Traders shut their shops at Birkat Seira market in Saraf Umra locality in North Darfur on Thursday morning, as militiamen stormed the weekly market, firing into the air.
A witness told Radio Dabanga that militants riding camels and horses stormed the weekly Saraf Umra market at 11 am on Thursday. Shoppers and traders fled to their homes.
The witness said that this incident came against the backdrop of the militants being removed from the duty of guarding the market following the killing of a student in July.
Earlier this month, two shops were burgled in the market, allegedly by members of a paramilitary group assigned to guarding the market.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that on 4 August, four members of a militia led by Mohamed Sayed Ahmed, who are charged with guarding Birkat Seira market, entered the market riding camels and horses. They stole goods worth SDG5,000 ($825) and approximately SDG1,500 ($250) in cash from a shop owned by Khalid Zerkiya Zanga. They then took goods worth SDG6,000 ($990) and cash estimated at SDG2,000 ($330) from the shop of merchant Adam Ahmed Kanada.
The witness to Thursday’s attack explained that the militants announced that they will not allow the market to open until they are again assigned to guard it.