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Military support arrives in North Darfur following clashes

March 5 - 2021 SARAF OMRA
Aftermath of clashes in Saraf Omra on March 3 (RD)
Aftermath of clashes in Saraf Omra on March 3 (RD)

A cautious calm settled on the town of Saraf Omra in North Darfur yesterday after joint forces arrested a number of suspects and evacuated the wounded from the scene of clashes that killed 11 people and injured 32 others on Wednesday.

Mohamed Khater told Radio Dabanga that “limited events and gatherings” took place yesterday, which the joint forces responded to “firmly” to take control of the security situation. He said only 40 per cent of shops were open at the market. Khater indicated that the committee in the locality is making efforts to communicate with the parties to the conflict in order to make peace.

The director of the Saraf Omra locality said that tension is still prevalent in the city. He also said that the native administrations of the two tribes began to calm the situation in order to reach a cessation of hostilities and then sit down to address the issue from its roots.

Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) reinforcements arrived on 23 vehicles in the town yesterday. In response to the violence on Wednesday, the state government sent reinforcements from Kabkabiya to help establish security in the town. The state Security Committee also announced a curfew from 19:00 to 7:00.

The clashes erupted following preparations for the reception of Sultan Mohamed El Tama. Khater explained that several groups denounced the organisation of an event celebrating his reception, including a Fur group.

For unknown reasons, the North Darfur authorities also detained a member of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) for several hours. He was later released.

Farmer wounded

On Wednesday evening, gunmen opened fire on a farmer in the Baraka Saira area in the Saraf Omra locality in North Darfur state. Abdelmajeed Suleiman was shot by three gunmen while he was returning from his farm in Wadi Bari, wounding him in the leg.

He explained that the gunmen tried to loot the farms, but they fled after he was wounded. He indicated that he was treated by a medical assistant in the region before he was transferred to Zalingei on Thursday for treatment.

Darfur security

Taher Hajar, a former rebel leader, who is now member of the Sovereignty Council, acknowledged that security is currently fragile in Darfur, especially in conflict areas following a visit to the state.

At the end of last year, governors in Darfur warned that the withdrawal of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) would lead to an increase in violence in the region. Protests against the UNAMID exit have taken place across Darfur in the past few months.

“Darfur is on the verge of sliding back into conflict” warned the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) director Alexandra Bilak last month.

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