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Central Darfur town 'a battlefield' as Misseriya, Salamat clash

February 19 - 2014 UM DUKHUN

Um Dukhun in Central Darfur turned into a battlefield on Tuesday morning, when new clashes broke out between Misseriya and Salamat tribesmen. Dozens were killed and injured.

Fierce clashes broke out after the assassination of Misseriya Omda Mousa El Taher. His body was found on Monday in the outskirts of Um Dukhun, east of the airport. In response, Misseriya killed El Haj Zein Abdel Shakour, a trader and Deputy Omda of the Salamat in Um Dukhun. Abdel Shakour was shot dead while he was drinking his morning tea at the house of Abdallah El Sayer, multiple sources told Radio Dabanga.

As a result, the sources said, heavy clashes broke out within Um Dukhun at 8am on Tuesday. At about 11am the fighting moved to the area north of the town. “The clashes were severe. Bodies were littered all over the streets of Um Dukhun. Dozens were wounded. Some of them were transferred to the Um Dukhun hospital.”

The fighting led to the closure of the town market. Some of its stores were plundered. A witness said that saw flames and smoke above Um Dukhun’s El Batari neighbourhood, which he believed to be inhabited by Salamat. Salamat women, children, and elders fled to Um Dukhun’s police station for protection, while others fled the town, seeking refuge in surrounding areas, including neighbouring Chad.  

The sources confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the joint Sudan-Chad forces, stationed in Um Dukhun, managed to force the warring tribesmen to move to the area north of the town. On Wednesday afternoon the fighting was still going on.

Interventions

The sultan of the Dar Masalit, and chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority Council, Sultan Sa'ad Bahreldin, directed through Radio Dabanga a special appeal to both parties “to stop the fighting and listen to the voice of reason”, reminding them of the peace agreements signed between the Misseriya and Salamat.  

Sultan Bahreldin also appealed to native administration representatives as well as to the leaders of both tribes to intervene and “play a positive role towards peace”.  

The Security Committee of Central Darfur State on Tuesday convened an emergency meeting about the renewed clashes between the two tribes. It decided to send members of the Zalingei Reconciliation Mechanism to Um Dukhun on Thursday. They had mediated between the Salamat and Misseriya last year. They will be accompanied by members of the Security Committee. It was also decided to send military reinforcements to Um Dukhun in order “to return security and tranquillity to the area”.

File photo

Related:

Citizens returning to Um Dukhun, Central Darfur (20 January 2014)

Salamat refugees returning to Um Dukhun in Central Darfur (2 December 2013)

Dozens slain in renewed Misseriya-Salamat clashes in Central Darfur (14 November 2013)


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