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FFC concerned about North Darfur insecurity, El Geneina sit-in continues

January 28 - 2021 KUTUM / EL GENEINA
Arab tribesmen sit-in calling for dismissal of West Darfur governor in El Geneina (social media)
Arab tribesmen sit-in calling for dismissal of West Darfur governor in El Geneina (social media)

In Kutum, North Darfur, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) expressed their concerns about the insecurity and the poor civil services in area and the general lack of subsidised flour and fuel yesterday. In the West Darfur capital El Geneina, the sit-in of Arab herdsmen to demand the dismissal of the governor continues.

Yahya El Khumus, leading member of the FFC in Kutum, told Radio Dabanga that a delegation from the FFC Coordination Committee met with the Governor of North Darfur, Mohamed Arabi, in the state’s capital El Fasher yesterday. 

They conveyed their concerns about the attacks by gunmen taking place on a daily basis in the northern and western parts of the locality, and near the camps for displaced people; “it happens almost daily that the people living in the camps are attacked when they go out to collect straw and firewood”.

The FFC delegation asked the governor to provide a large security force to protect the people in the locality and another force to protect the UNAMID base, of which the forces will withdraw in the coming days. They also requested that the governor speed up the formation of the Civilian Protection Forces. 

The meeting further discussed the lack of government employees in Kutum, which consists of three administrative units. El Khumus explained that the locality is managed by a director and three administrative officers who work in rotation. During the meeting, the governor promised to increase the number of officers present in Kutum.

Arab tribesmen sit-in 

Yesterday was the fourth day of the sit-in set up by Arab tribesmen in El Geneina. A delegation from the West Darfur Security Committee visited the protestors.

The committee was headed by Maj Gen El Nour Bashir, commander of the 15th Armed Forces Division, who praised the sit-in and the peaceful way in which the protesters voiced their demands.

Bashir confirmed that no weapons were found among the participants of the sit-in.  He promised to submit the memorandum to higher authorities and try to address the demands that fall under the committee’s jurisdiction. 

The list of demands includes the dismissal of the governor, the appointment of a new governor “coming from outside the state”, the restructuring of the police forces, the expulsion of camps for the displaced from El Geneina, and the transformation of these camps into residential districts.

Last week’s violence in El Geneina was triggered by tribal tensions between the Arab herdsmen and the Masalit, a non-Arab sedentary tribe based in West Darfur. The governor and most of the West Darfur government employees are Masalit.

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