‘Five wounded in Central Darfur market raid by militia’: witnesses

In a large raid by gunmen in Zalingei’s market, several are wounded and a large amount of valuables has disappeared. Government-backed media refute this, claiming that a riot took place.

An attack on the grand market of Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, has resulted in the injuring of five people and the disappearance of a large amount of valuables, according to witnesses on Wednesday.

The government-supported Sudan Media Centre (SMC) said that a joint regular force managed to contain rioters on Wednesday rioters in downtown Zalingei. It reported that former fighters from rebel groups, in search of integration into the Sudanese army, carried out the protest.

A witness revealed to Radio Dabanga that it was in fact "new recruits" who were robbing shops and people inside the commercial market. “The attack came from about 200 militia members […] prepared for integration into the Sudanese army.”

He reported that the new recruits from the Sudanese army, whom he claimed received training at Infantry 21, entered the market on foot. They started beating shop owners at around 8.30 am, before pillaging their shops. Five people were injured. “They even stole meat from the butchers. […] The total amount of robbed money, mobile phones and motorcycles must be worth thousands of Sudanese dollars.”

The raid lasted for half an hour, the witness said, claiming it happened in the plain view of authorities and Sudanese military forces, without their intervention.

SMC quoted a source from the security servhice who claimed that the security situation is stable and life is going on as normal in Zalingei, after the joint military, police and security forces managed to drive out the 'rioters'.

Our source said that although the authorities appealed to merchants who closed their shops after the accident, to reopen them, most of them have not responded.