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HUDO: Six more dead as tribal violence escalates in South Kordofan

June 21 - 2021 KOLOGI
RSF troops with Land Cruisers (SUNA)
RSF troops with Land Cruisers (SUNA)

The volatile security situation in Kologi in the eastern Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan has continued to escalate, as six more people were killed in tribal violence on Friday. The Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) has made an urgent appeal to the government to intervene and restore rule of law in the area.

HUDO reports that on Thursday, the conflict spread from Kologi to the markets of the neighbouring Bajoun and Gardoud Toro gold mines, when 200 people wearing uniforms of the Popular Defence Force militia (PDF - officially dissolved in June last year) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and driving Land Cruisers and motorcycles, plundered the markets. The also robbed people of their money and telephones. The invaders obstructed the road at Gardoud Toro and stopped and plundered lorries that were traveling from Abu Jubeiha to Aleri.

On Friday, a large armed group wearing PDF and RSF uniforms invaded Kologi from the eastern side. They were faced by Kawahla tribesmen, six of whom died in the ensuing shoot-out: Ibrahim Eltoum (25), Bereir Elsheikh (40), Musa Khalil El Saharo (45), Hasan El Gadi (36) and a man called Amir. HUDO also reports that many others were injured.

According to members of Kawahla tribe, the attackers emerged from El Shabaka area where the Dar Ali/Hawazma had gathered from different areas. The Kawahla members informed HUDO that they got to know Dar Ali/Hawazma’s preparation for this attack a day before and alerted both the military commandant and chief of police in Kologi on June 18. But there was no protection mechanism or security measures put in place to safeguard unarmed civilians or prevent this attack.

Currently, the situation in Kologi is worrying and many residents are moving out of the town seeking safety. Nevertheless, the road to Talodi and Aleri localities has remained closed and the prices for the essential commodities are increasing more in the two localities, HUDO reports.

An activist from Talodi commented that; these incidents started in Kologi and now due to lack of government intervention, it has spread to affect other two localities. Further delays may result in more chaos.

In its statement, HUDO expresses concerned about the situation of civilians in conflict areas and calls upon the Sudan government to urgently solve the tribal conflict and the insecurity situation in Kologi. It also calls on the government to ensure the rule of law, safety of people and their property, and hold the security committee in South Kordofan to account.

According to HUDO, conflict broke out between the Kawahla and Dar Ali tribes when two Kawahla tribesmen were shot dead on their way from Gadier to Kao, not far from Kologi, on June 10. Their fellow tribesmen suspected that the two had been killed by Dar Ali members.

On June 12, another incident took place when a tractor driver from the Kawahla tribe was assaulted and his tractor with its trailer was confiscated by Dar Ali tribesmen.

The following days, Kawahla members killed a member of the Dar Ali at a market in Kologi and a Kawahla member was murdered by the Dar Ali in retaliation.

On June 14, Kawahla tribesmen burnt two houses of Dar Ali tribe families. Then on June 15, a group of armed Dar Ali tribesmen gathered from different areas and invaded a predominantly Kawahla neighbourhood and burned many of their houses while intensively firing shots in the air.

On their way back, the gunmen killed two Kawahla people and injured three more, who are currently receiving medical treatment at Talodi hospital.

Police and military forces did not intervene according to HUDO.

In mid-June, Radio Dabanga reported on tribal violence between Dar Ali, Kenana, and Logan tribesmen in Gedir locality, after which the governor declared a State of Emergency and curfew.

Earlier this year, South Kordofan witnessed protests over the rampant insecurity in the region. At the start of January, Radio Dabanga reported on the recent surge in violence and crime in the western parts of South Kordofan. People are particularly frustrated about the lack of police action.

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