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‘Cautious calm’ in Sudan’s Kassala after clampdown on tribal strife

May 12 - 2020 KASSALA
Tribal clashes in Kassala last week (Social media)
Tribal clashes in Kassala last week (Social media)

An uneasy calm returned to Kassala in eastern Sudan on Monday following reconciliation efforts by tribal leaders, and the deployment of a government security force to quell ongoing clashes between Nuba and Beni Amer tribesmen over the past few days. Prime Minister Hamdok has expressed his concerns regarding the recent violence.

Hindi Ebeid, head of the Nuba Affairs Coordination Council in Kassala, told Radio Dabanga that the districts where the recent violence occurred have been quiet for now. “A cautious calm has returned to the town after the deployment of adequate security forces,” he said.

Ebeid explained that, with the cooperation of the government authorities, the native administration leaders of all tribes in the region announced a truce between the disputed tribes in Kassala. “Now our top priorities are ending the violence and singing the truce agreement. Then an investigative committee will be formed to investigate the incident.”

On Sunday, there were limited clashes in the town. Two people were injured, and several houses were torched.

As reported previously by Radio Dabanga, tribal clashes in Kassala between Nuba and Beni Amer tribesmen the past three days left eight dead and more than 80 injured.

Kassala Governor Maj Gen Mahmoud Babikir reported that 59 people from both sides have been arrested, mainly in the Kadugli and El Soug El Shaabi districts.

On Monday, Lt Gen Khalid El Shami, Deputy chief of staff of Army operations arrived in Kassala. In a press statement, he confirmed that they have “full authority from the central government to reinforce the security and public order in the town”.

El Shami said that they deployed extra law enforcement forces in Kassala. “We are meeting the native administration leaders in the coming days and these security forces will remain here until peace and security have been restored.”

Root causes

On his twitter account, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok stated that the violence in some regions in the country requires addressing its root causes through a comprehensive peace process. “To address the root causes of these circles of violence, we have to expedite the appointment of state governors;” the PM said.

He further expressed his concerns regarding the recent violence in Kassala, and urged all residents “to show sincere national spirit, solidarity, and interdependence, and thus disregard regionalism or tribalism and embrace peace, tolerance, and dialogue”.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in Kassala imputed the recent violence to the acting governor and its security committee for not providing sufficient security forces.

In a statement on Monday, they urged the central government to increase security forces and swiftly contain the security situation in the town. They also called on the disputing parties to stop conflicts and embrace the FFC’s initiative for peace and reconciliation.

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