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March supports civilian governor in Sudan’s Kassala

August 27 - 2020 KASSALA
Kassala march calling for the arrival of Saleh Ammar, the new governor of Kassala (Social media)
Kassala march calling for the arrival of Saleh Ammar, the new governor of Kassala (Social media)

On Wednesday, thousands of residents of Kassala and surrounding villages ignored the curfew imposed on the town, and took to the streets, demanding the speedy arrival of Governor Saleh Ammar to the state. A man was killed and others were wounded in an ethnically-motivated attack in one of Kassala’s residential districts.

After clashes erupted in Kassala on Tuesday between members of eastern Sudanese tribes, in which a man was killed as well, the acting governor of Kassala imposed a comprehensive curfew in the town for a period of three days.

The next day however, another man was killed, two were injured, and a fourth one went missing in fighting between two tribal groups at El Sawagi district in Kassala.

A family member of the dead man told Radio Dabanga that an armed group intercepted the victims while they were riding in a rickshaw. The body of his relative was found near El Gash River.

Police Chief Lt Gen Ezzeldin Sheikh requested police reinforcements to be sent by air and overland to prevent further violent incidents.

Civilian governor

The clashes on Tuesday were triggered by the recent appointment of Saleh Ammar as new, civilian governor. Ammar, who has a military background, belongs to the Beni Amer tribe. The leaders of the Beja tribe categorically reject his appointment.

The demonstration in Kassala went peacefully. People walked and vehicles drove in a long procession toward Freedom Square in the town.

The protestors chanted slogans in support of the new governor, who is currently still in Khartoum. They gave the transitional government 72 hours to allow the governor to travel to Kassala to assume his duties.

Restraint

Arbab El Fadul, the acting governor of Kassala, called on the security forces to contain the situation, respect freedom of expression, and deal equally with all the parties. He appealed to the residents of Kassala state “to exercise restraint and adhere to peace until crossing this critical stage”.

The acting governor said that “responding to the demands of the rejectionist group will open the door to more pressure and blackmail concerning important national issues, such as fighting corruption and removing the remnants of the old regime”.

He emphasised that it is not possible to achieve consensus on any new governor at this stage, while he called on the central government to urgently find a solution.

Yesterday, the Council of Ministers reviewed a recent report on the security situation in the country.

The Minister of Interior Affairs referred to violent incidents following the appointment of Ammar, in addition to the security problems in Darfur, “rumours that have been spread on social media and videos broadcasts by some and their role in spreading uncertainty, which requires conducting political and service solutions in the states and the promotion of the culture of production and construction”.


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