one year after the start of the war in Sudan, civilians try to collect testimonies from refugees

While Sudan is going through one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world according to the United Nations, civil society is mobilizing to investigate this conflict which has left tens of thousands dead.



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Sudanese refugees, in a refugee camp in Chad, April 8, 2024. (JORIS BOLOMEY / AFP)

One year ago today in Sudan, Abdel Fattah Al-Buran and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the two generals who led the East African country, engaged all forces in a power struggle that plunged a nation whole in chaos. Since then, all attempts at mediation have failed. The conflict has left tens of thousands dead, mainly civilians, and more than eight million displaced, causing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, according to the United Nations.

A real “ethnic cleansing” takes place, according to experts, in the Darfur region, in the southwest of the country, which the victims even describe as “genocide”. Access to the area is impossible for journalists and investigators but survivors from Sudanese civil society are trying, at the risk of their lives, to collect evidence in the refugee camps in Chad.

In Sudan, Abdelmoneïm Juzur practiced as a lawyer. Since his arrival in Chad, he has tirelessly surveyed the refugee camps to collect evidence and testimonies.

“In the firm where I worked, there were three of us. My two partners were murdered. If I continue the work today, it is also in their memory, so that they did not die in vain.”

former Sudanese lawyer Abdelmoneïm Juzur

at franceinfo

Armed with his notebook, he writes down every detail of this man’s story: “There were so many corpses all over the streets, so I volunteered to bury them. We were going to fill the mass graves. I buried up to 150 people in one night.” The UN has already confirmed the existence of at least 13 of these mass graves. Shielded from view by a simple tarpaulin, another man reveals several gunshot wounds.

Back at the makeshift shelter where the collective of lawyers from West Darfur meets, without computers or electricity, the data is copied by hand onto hundreds of sheets of paper. They count 18,000 dead and 7,000 missing in the region alone, testifies lawyer Ahmad Khamis.

“We must preserve this data to make it available to international justice.”

lawyer Ahmad Khamis

at franceinfo

“If all the information is already ready, the procedures will be faster. But you have to do the work upstream before people forget or the evidence disappears,” he explains. This work is not without risk. The names of lawyers are circulating on lists of people to be eliminated, as evidenced by a United Nations report. Abdelmoneïm Juzur knows this well: “If they kill mehe concluded coldly, other lawyers will continue the work.”

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