others who were not detained were nonetheless questioned by
security officials about the nature of their contact with the Special
Envoy.*”

This is *thirteen days after the first arrests *of those who met with Booth
at his invitation;

*August 16, 2016:* Khartoum’s *Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour* denies
the arrest of Darfuris who had met the United States Special Envoy to Sudan
and South Sudan during a recent visit to Darfur region;

*August 22*: Radio Dabanga reported the names of those still detained: “The
seven displaced who are still in detention are *Ali Abdelaziz Adam
Saleh*, *Adam
Mohamed Ali*, *Nasreldin Yousef Abdelrahman*, *Adam Hamed Adam*, *Ahmed
Abdallah Omar*, *Mohamed El Tijani Seifeldin*, and *Ahmed Suleiman*”;

*August 25*: Radio Dabanga reports: “*Seven displaced people from Nierteti
in Central Darfur, who were arrested after meeting with US Special Envoy
Donald Booth in late July, have been transferred to the state capital of
Zalingei”;*

*September 2**: *The Darfur Bar Association reiterates is concern for the* men
incarcerated for meeting with Envoy Booth: **“The international community
and in particular the USA should act and pressure the Sudanese government
to release seven displaced men held in Central Darfur after meeting with US
Special Envoy Donald Booth on 27 July**, says the Darfur Bar
Association” *(Radio
Dabanga, September 5);

*September 2 – 22, 2016*: silence…
-- 

Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud
Center for Health and Human Rights



eree...@smith.edu

www.sudanreeves.org

Twitter@SudanReeves

About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

Philanthropy: goo.gl/Ii4buw

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