Dozens slain in renewed Misseriya-Salamat clashes in Central Darfur
Dozens have reportedly died and dozens more wounded in fierce inter-tribal clashes between the Misseriya and Salamat within the town of Um Dukhun in Central Darfur.
Um Dukhun residents reported to Radio Dabanga that Salamat tribesmen in Land Cruisers entered Um Dukhun on 14 November at about 7am and attacked Misseriya tribesmen inside the town. The clashes ended when the joint Sudanese-Chadian force stationed in the town opened fire on the warring tribesmen.
According to the witnesses, the tribesmen used guns, RPGs and machine guns. Dozens of houses and shops were burned, as well as about 50 houses in the Um Dukhun camp for the displaced. Nearly 100 people were killed and dozens injured on both sides. Prominent Salamat commanders were killed, including El Masri, Hafez El Gouni, and Abdallah Sineen. On the Misseriya side, notable leaders Ibrahim El Annaf, Ahmed Abdelrahman El Dikheiri, and Riheima Bashir are noted among the fallen.
The residents could not confirm whether there were victims among the citizens, because the majority of the Um Dukhun population have fled to neighbouring Chad, or to the valleys, hills and forests nearby. They have not yet returned to their homes.
A different source pointed out that security and police troops, and the joint Sudanese-Chadian force spread-out in Um Dukhun after the clashes had ended, recovering bodies and transferring them to the hospital.
A Salamat witness reported to Radio Dabanga from Um Dukhun that the clashes led to the burning of the entire village of Sheikh Abdelaziz that consisted of 100-150 houses, and of about seven shops in the Aftah Einak market.
Adam El Nur Gaddoum, from the Misseriya in Um Dukhun, told Radio Dabanga that Salamat started their attack on Hillat el Nazihin (a settlement of displaced people), east of the airport, to which the Misseriya instantly responded. According to Gaddoum, 115 Salamat were killed; among them, leaders El Masri, Jamal Bidi, Hafez El Gouni and Abdeljabbar. Five Misseriya tribesmen were injured as were three of the joint Sudanese-Chadian troops. “The rest of the Salamat attackers fled to Chad.”
Abdallah Ajeeb, the spokesperson for the Salamat, stated that the Salamat did not attack but were attacked by the Misseriya. He explained to Radio Dabanga: “We just wanted to return to the areas we fled from during prior clashes. We never intended to fight.”
Ajeeb referred to the reconciliation accord signed on 3 July this year by the Misseriya and the Salamat, in which was agreed that the Salamat would be able to return to the areas they had fled. “Therefore we do not need any permission to return to Um Dukhun, as we intended to do on 14 November.”
“Clashes erupted when we found Misseriya ready to stop us. They had blocked the roads and dug trenches. They had armed themselves to prevent us from returning. We managed to enter the town but fled again after the joint Sudanese-Chadian troops opened fire on us.” According to Ajeeb, between 12 and 14 Salamat were killed. The number of injured still have to be registered.
The Salamat Spokesperson also explained why the Salamat were armed when they returned to Um Dukhun: “We were expelled by force of arms, so we expected armed resistance.”
Yousef Ishag El Nur, the Spokesperson for the Misseriya told Radio Dabanga that an armed group of Salamat in three vehicles equipped with machine guns and RPGs, accompanied by about 200 armed infantry came from Abu Kudum camp in Chad and approached Um Dukhun Town at about 7am on 14 November. They began firing at the houses of the displaced people, located east of the town. The Misseriya responded and defeat them, killing about 70 Salamat. The rest of them fled toward Chad territory, pursued by Sudanese-Chadian troops. El Nur reported that two Misseriya were killed and eight were injured.
He added that the situation in Um Dukhun returned to normal. The residents who fled were the displaced attacked by the Salamat in the east of the town.
File photo by Albert González Farran/Unamid
Relative calm in Central Darfur after fierce inter-tribal clashes (11 November 2013)
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