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DAMAZIN - 30 Mar 2014

Acquitted SPLM-N members under movement restrictions

A number of the released former SPLM-N detainees in Blue Nile State have been forced by security authorities to pledge not to travel to areas outside the capital Damazin. 

A group of 31 detainees were acquitted by a court in Sinja, Sennar State earlier this month, while 46 others were sentenced to life imprisonment, and 17 tried in absentia were sentenced to death. 

They faced charges related to the uprising in Blue Nile that started in September 2011. Among those convicted in absentia were the SPLM-N secretary-general Yasser Arman and the chairman Malik Agar, former governor of Blue Nile. 

Some of the released detainees now say that the security authorities prevented them from traveling to their villages on the pretext that these villages are now areas under control of the insurgents. 

One of the acquitted men said he was under surveillance by the security service and was told that he would be held responsible if he traveled to his home district and would be treated as a rebel.

Meanwhile, another source in Damazin pointed to the arrival of military units into the city from elsewhere, amid reports of a potential visit by a high-level national delegation to the state.

The source said he believed the forces in Damazin to be affiliated with the security service and the Janjaweed militia known as ‘Rapid Support Forces’.

“Forces have arrived from outside the state – different forces, including some coming from Rapid Support Forces. All of them are the color of Arabs… not the same tribes as the people in Blue Nile,” he said. 

File photo