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Hamdok, Hemeti visit strife-torn West Darfur

January 2 - 2020 EL GENEINA / BELEIL
The high-level government delegation in El Geneina yesterday (RD)
The high-level government delegation in El Geneina yesterday (RD)

A delegation led by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the Deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ arrived in the West Darfur capital of El Geneina yesterday to asses the situation following bloody tribal clashes this week, that have claimed dozens of lives.

Hamdok and Hemeti are accompanied by member of the Sovereign Council Hasan Sheikh, Minister of Justice Dr Nasreldin Abdelbari, Attorney General Tajelsir El Hibir, Chief of Staff Mohamed Osman, General Director of the Police Force Adil Bashayer, and Director General of the Intelligence Service Abubakr Dumbalab.

Protest

Hundreds of displaced people from Ardemeta camp near the airport organised a protest on the road linking the airport to the city. They blocked the road for some time, before the government delegation could pass.

A large number of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen intervened and cordoned-off the protest, and prevented the protesters from submitting a memorandum to Hamdok.

The protesters raised banners calling for retribution for the victims of El Geneina events and Camp Kerending in which about 50 people were killed, and chanted slogans calling for the arrest of the second commander of the RSF in West Darfur sector, Mousa Ambelo.

Hemeti pledged to hold those involved in El Geneina events accountable according to the law and affirmed rejection of the principle of settling murder cases by blood money.

In a press statement after a session of talks with the Central Truth Investigation Committee and West Darfur State Security Committee on the events in El Geneina yesterday, Hemeti said that paying blood money as a settlement to the issue of killing is forbidden, and every action will be in accordance with the law.

Hemeti accused those whom he called “conspirators and beneficiaries of being behind the events” to pass their agenda, adding: “This time the situation is different and the hand of justice will reach them soon, and this unfortunate incident will not go unnoticed and will be an example for others”.

He called for mercy on the souls of the dead and wished for a speedy recovery for the wounded, affirming the state’s keenness and interest in the security and stability of the public.

The Central Investigation Committee in cooperation with the State Security Committee and the military and police interrogation committees will announce all findings as soon as they complete investigations through the media with full transparency.

“Freedom does not mean chaos, but discipline and counsel,” Hemeti added.

Masalit tribe

Hemeti held a meeting with the leaders of Masalit tribe at the 15th infantry military base in El Geneina.

The Sultan of Dar Masalit, Saad Bahreldin described the meeting as a success. He said that during the meeting, Masalit leaders addressed the security and humanitarian phase requirements.

The Sultan indicated that the Masalit received assurances from the delegation that the matter is judicial, and that the investigation committee will take over the case.

He called on Khartoum to play its role in protecting citizens and resolving the disputes that harm cohesion and unity of the people.

Memorandum from displaced

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok received a memorandum from the resistance committees in the camps for the displaced, in which they stressed the necessity of collecting weapons from the hands of citizens and imposing the Rule of Law.

The memorandum dealt with the fact that “a group of criminals and outlaws” took advantage of the situation and assaulted unarmed people in their homes, noting that “this outlaw group is the party that benefits from these events”, without specifying that group.

Hamdok stressed that the first concern of the state is to preserve the lives of citizens and maintain stability. He called for mercy on those killed in the events and stressed that the arrival of the Khartoum delegation confirms the state’s keenness to find a final solution to the problem.

Vigils

On Wednesday, protest vigils were organised in several camps for the displaced in Darfur, condemning the violent incidents in El Geneina. People in Gireida locality in South Darfur, and Zamzam camp in North Darfur, along with Khartoum, Wad Madani, and other cities, carried out demonstrations and protests demanding that those involved in El Geneina crimes be brought to justice.

The demonstrations, protest and rallies also called for the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to the displaced people who are taking refuge in El Geneina schools after their homes in the camps were burned.

Markets, schools and governmental institutions in El Geneina remained closed and traffic to and from the city has been halted for the fourth consecutive day. A number of residents told Radio Dabanga that their stocks of food and consumer goods have run out, especially flour, sugar and oil.

More violence

Six people were killed and five others were wounded in tribal clashes between Awlad Mansour and Awlad Gaid around Abga Rajel and Tabeldiyat in the locality of Beleil in South Darfur where a large force of Rapid Support intervened and separated the two parties.

Nasreldin Mousa and his cousin were seriously wounded after shooting by a gang of six individuals on New Year’s Eve at Sheikan district of El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan with the aim of plundering their money and mobiles.


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