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Herders attack, kill farmers in South Darfur

October 30 - 2017 MERSHING / GIREIDA / KHARTOUM
Abbala Rizeigat in North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
Abbala Rizeigat in North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

Two displaced farmers were shot dead in the area of Mershing on Saturday. On Sunday, herders attacked and injured two women farmers near Gireida. The ongoing disarmament campaign in Darfur should prioritise the collection of weapons from tribal groups armed by the government in the past two decades, says the Communist Party in Khartoum.

“About 20 herders on camels opened fire on farmers because they were trying to remove livestock from their land near Mershing on Saturday afternoon,” a resident of Hashaba camp for the displaced reported to Radio Dabanga.

“Mohamed Abakar from Tuntubaya camp and Adam Hasan from Hashaba camp were killed instantly.”

The farmers formed a search team that traced the herders, and found them in a nomad settlement in the area of Kerengo, seven kilometres from Mershing, on Sunday morning.

“The janjaweed then opened fire on the team members. This prompted a military force to go out to the settlement. After an exchange of gunfire with the herders, they captured three of them and took them to the Mershing police station,” the source said.

The people of Mershing closed the town market in protest against the repeated attacks by herders on farmers.

Gireida

In an attack by herders on farmers in Gireida on Sunday, two women farmers were injured.

An activist told this station from Gireida that 10 herders wearing military uniforms grazed their cattle on farms in the area of Sennar, seven kilometres south of Jokhana.

“When the women attempted to chase the livestock from their land, the herders fired in the air to intimidate them. They then began to beat Khadija Adam, and broke her right hand. Her sister Hanan sustained head injuries. They were both taken to the Jokhana Health Centre.”

He cited a previous incident at Donki Sagur, 30 kilometres south of Gireida, where a group of seven gunmen ambushed farmers and robbed them of their mobile phones, a horse, and 20 goats.

Disarmament’

On Sunday, Mohamed Mukhtar El Khateeb, Political Secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party said in a press conference in Khartoum that the government should “show its seriousness by first collecting weapons from the tribal groups and militias it has armed in former years”.

According to El Khateeb, “The reasons that led to the insurgency in the marginalised western region should be tackled first. The root causes of the crisis in Darfur and other areas in the country have to be addressed to achieve security and stability for all”.

In July, Khartoum announced the start of a large disarmament campaign in the country, to begin with in Darfur and Kordofan.

The army and the allied Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia have been tasked with collecting illegal arms and unlicensed vehicles from civilians in the regions. 


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