North Darfur violence continues, ‘govt forces withdrawn’
A man was killed east of Tabit in North Darfur on Tuesday, as attacks on villages in the area continued for the second week. Government forces have reportedly been withdrawn. Dozens of people in the state capital El Fasher staged a protest against the violence.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a resident of Tabit reported that a group of armed men riding in four vehicles, and others on five motorcycles and a large number of camels, raided Hillet Yagoub, Hillet Keite, Hillet Omda and Deim Seleik, east of Tabit, on Tuesday afternoon.
The gunmen plundered the villages and took a large number of livestock, and other properties with them, heading west. Mohamed Baraka (65) was killed in Deim Seleik, when he defended his property.
The source further stated that the joint force sent by the North Darfur government to contain the situation has been withdrawn following the attack on a group of government forces in the area of Kolgi, west of the state capital El Fasher, on Friday.
On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of people staged a protest in El Fasher, in front of the residence of North Darfur Governor Nimir Abdelrahman, calling for the protection of farmers in the southern part of North Darfur.
Two weeks of attacks
According to the North Darfur authorities the violence was triggered by disputes between Arab tribesmen and local farmers over the use of agricultural land. During the current agricultural season, displaced people from the Zamzam camp south of El Fasher, temporarily returned to the area to tend their farms. Most of the areas attacked are now occupied by the militants. Reportedly, government forces have unable to evacuate them from the villages.
The areas of Kolgi and Gallab have been declared “emergency areas”. Gatherings and movement are only allowed after permission has been granted.
Joint forces were sent to the area of Tabit last week to contain the situation. On Friday however, a government force consisting of former rebel combatants was ambushed when it was on its way to Kolgi. Seven of them were killed, 17 others were injured.
In response, a high-level fact-finding committee left Khartoum heading to El Fasher the next morning. The members discussed the situation with the North Darfur governor and the state security committee, and visited the wounded soldiers and the affected areas. A separate committee, headed by a public prosecutor, will investigate the violent incidents.
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