KHARTOUM / EL ROZEIRES / WAD EL MAHI –
The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has announced that it will send a delegation to the Blue Nile region* this week to visit those affected by the violence that broke out in July last year. The Darfur lawyers said in a press statement on Friday that the visit aims to achieve sufficient knowledge of the causes of the conflicts in the region so that the association’s contribution is positive in reducing them and in applying the provisions of the law.
The DBA referred to a visit by lawyers Khidir Abakir Suliman and Alish Hammouda from the Blue Nile region to the DBA office in Khartoum on Thursday. The lawyers spoke about the continued attacks against people living south of El Roseires and in Wad El Mahi in the absence of the rule of law and the authorities’ disregard of their responsibilities towards the people in these areas.
In mid-July 2022, fighting in Wad El Mahi, south-east of El Roseires, erupted when indigenous El Funj, El Hamaj, Berta and other tribesmen attacked Hausa** families in the area.
The violence, allegedly triggered by political motives, flared up again in September. In October, new, fierce attacks took place in Wad El Mahi. More than 200 people have died so far. Thousands have been displaced.
Attacks continued on a smaller scale. In November, five people were killed and five others went missing in an ‘ethnically-motivated‘ attack in the area of El Azaza in El Roseires.
In late December, native administration leaders of the Blue Nile region called for the replacement of Gen Ahmed El Omda, the acting governor of the Blue Nile region because of his ‘weak response’ to the ongoing crisis. The leaders criticised the governor’s inability to diffuse the crisis following inter-communal violence in the area south of the capital Ed Damazin and El Roseires.
* On August 8 last year, Gen Ahmed El Omda, Governor of the then Blue Nile state, issued a number of decrees based on the October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) by which Blue Nile state became a region, and its seven localities became ‘governorates’. International IDEA stated in an analysis in 2021 that though the Blue Nile and Kordofan protocol incorporated in the JPA grants autonomy to these areas, it does not specifically provide that they become a region.
** The Hausa in Sudan are part of the Hausa ethnic group, which is very influential in West Africa, politically and culturally. In the process of traveling and trading for centuries, some of them migrated east to places like Sudan. Though mostly known as peaceful and trustworthy merchants, they are still seen by many Sudanese as ‘foreigners’.