Three attacks on villages by militiamen in Kutum locality on Wednesday morning resulted in the death of a villager and the abduction of six people, including three children. Many livestock were stolen.
Witnesses said that villagers in Hillet Nurein were robbed of their money, livestock, and other property. The militiamen are members of the Abbala tribe, they claimed.
“The militia was led by tribal leader Omda Mohamed Ali, and they drove 23 vehicles mounted with Dushka machine guns. They moved from Damrat El Guba and attacked Hillet Nurein at 10am.”
Two pupils of a basic school were abducted in the ensuing chaos, along with three young men: Mohamed Adam Dagu, Nasir Metik, and Adam Suleiman Dagu.
The witnesses said that the attackers torched the village after robbing the residents, and then moved to Bakhit Hari and the nomadic settlement Abboud, nearby Hillet Nurein. During the raid in Aboud, the sheikh was slaughtered and his 5-year-old son Bakhit Abboud Amra was abducted.
“Abbala militiamen raided the village before completely burning Abboud,” a witness told Radio Dabanga, “and they stole their cattle and property.”
The robbers left the settlement and moved towards water pump station Donki Malam El Osh and Juma El Talla, where they stole a large number of livestock. A witness estimated the number of stolen animals at “more than a hundred”.
“Finally they moved into a northern direction, to Anka,” the witness reported.
Lawlessness in Kutum
For more than three years, policemen, prosecutors, and other members of the judiciary were absent in Kutum locality, which has a population of 55,000 inhabitants.
The Kutum Commissioner told Radio Dabanga that local authorities have started to implement a plan to restore the rule of law and to rebuild the basic infrastructure and facilities in the locality. “The police have already begun their work, using army offices in the locality,” Dr Adam Awadelkarim Terab claimed.
During the past years, the army was supposed to keep order in Kutum. The population felt terrorised day and night by gunmen, who beat, rob, and abduct people "as they like", activists and residents of the locality reported to Radio Dabanga in the past.