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Death toll in southern Sudan clashes reaches 26

May 14 - 2020 KADUGLI / KHARTOUM
Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' at a press conference in a Khartoum hospital (SUNA)
Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' at a press conference in a Khartoum hospital (SUNA)

The clashes that erupted in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, on Tuesday, have left 26 dead. Another 19 people were injured. According to Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces militia, the recent clashes in various parts of the country have been planned.

The fighting broke out at the market of Kadugli on Tuesday. There were no security forces or regular forces present at the time. Reportedly, the violence had no ethnic background. A three-day curfew was announced to contain the situation.

Lt Gen Abdallah El Bashir, Deputy Chief of Staff for Training arrived in Kadugli yesterday. After having been briefed by the South Kordofan Security Committee, he reported that tensions developed after the theft of livestock in the rural area of Um Shaaran in mid-April. This led to extensive fighting in Kadugli on Monday, caused by a disagreement between two men about the sale of an individual weapon.

The violence left 26 dead from both parties, another 19 people were wounded, among them paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who were transferred from Kadugli to Khartoum for treatment. A number of homes went up in flames.

El Bashir said that the complete lockdown of Kadugli, imposed on Wednesday, would be continued, “to stop further bloodshed, conflict and fighting in Kadugli locality”. He called for the formation of a team to investigate what happened, bring the perpetrators to justice, and conduct an inventory of the damage caused by the violence.

The members of the native administration in Kadugli appealed to the parties to the conflict “to listen to the voice of reason” in order to prevent “the ignition of the fire of discord” again.

Political parties, civil society organisations, and armed movements have all condemned the clashes in the south Kordofan capital that broke out on Tuesday.

‘Planned’

Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the RSF, Sudan’s main government militia, claims that the recent clashes in various parts of the country have been organised.

Following his visit to Kadugli on Wednesday, Hemeti visited the wounded RSF militiamen who were flown to a hospital in Khartoum. At the hospital, he told reporters about “a plan aimed at the withdrawal of the RSF militia from Khartoum by provoking conflicts and creating tribal strife in the peripheries”.

He referred in this regard to fighting that recently broke out in South Darfur, Kassala, and Kadugli, as well as to the violence that erupted in El Geneina and in Port Sudan last year.

“Since change occurred in the country, the RSF have been facing many challenges, treachery, and have been targeted more than once, by hidden hands,” he said. “These hands not only work to destroy the RSF, but also intend to destroy Sudan. We will expose them in the near future.”

On Monday, the Sudanese Security and Defence Council held a meeting in Khartoum to assess the widespread violence in the country and the possibilities for robust mechanisms to address it. The High Committee for the Collection of Weapons and Unlicensed Vehicles announced on Sunday it will deploy a joint force of army soldiers and RSF militiamen to confiscate illegally-held weapons and vehicles in the country.


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