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OCHA: At least 48 killed in Central Darfur nomad fighting, mediators killed too

November 18 - 2022 BINDISI
Militant Rizeigat tribesmen clash in 2015 (RD File Photo)
Militant Rizeigat tribesmen clash in 2015 (RD File Photo)

At least 48 were killed in clashes between the Misseriya and Rizeigat in Bindisi, Central Darfur, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) published a news flash update on Wednesday. Mediators tasked by authorities to settle the conflict were attacked and killed too.

On November 9, clashes reportedly erupted between the Misseriya and Awlad Rashid clan of the Rizeigat tribe, both Arab nomadic herding tribes, near Juguma village in Central Darfur’s Bindisi locality, following an armed robbery.

Earlier in June, the Rizeigat and Misseriya tribes signed a reconciliation document during a wave of reconciliation agreements in Darfur. These agreements brokered by coup leader, Deputy-Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, and Commander-in-Chief of the infamous RSF, Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, have been criticised as being ‘superficial’.

The government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) reports that an estimated 15,000 people, mostly women and children, fled Juguma village to Tuktuka village. Unconfirmed reports indicate that people have also fled to Foro Baranga in West Darfur and into neighbouring Chad, OCHA wrote.

The HAC also reported that at least 48 people have been killed and 17 injured. "These numbers have yet to be verified", OCHA explained.

"The two groups are reportedly mobilising their communities for a possible escalation of violence", OCHA warned."The situation is tense and unpredictable."

Local sources told OCHA that the market in Juguma has been looted and 16 nomad settlements were burned. Government security forces have been deployed to the affected area and more are on their way from South Darfur and Khartoum amidst fears that the fighting could spread to other parts of the state.

OCHA also cited reports of armed men looting commercial vehicles on the main roads linking the towns of Zalingei, Garsila, Bindisi, and Um Dukhun. "In addition, people are unable to pursue their livelihood activities and about 10,000 farmers will not be able to harvest their crops due to the insecurity. Many farms in Juguma and Tuktuka have reportedly been torched or destroyed by animals," OCHA added

On November 12, gunmen reportedly attacked mediators tasked by authorities to settle the dispute, killing at least 24 people. The wali (governor) of Central Darfur declared a state of emergency on November 13 for one month and imposed a curfew from 18:00 to 06:00 in Wadi Salih, Mukjar, Bindisi, and Um Dukhun localities.

"Reconciliation efforts are underway in Zalingei to pave the way for peace negotiations," OCHA wrote

Due to the insecurity, humanitarian organisations have evacuated staff from Juguma and suspended operations in the villages around Bindisi town, which affects the delivery of health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to about 30,000 people, of whom 8,000 are internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Juguma village.

The newly displaced people also need shelter, food, health, and protection assistance, OCHA stressed.

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