Dissenters claim the military has suppressed them following accords with Sudan
A number of peace agreements have been made in an effort to put an end to the war in Darfur, but critics claim they fall short and that people have been punished as a result.
Not everyone supported one of the most prominent paramilitary leaders in Sudan's return to his stronghold of Darfur for peace negotiations.
In order to put an end to the sporadic warfare that has plagued the area for the past year, Mohamad Hamdan Dagalo, a.k.a. "Hemeti," the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), struck multiple reconciliation agreements early this year, some of which included his adversaries. Between the military and political parties, a broader agreement was also struck in December.
Human Rights Watch reports that many Sudanese have opposed or criticized the agreements, calling for the RSF and members of Hemeti's own Rzeigat Arab tribe to be held accountable for their claimed roles in the recent deaths of hundreds of local residents.
Some of those dissidents now claim that the RSF has imprisoned and is holding them without charge.
"I entered a sizable intelligence facility. Faisal, 25, who requested anonymity out of concern for retaliation, said, "The [RSF] had a lot of questions about who I am and why I don't want peace and stability. I spent three days in prison.
The Darfur Bar Association reports that between June and August, about 350 persons were held without cause throughout the region. Faisal is among the many who have been freed. However, according to the legal group, many people are still incarcerated as a result of their actual or apparent rejection of Hemeti's reconciliation agreements.
Since supporting a military coup in October 2021, which halted the nation's flimsy democratic transition, critics claim that the arrests are a part of a larger RSF strategy to solidify power in Darfur.
"The people [in west Darfur] didn't want the RSF here before the coup. A human rights attorney from the African Masalit tribe, Nahid Hamid, claimed that the RSF didn't return until after the coup. The RSF and the Rzeigat have been accused of targeting the Masalit in recent years by the media, as well as by human rights organizations. Justice and the rule of law are nonexistent. The arrests and the overall scenario are illegal.
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