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Darfur witnesses surge in tribal violence

March 4 - 2021 SARAF OMRA / GIREIDA / EL GENEINA
The aftermath of violence in Gireida, South Darfur, after an attack by gunmen last year (RD)
The aftermath of violence in Gireida, South Darfur, after an attack by gunmen last year (RD)

Darfur witnessed a surge in violence this week. 10 people were killed and 32 others were injured during tribal clashes in Saraf Omra, North Darfur, yesterday. In Gireida, South Darfur, 11 people were killed and 26 were wounded in tribal clashes and in El Geneina, West Darfur, a man was shot. 

A member of the North Darfur Security Committee, Maj Gen Yahya Mohamed El Nur, said in a press statement that joint forces managed to arrest a number of suspects and evacuate the wounded from the scene. He explained that a dispute between the Fur and Tama tribes was the cause of the incident.

Mohamed Khater told Radio Dabanga that the clashes erupted following preparations for the reception of Sultan Mohamed El Tama. He explained that several groups denounced the organisation of an event celebrating his reception, including a Fur group.

People have demanded the authorities to intervene urgently to de-escalate the tension.

In response to the violence, the state government sent 23 reinforcements from Kabkabiya to help establish security. The government further announced a curfew from 7 pm to 7 am.

For unknown reasons, the North Darfur authorities also detained a member of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) from Saraf Omra, Abdallah El Zein, for several hours. However, he was later released.

In a separate incident in Tomady, Kabkabiya locality, Nour Adam (30) was killed by gunmen on Tuesday. A witness from Kabkabiya told Radio Dabanga that the dead man was shot by two gunmen who later fled the scene. 

South Darfur violence

Calm was restored to Gireida, North Darfur, yesterday following violence between the Fallata and Masalit tribes, which killed 11 people and wounded 36 others. The state government said in a statement that violence began after cows were stolen.

The Gireida local student association from universities and higher institutes condemned the attack. In a statement, the association said they held the state governor, the commander of the armed forces, the head of the police, the local security committee, the Prime Minister, and the Sovereignty Council responsible for the escalation of the violence. They further called for disarmament of the region and for the perpetrators to be arrested and brought to a fair trial. 

The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur also condemned the event and blamed the government and the state authorities.

Last week, the wali (governor) of South Darfur, Mousa Mahdi, confirmed that the state’s Security Committee will set up security reinforcements in the northern regions of South Darfur, establish a police department in the region, and publish strict guidelines to prevent further friction between herders and farmers. 

On Monday, Madhi still pledged to protect the area and its inhabitants so that they would not be subjected to violence and assaults like what has taken place in North Darfur and El Geneina, West Darfur.

West Darfur violence

In West Darfur, a tribal committee announced that Abdallah Mousa (35) was found dead in El Geneina on Tuesday. In a statement, the committee explained that his body was found with shot wounds in the chest. Mousa had been missing since Monday evening.

The committee accused the army and police of being involved in the shooting and said that a vehicle was in the area at the time of the shooting. They have demanded an investigation in the event.

Darfur security

Taher Hajar, a member of the Sovereignty Council acknowledged that security is fragile, especially in conflict areas. He spoke with the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) yesterday after his return from a visit to the states of Darfur.

He expects that this fragility will disappear with the enforcement of security arrangements and the formation of a joint national force following the withdrawal of the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Hajar further described the conditions of camps for the displaced people in Darfur as tragic. He said that life in these camps is not worthy of human dignity and that they lack basic services.

At the end of last year, governors in Darfur warned that the withdrawal of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) would lead to an increase in violence in the region. Protests against the UNAMID exit have taken place across Darfur in the past few months.

“Darfur is on the verge of sliding back into conflict” warned the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) director Alexandra Bilak last month.


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