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East Darfur market anticipates renewed tribal clashes

May 10 - 2015 ED DAEIN
A chief of the Rizeigat tribe (file photo)
A chief of the Rizeigat tribe (file photo)

Concerns for the safety of civilians and shops have led to the closure of the market in East Darfur's capital, amid growing fears of renewed clashes between two warring tribes. The buffer troops, sent by the state, are stationed between large crowds from both sides and will receive reinforcements.

A resident of Ed Daein said that the main market closed its doors on Saturday after reports that Rizeigat and Ma'aliya tribesmen, gathering in large crowds throughout the state, reached the town.

Mohamed Ahmed El Dud, head of the East Darfur Government Bureau, affirmed that the market was partially shut down, explaining that the reason was “fear for a repeat of the violent events in 2013 and 2014” among the people.

In armed clashes between the two tribes in August 2013, reportedly 209 people were killed and thousands sought shelter in other localities. Last month, fighting resulted in more than a dozen deaths and wounded in Abu Karinka locality. Mutual livestock rustling and land ownership issues are usually a trigger for tribal clashes.

“In this war, there is no winner. There are only losers because the killings are a loss for Sudan and the families.”

El Dud further told Radio Dabanga that police forces and members of the civil administration are securing the market. “Native administrators also prevented militant tribesmen from entering the market,” he claimed. “The situation is normal in Ed Daein.”

He appealed to both the Rizeigat and the Ma'aliya to resort to the voice of reason and work together to achieve peace, and maintain it. In this war, there will be no winner, “only losers because the killings among the two parties are a loss for Sudan and for their families, and the whole of Darfur”, Adud stressed.

In earlier statements, the governor of East Darfur said that the state government has deployed reinforcements to support the troops that buffer the border strip between the tribes. Last week, eyewitnesses reported that Rizeigat tribesmen had gathered in areas of El Ferdous, south of Ed Daein, and Ma'aliya members in Abu Karinka, and in Adila, the second-largest town of East Darfur.

Governor El Tayeb Abdelkarim Ahmed further stressed that the East Darfur government is working hard with the civil administration and politicians of both tribes to convince the militant leaders not to proceed with the mobilisation of fighters and their plans to launch attacks.

Last March, a reconciliation conference between the two tribes, which was held under the auspices of Sudan’s first vice-president, stalled over hawakeer (traditonal ownership of lands).

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