Herders clans clash violently in South Kordofan

Clashes between the Kenana Arifab and Hawazma Dar Ali herders’ clans began on Friday in Talodi locality in South Kordofan. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the clashes started in the area of Gedir at noon and continued for four hours. Machine guns and heavy weapons were used.

(File photo)

Clashes between the Kenana Arifab and Hawazma Dar Ali herders’ clans broke out in Talodi locality in South Kordofan on Friday.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the fighting that took place in the area of Gedir, started at noon and continued for four hours. Machine guns and other heavy weapons were used.

No details of losses have been reported due to the continued fighting between the two sides.

The clashes coincided with the visit of the Governor of South Kordofan, Hamid El Bashir, and his security committee to the area.

Omda El Neel Hussein, mayor of Abu Jubeiha, told Radio Dabanga that the the El Hawazma Dar Ali clan insists on using the tracks of the El Kenana Arifab clan to herd livestock. This has led to tensions in the past and is the cause of the latest conflict, according to the mayor.

The mayor also blamed the continuation of tensions to the absence of authorities in the area, especially since clashes took place on June 26 and again on August 28. Violent incidents also erupted last June, causing death and injury to both sides, following a dispute over plots of land.

Peace negotiations

The Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) began the first round of informal discussions on issues including separation of state and religion on Thursday.

The SPLM-N El Hilu, operating in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan and parts of Blue Nile state, entered the peace negotiations in Juba last year separately. Its long-standing position is to establish a viable secular Sudan that prevents imposing laws on a religious basis, and the right to self-determination for the southern region.

Talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N El Hilu have not been smooth, as the rebel faction adhered to its long-standing position regarding a secular state. Until now, the government have been slow in cancelling the Sharia (Islamic law), imposed by the regime of Jaafar Nimeiri in September 1983, saying the matter should instead be discussed at the constitutional conference.

In August, the rebel group withdrew from the talks in Juba in protest of the chairmanship of the government delegation by Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia. The rebels accuse the RSF forces of committing “heinous crimes” against civilians in various parts of Sudan.

The new UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) is set to begin on January 1, 2021. It will provide assistance in drafting a new constitution, strengthening security institutions, and assist in peacebuilding and civilian protection, notably in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile state. 

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