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North Darfur farmers wounded in attack by herders

August 18 - 2019 TAWILA
A farmer tending his land in Foro Baranga, West Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A farmer tending his land in Foro Baranga, West Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

A group of farmers sustained varying injuries in an attack by militant herders in Tawila on Thursday.

One of the victims told Radio Dabanga that farmers from Abuzeid, Dubo El Omda, and Falluja were tending their land near Katur in Tawila locality, when they were assaulted.

“Nine herders riding on camels and four others on motorcycles arrived at our farms. They were wearing uniforms of the [paramilitary] Rapid Support Forces,” he said.

“They shot in the air, before they began beating and whipping us. Some of us managed to reach the Katur Military Garrison, and called for help. “Yet, the army officers refused to track the perpetrators under the pretext of a lack of personnel.”

The farmer demanded protection from the authorities “so that we are able to till our farms in peace”.

Last Saturday, herders shot three displaced farmers dead in the area of Shangil Tobaya. The incident led to mass protests in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher. Joint forces have been deployed near the farming areas in the neighbourhood of Shangil Tobaya, Tawila and the area south of El Fasher to prevent further friction.

In a statement on Thursday, Unamid expressed its concern about the recent increase in tensions between farmers and pastoralists during this rainy season in Darfur, and called for restraint.

Disputes between herders and farmers occur often this time of the year, as herders let their livestock graze on farmlands that have not yet been harvested. Tensions over land and pastures have often caused clashes between (displaced) farmers and herders, in particular in the area east of Jebel Marra.


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