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Herders attack farmers in Central Darfur

December 3 - 2018 ZALINGEI
Farmers in Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
Farmers in Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

Five farmers are in serious condition after armed herders opened fire and wounded 11 people on farms at Kombo Denko village, 20km east of Zalingei in Central Darfur.

El Shafee Abdallah, the coordinator of Central Darfur camps, told Radio Dabanga that herders on camels, horses, and motorcycles took their cattle to graze on farms in Kombo Denko village on Saturday.

It was reported that the farmers are displaced people who were returned to their area of origin from El Hamidiya camp to Kombo Denko village in order to farm.

When the farmers tried to chase the livestock from their farms, the herders opened fire on them and wounded 11 people, according to Abdallah. The five in serious condition were taken to Zalingei hospital. Their names are Hafiz Mousa, Abakar Ismail, Mohamed Abdallah, Halima Ahmed, and Khadija Adam.

A similar attack took place on Friday, when herders opened fire on farmers near Kobe village, 20km south of Gireida in South Darfur.

A farmer told Radio Dabanga that four armed herders on camels trespassed farmland by allowing their cattle to graze and when the farmers started to remove the cattle, they opened fire on them.

Abdelrahim Shigaf, also a displaced person who had been returned to his place of origin, was shot and wounded. He explained that the incident was reported to Gireida police and the victim was taken to hospital.

Tensions over land and pastures have often caused clashes between farmers in the region of Jebel Marra and militant herders who want to use their farms as pasture. Displaced returning to their area of origin complain about new settlers who occupy their villages.

Unamid exit

The Unamid Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah Mamabolo, told a press briefing on the status of the Unamid drawdown and exit strategy in Khartoum yesterday morning that while security has improved in most parts of Darfur, the region still witnesses “fresh waves of displacement”.

Mamabolo: “Given the improved security in most parts of Darfur, civilians are reportedly returning gradually to their homes after years of displacement. However, Darfur still witnesses fresh waves of displacement, with a significant emphasis in Jebel Mara where intermittent hostilities between non-state armed groups and regular forces continue to directly affect civilians in the area.

He said, however, that “with regard to the peacekeeping operations in the Jebel Marra area, the Mission has significantly reconfigured its military component and is reducing the force by 3,265 uniformed personnel by December 31 and by another 1,420 by the end of June 2019, to remain with a strength of 4,050 military personnel by end of June 2019”.

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