7 injured as ‘Abu Tira’ forces shut down North Darfur market
Seven people were injured when members of the Sudanese Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) ordered the closure of a large weekly market in North Darfur “without any justification”. The victims were taken to a hospital in the vicinity.
A source who was at the site on Monday said the gunmen started firing gunshots in the air and beating market goers, adding that several people were arrested and others were looted by insurgents as they were trying to flee.
Tawila’s weekly market caters residents of the entire region, including of El Fasher and East Jebel Marra. Its closure is affecting many citizens who are heavily dependent on it to sell and buy products essential for their daily needs.
Some of Tawila’s residents returned to the site on Tuesday hoping the market would be open. However, many citizens decided to stay home in fear of being attacked by the Abu Tira who remain stationed on nearby roads. They reportedly looted nine commercial trucks between Monday and Tuesday.
“There is almost no movement of people on the streets. We cannot even leave our houses to fetch water without risking being assaulted by the Abu Tira”, a source complained.
Among the wounded are Abdullah, known as Abu Dalu, who sustained injuries on both legs; Abdullah, known as Koko, who was wounded on his hands; and Hamouda Abdullah, who was shot on the chest.
Displaced and residents of Tawila city are urging state authorities to intervene and ensure that the market can be reopened. They are also urging UNAMID and the international community to protect them against Abu Tira forces.
See also: North Darfur displaced blame ‘Abu Tira’ forces for insecurity (10 April 2013)
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