Ma'aliya members of the East Darfur Youth Commission staged a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Justice in Ed Daein this morning, in protest against the silence of the authorities regarding the repeated clashes between the Ma'aliya and Rizeigat tribes in the state.
During the sit-in, the youth members handed a protest note to the a representative of the Ministry containing their demands for resolving the conflicts between the two tribes.
Azrag Hassan Humeida, chairman of the Youth Commission told Radio Dabanga that they sent copies of the protest memo to the Darfur Regional Authority in North Darfur, and the Presidency, the National Parliament, and the Council of States in Khartoum.
He explained that “all reconciliation conferences between the Rizeigat and Ma'aliya in the past have been to no avail. After each conference, new conflicts erupted, with disastrous results to the people living in Abu Karinka, Adila, and the neighbouring localities. This means that the conferences failed.
“The imposition of the rule of law in East Darfur, the arrest of the perpetrators, and bringing them to a fair trial, will be a valid base for reconciliation between the tribes in East Darfur. Peaceful coexistence can never be reached when the perpetrators are freely moving around.”
Humeida said that their most important demands are the formation of committees that are to investigate all the attacks that have occurred since 2012 to date, and compensation for the Ma'aliya whose homes were destroyed.
The youth demanded from the East Darfur Ministry of Justice to impose the rule of law and stop the attacks committed by Rizeigat militants “who are incited by the deputy chief of the Rizeigat, Ali Majok and East Darfur leaders of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, the Border Guards, and some members of the National Congress Party”.
The protesters also requested from the East Darfur Minister of Justice to disclose the results of the investigation conducted by his ministry into the attack on Um Rakuba in Abu Karinka locality in August last year.
In April and May fierce fighting erupted between the warring tribes in Adila and Abu Karinka localities. More than hundred people were reportedly killed, and dozens were injured.
Though the authorities sent buffer troops to East Darfur, the tension remains high, to the extent that fear of being caught in new clashes prevented the movement of nomads with their cattle to the north early August. The omda of Abu Jabra locality told Radio Dabanga on 5 August that an estimated 120,000 nomads with more than 1.5 million head of livestock were waiting in the south of East Darfur for the track to open.
Last September, Ma'aliya leaders resigned collectively from East Darfur government posts, in protest against the new state government appointed by Khartoum, a few weeks after Rizeigat attacks on Ma’aliya villages in the area of Um Rakuba, whereby hundreds of people were killed. Ma'aliya leaders also raised questions in the national parliament about the participation of government forces among the Rizeigat during the fighting.
The Rizeigat are the largest and most powerful Arab tribe in Darfur. Most live in southeast Darfur. Many of them have been recruited by the Sudanese government as paramilitaries to fight the rebel movements. Clashes between the Rizeigat and other tribes in East Darfur are generally caused by cattle rustling and disputes over land rights.