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New attack against returnees to Kutum, North Darfur

June 21 - 2018 KUTUM
Women return home after all day farming the land outside Gireida, South Darfur, during the rainy season (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)
Women return home after all day farming the land outside Gireida, South Darfur, during the rainy season (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)

Two women were seriously injured in a militia attack on farmers returning voluntarily to Kutum in North Darfur on Wednesday. This follows a similarly brutal attack which left at least 19 injured in nearby Tuma on Monday.

A farmer from Kutum told Radio Dabanga that a group of militiamen in a Land Cruiser carrying light weapons beat farmers who have voluntarily returned to Kutum while farming at Minan area of west of Kutum.

He said the attack caused injuries two sisters, Zahra and Fatima Nurelsham who were transferred to Kutum hospital.

He said the militiamen prevented the farmers returning voluntarily to farming at Manan, Fulu and Buwa areas west Kutum after they began to cultivate the land since Monday.

He said the militia commander threatened to kill the farmers should they insist on farming.

Land talks fail

Talks by a delegation from Gadeer area, four kilometres east of El Geneina in West Darfur led by Sheikh Gadeer Kamal have failed to reach an agreement with the exploiters of agricultural land owned by the displaced and refugees returning for the farming this season.

Mutasim Abdelrahman, who was part of the delegation that went to Gadeer told Radio Dabanga: “The returnees have agreed to share agricultural land in half with the parties that exploited their land in their absence because of the refuge and displacement this season and that the land would be returned to its owners next season without sharing”.

He explained that the other party refused and insisted in return that the concession of the owners of the land must be in writing about their land that it has become their property.

He said the returning farmers refused as some 60 percent decided to stop farming this season until the problem would be completely addressed.

Abdelrahman called on the government of West Darfur and Sultan of Dar Masalit to intervene immediately to resolve the problem, which he described as a serious indicator of the current agricultural season.

He stressed that the agricultural land is the property of the displaced and refugee owners who have been forced to move to the refugee and displacement camps during the past 12 years.

He added that the refugees and the displaced were offered their farms in conciliatory brotherhood solutions by accepting the cultivation of the land when they returned by sharing it this year, but instead of accepting, they refused and insisted on handing them over the land and writing them in their name as their property, which is unacceptable and totally incorrect.

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