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Protests against herder violence across Darfur, Sudan

December 12 - 2019 TAWILA / DUBO EL OMDA / EL GEDAREF
Camel herders in North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran/Unamid)
Camel herders in North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran/Unamid)

On Wednesday, residents of Tawila in North Darfur went out in a demonstration, condemning the continuing attacks by militant herders in the area. Violence has also been reported from Dubo El Omda, Kabkabiya, and the Sudan-Ethiopian border.

On Tuesday, a farmer and an army soldier were killed in a firefight between herdsmen and a local search posse in the area of Tabra, 15 kilometres northwest of Tawila. Two other people were wounded.

The demonstrators called on the authorities to hunt down the perpetrators, arrest them and hand them over to justice, and called on Unamid to provide protection to the displaced.

They carried the bodies of the army soldier Ishag Ahmed and farmer Adam Hasabalkarim around the town past the Unamid base, before transferring them to El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, for investigation. In El Fasher, the demonstrators held a vigil in front of the house of North Darfur Governor Maj Gen Malik Khojali.

The governor promised during his address to the protesters to investigate the events, prosecute the perpetrators and compensate those affected by farm damage, calling on the residents to report any person carrying arms and recruit their sons in the regular forces to protect the area.

He stressed that farmers have the right to defend themselves and their farms, explaining that the presence of arms in the hands of herders is an issue that requires an urgent solution.

Dubo El Omda

On Wednesday, two women were injured and a third went missing in an attack by armed herders on farmers of Dubo El Omda in Tawila locality.

A relative of one of the victims reported that the herders drove their camels and cattle into the farms in the area. When the farmers resisted, the herdsmen shot at them. Fathiya Eisa and Maryam Yahya were wounded. Aisha Siddig went missing.

The shooting in the air terrorised the farmers who fled in all directions.

An estimated 5,000 acres of crop areas have been destroyed and damaged by the camels and herds.

Kabkabiya

Also yesterday, armed herders blocked the Sortony-Kabkabiya road in protest against the killing of one of their by a group of former rebels.

An activist calling himself ‘Adam Internet’ told Radio Dabanga that armed herders also prevented people from the Sortony camp for the displaced from drawing water from the Kobe well. He explained that the militants threaten to attack the camp if the former rebels are not handed over.

He said that the situation in the area is very tense, and called on the authorities to intervene and solve the problem.

Sudan-Ethiopian border

Ethiopian bandits killed Ahmed Jaafar at Barka Nurein village of El Gureisha locality in El Gedaref on Tuesday.

A listener told Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese-Ethiopian border is witnessing continuous tensions between the Ethiopian gangs of bandits called Shifta and Sudanese herders against the backdrop of cattle rustling. He called on the government to deter “these Ethiopian outlaws”.

On Wednesday, the relatives of the four young Sudanese men held in El Matamma in Ethiopia filed a complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding their release.

Kawsar El Sajan, a relative of the detainees, told Radio Dabanga that the Ethiopian authorities detained the four youths a month and a half ago, for allegedly crossing the border into Ethiopia illegally.


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