The number of people confirmed to have died in attacks on villages in West Darfur has reached 200, according to testimonies of native administration leaders. On Friday, the area of Jaflo, north-east of Azerni in Kereinik locality in West Darfur, witnessed an attack by gunmen, which led to the killing of six villagers and wounding of seven others.
Ahmed Ishag, member of the Committee for Stopping the Massacres in West Darfur, said that the massive attacks with heavy weapons and four-wheel drive vehicles on villages in the area led to the death of 84 people and the wounding of 106 others, while the attacks on villages in Jebel Moon killed 42 people in total. More than 40 villages burned to the ground.
In a press conference in El Geneina on Sunday, Ishag said that "the attacks on camps for the displaced and the so-called ‘safe villages’ came at harvest time in a clear targeting to destroy livelihoods in a premeditated crime that can only be described as genocide and ethnic cleansing".
“What happened has absolutely nothing to do with tribal conflicts, and any attempt to describe it in this way is a complicity in the crime,” he stated.
The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) condemned in the strongest terms the armed attack on villages and civilians, and the state government’s position on the events.
The DBA accused in a press statement on Sunday the state government of covering up the perpetrators, obliterating the facts, and facilitating the escape of criminal prosecutions.
The Darfur lawyers called on the state’s judicial authorities to carry out their duties and prosecute the perpetrators. They also called on the governor of West Darfur to open an investigation into the events, including finding the bodies of those who were wearing uniforms of the armed movement, allegedly led by the state governor Khamees Abdallah, himself, and who were using their vehicles.
An attack launched by gunmen on more than 23 villages in the area of Anjeekti in Wadi Salih in Central Darfur on Friday and Saturday, led to the displacement of between 25,000 to 30,000 people.
Part of them sought refuge in the areas of Juguma and Foro Baranga in West Darfur, others fled to neighbouring Chad.
According to those fleeing the area who spoke to Radio Dabanga on Sunday, the attack on these villages was carried out by gunmen who were riding in four-wheel drive vehicles, and on motorcycles, camels, and horses.
They said that they do not know exactly the numbers and names of the dead and wounded, except for Sheikh Abudagin, “who was slaughtered along with four members of his family, including a ten-year-old child in the village of Tekteka”.
Sources reported from Wadi Salih on Sunday the arrival of a military force of 22 vehicles of the Administrative Unit of Anjeekti two days after the first attacks, to calm the situation.
Joint protection force
Former rebel leader and currently member of the Sovereignty Council, El Hadi Idris, announced that a joint force will be formed within two weeks. This force will consist of 3,300 elements led by an army officer at the rank of Lieutenant-General, distributed over the five states of Darfur.
The new force will include 1,500 paramilitaries from the Rapid Support Forces, 1,500 former combatants of the rebel movements that signed the Juba Peace agreement in October last year, and 300 soldiers from the Sudan Armed Forces.
El Hadi Idris discussed with the Coordination Committee of the Darfur Track Forces in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, on Sunday the security arrangements and the establishment of the joint forces in Darfur.
Brig Yazeed Rashash, the spokesperson for the committee, said that these consultations are the first step for forming this joint force to protect civilians as stipulated in the Juba Peace Agreement.