Horse thieves kill villager in South Darfur

Gunmen killed one brother and wounded another in an attack near Manawashi in South Darfur on Monday.

A victim of violence in Darfur in 2016 (Social media)

Gunmen killed one brother and wounded another in an attack near Manawashi in South Darfur on Monday.

A relative of the victims told Radio Dabanga that the gunmen, who have not been identified, accosted brothers Ibrahim and Adam Abubakar in the area of Kafan Kei village, to rob them of their horse. When the brothers resisted, the gunmen opened fire. Ibrahim died instantly and Adam was wounded.

The relative reported that a local rescue team and police pursued the alleged perpetrators and managed to arrest one of the group. The suspect disclosed the alleged killer’s whereabouts.

The dead man and his brother were residents of Shaddad camp for displaced people in Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur, who returned to their village Kafan Kei near Manawashi in South Darfur.


Security has been a major concern for displaced people returning to their original villages. In many areas, the vacuum left after the displacement of the population has given herders free-range over the land. They resent the return of the farmers.

In some cases, farmland made vacant by displacement of the farmers was earmarked for housing and other purposes by the former regime, and sometimes even ‘sold’ to foreigners.

Leaders of the displaced across Darfur have repeatedly demanded that the government create a secure environment and disarm the marauding herders and militiamen before they are prepared to cooperate with large-scale return.

Voluntary return

Radio Dabanga frequently receives reports of attacks on formerly displaced people who have returned to their villages an farms. This discourages many displaced people from leaving the vast camps.

Starting in 2017, the Sudanese government began to issue announcements about the improved security situation in the region, which showed the first signs of the campaign to increase the numbers of voluntary returnees from the camps to their areas of origin.


Reports, however, of militiamen with their families occupying the abandoned villages and farms started to emerge too. This was already the case in 2015 when witnesses narrated their visits to specific areas which were occupied by newcomers or foreign settlers, and continues to be a problem for returnees.

Voluntary return is one of the options which the Sudanese government has given to the people in Darfur who have been displaced by the armed conflict that erupted in 2003. Another option for them is to remain in the camps which will be transformed into residential areas.


Recently, Darfur state governors made a promise to return any land of people who have been displaced by war and now willing to return, to their rightful owners by force, at the Darfur States Conference of Displaced People in Nyala in December 2018.

In November, the North Darfur governor claimed that nearly 153,000 displaced people had returned to their villages of origin. Camps where displaced people have been living, will be renamed to districts and towns.

The conflict in Darfur erupted in 2003 and has displaced over 2.7 million people from their homes (OCHA, 2017). However, up-to-date numbers are difficult to ascertain by humanitarian organisations in Darfur.


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