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UN rights body and UNAMID condemn Sudan over Kalma killing.

January 23, 2009 (NEW YORK) -- More than four months, the UN high commissioner for human rights and the hybrid peacekeeping mission condemned the killing of displaced in Southern Darfur camp of Kalama. The two bodies further said Sudan violated the international human rights law.

Burial ceremony at Kalma IDP camp (UNAMID)

After repeated statements by the Sudanese officials saying weapons are situated in Kalma camp, near the capital of South Darfur Nyala, the security service and police attempted to enter the volatile camp to search weapons. Facing the opposition of residents who prevented them from conducting the search operation, the Sudanese forces opened fire on the crowd. Some 33 were killed and other 108 civilians wounded, on August 25, 2008. The joint reports projects the possible existence of weapons in the camp but denies Sudanese allegations that the IDPs had shot first on the security forces. Asked after the incident by Sudan Tribune many residents dismissed the presence of weapons in the hands of the IDPS. However some admitted that Minawi men in the past brought weapons to the camps, but since their departure the camp is empty from weapons. "Witness testimonies confirmed that security forces shot arbitrarily at a large crowd of IDPs including women and children," the report says. "Furthermore, it did not appear that the crowd posed any imminent threat to the security forces before they opened fire." The report concludes that, "Government security forces committed violations of international human rights law against the civilian population of Kalma IDP camp. It was established that the security forces used lethal force in an unnecessary, disproportionate and therefore unlawful manner." Among the thirty-three killed there were 14 men, 10 women and nine children, the UN said. The UN estimates 300,000 people have been killed, either through direct combat, disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy, while another 2.7 million people have been forced to flee from their homes because of the attacks by Sudanese forces and government militias. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Jan 25, 2009
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