The fighting and ongoing violence that is occurring within El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, is unprecedented, according to the Vice Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’. He described the conditions in El Geneina as ‘‘difficult and bad’’, indicating that conflicts and wars in Darfur have previously occurred outside cities, not within neighbourhoods themselves. The wali (governor) of West Darfur has declared El Geneina a disaster area.
Addressing leaders from Darfur, including members of the Sovereignty Council and Ministers on Monday evening, Hemeti said that he has tried to halt the events but was not able to end the conflict. He called on all “to be patient until the Juba Peace Agreement is implemented”. He accused unnamed parties of fuelling strife, calling for the trial of those he described as “aggressors”.
Hemeti said that “the military do not have a mandate to end the conflicts”, referring to accusations that the army is biased towards one of the parties involved. He called on the leaders of Darfur to sit down and find solutions regarding events in El Geneina and stressed the need to implement security arrangements for the joint forces to perform their duty towards the people.
A commission delegated by the students of El Geneina University arrived in Khartoum to hand over a memorandum demanding the transfer of students temporarily to other universities until conditions stabilise in El Geneina. The committee began a sit-in in front of the office of the Ministry of Higher Education on Monday evening, stating that the sit-in will continue until the memorandum is handed over to the minister.
However, a separate committee from El Geneina University rejected the idea of transferring students or colleges to other states. In a statement they said that the committee that left for Khartoum to present a memorandum to the Ministry of Higher Education to demand the transfer of students has not been properly authorised. They called on the university administration and the Ministry of Higher Education not to deal with these students.