First casualties in renewed East Darfur tribal fighting

Fighting erupts in Abu Karinka between the Rizeigat and Ma’aliya, resulting in dozens killed or injured, witnesses report. People are taking up arms in the state capital.

Reportedly dozens were killed or injured in clashes that broke out between heavily armed Rizeigat and Ma’aliya tribesmen in Abu Karinka locality, East Darfur. The African Union- United Nations peacekeeping mission has called for restraint over the escalated tensions.

According to one of the reports, large numbers of Rizeigat fighters in four-wheel drives, on motorcycles, and others on foot attacked Abu Karinka town. “Ma’aliya fighters stood up to the attack outside the town, where a battle took place between the two parties,” a head of the local youths for Adila and Abu Karinka localities told Radio Dabanga on Monday.

“It resulted in the killing of 23 Ma’aliya.” Dozens of wounded were taken to Adila for treatment. He claimed that Rizeigat also killed two women inside Abu Karinka, and torched houses.

The eruption of fighting was widely expected since militant tribesmen from both sides were gathering in large numbers for days. The state deployed troops in an effort to create a buffer zone between the crowds, a move that the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid) welcomed in a press statement on the escalating situation on Monday.

The mission ‘encourages the leaders and members of both tribes to exercise maximum restraint, engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their dispute and refrain from all acts that would lead to violence and displacement’.

Tensions inside Ed Daein grow

A witness told Radio Dabanga that he noticed the arrival of a number of wounded Rizeigat to the hospital in Ed Daein, the capital of the state, and Abu Jabra. In addition to that, people in Ed Daein are carrying weapons, in emptied streets because of the closure of shops and government facilities since Saturday.

“The authorities sent a large force for the protection of private banks and government institutions,” the witness said, claiming they fear these institutions are exposed to violence or looting.