Death toll of Ma'aliya-Rizeigat clashes in East Darfur reaches 305
A total of 209 people were killed and 305 were wounded in clashes between the Rizeigat and Ma'aliya tribes in East Darfur, according to the latest estimates on Wednesday. Meanwhile, East Darfur Governor Abdel Hamid Musa Kasha, announced the “state is not in control of the situation nor is it able to disperse the fighting.”
Ahmed Mohamed Adud, the East Darfur secretary-general, told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that that only on Monday, 35 Rizeigat were killed and another 82 were wounded, bringing the total casualty toll to 149 deaths and 185 injuries.
Sheikh Murdis Juma, Chairman of the Shura (heads of communities) Council of the Ma'aliya, said that 60 Ma'alia tribesmen were killed so far and 120 were wounded.
The state secretary-general disclosed that delegations from Khartoum and the five states of Darfur are holding “extensive consultations” with leaders of the Ma'alia and Rizeigat with the intent that they reach a cessation of fire and hostilities.
They also suggest that a reconciliation conference be held between the two tribes in the West Kordofan capital of Al Fula. The delegations are composed of ministers, security services, governors, and native administrators.
Adud affirmed to Radio Dabanga that the market in the state capital Ed Daein reopened its doors on Tuesday and that gunmen have disappeared after authorities deployed large numbers of soldiers from the military in the area.
'Spread of militias'
However, civilians who fled their homes as a result of the Rizeigat-Ma'aliya clashes said “militias” are spread around Ed Daein and surrounding villages “threatening people.”
“Until now Rizeigat fighters are moving around the Ed Daein market, which has not been reopened. When we fled, we left behind all of our money and cattle. We don't have money to buy basic goods or to return to our villages and homes. We also can't go shopping because of the militias and insecurity,” a source told Radio Dabanga.
Civilians are said to have fled their homes in areas affected by the fighting and are now living in Ed Daein, surrounding villages, or at the nearby El Neem camp for displaced. They claim to be living in “inhumane situations, sleeping on the ground, without cover or medicine, and to be facing extremely difficult health conditions.”
Five villages torched
The Omda of Keleikel Abu Salama administrative unit, Mohamed Ahmed Ali Ajalballah, told Radio Dabanga that five villages in the vicinity were torched on Tuesday: Kideda, El Sahab, Shagan El Marafain, El Moagarad, and Dar Es Salaam.
Ajalballah also said that two Ma'aliya tribesmen, who were wounded in battles, died on Tuesday on their way to Khartoum where they would be treated. They were being transferred with another five wounded victims via North Kordofan's capital of El Obeid, where they passed away.
On Tuesday, the omda continued, 68 wounded Ma'aliya members were evacuated to areas as El Taweisha, El Fasher, El Obeid, Kalamindo, Adila, and Jebel Adula.
'State not in control'
Governor Kasha announced in a press statement on Wednesday that he expects "the situation in East Darfur to explode at any moment due to the presence of crowds of fighters” in the Migellit area, north of the Kaleikel Abu Salama administrative unit.
He declared the state is not able to control the situation or disperse the fighting and demanded that the military intervenes and puts an end the poor security situation caused by the tribes.
“Primary and secondary schools are closed and all employees of the Ma'alia tribe were evacuated from Ed Daein to preserve their lives,” Kasha said.
The Joint Special Representative and head of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, expressed his deep concern over the high number of casualties as a result of clashes between the Rezeigat and Ma’aliya in and around Ed Daein and Adila, a statement from 14 August read.
"The violence must stop for the sake of everyone caught in this terrible ordeal. Fighting is not the answer and I urge all parties to resolve their differences through dialogue,” said Ibn Chambas, who on Wednesday would hold a meeting over the situation with the Chairperson of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani Sese.
Unamid says that “tensions between the Rezeigat and Ma’alia were reportedly triggered earlier this month by unresolved disputes concerning access to land resources. Over the past week, the security situation deteriorated in the area as clashes broke out leading to an increase in criminality which has adversely affected the civilian population.”
“In response, Unamid increased its presence and patrolling in the area and transported officials from the DRA to the locality to support cessation of hostilities. The Mission also sent senior personnel to the field to provide technical advice in the mediation.
“In connection with the unrest, on 12 August, a Unamid patrol was attacked by a mob in Ed Daein town. The patrol was able to extract itself and return safely to the Mission’s base. Government-led mediation efforts, supported by the Mission, to defuse tensions and restore stability are ongoing.”
Speaking to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, Unamid confirmed the attack and affirmed that none of their peacekeepers were injured. However, witnesses stated that one peacekeeper was critically wounded as a result of the attack and is currently being treated in a hospital.
Related: Unconfirmed number of casualties as East Darfur clashes progress (13 August 2013)
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