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South Darfur farm clashes: one farmer killed, others wounded

November 27 - 2015 GIREIDA
A camel herder of the Baggara tribe in Darfur (file photo)
A camel herder of the Baggara tribe in Darfur (file photo)

A farmer was shot dead in Gireida, South Darfur, by armed herders on Thursday. A joint security force chasing the perpetrators was forced to return by militiamen. A group of women farmers was attacked near Gireida on Wednesday.

Armed herders entered their cattle on farms in Gururu area, south-west of Joghana. A relative of the deceased told Radio Dabanga that a number of farmers attempted to chase away the animals, but that the herders opened fire on the group. Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed Hamid was killed on the spot.

“These herders were armed by the government,” the relative claimed. He explained that today, Gireida Commissioner Eisa El Sareg Ali arrived to the scene along with a joint force of policemen and Popular Defence Forces. They retrieved the body of Hamid, and started to chase down the culprits. Militiamen, wearing military uniforms, in three vehicles met them on the road, stopped the joint force and forced it to return, according to the source.

Hamid was buried today (Friday). Family and relatives of the victims were very angry and demanded from the state authorities to put an end to the violations by the armed herders and militiamen. “The perpetrators are known by the authorities.”

In another incident on Thursday in Dumosai, south of Joghana, armed shepherds entered their livestock by force of arms onto the farmlands of residents. When the farmers confronted the herders, they opened fire, seriously wounding three farmers: Mukhtar Adam, Adam Yahya, and Safeldin Adam Ismail.

In both incidents, the affected farmlands were severely damaged, the sources said.

Women farmers attacked

A number of farmers were attacked by militiamen in Gireida locality, South Darfur, and sustained various injuries. A witness told Radio Dabanga that “pro-government militiamen” attacked a group of women farmers west of Gireida.

The militiamen beat them with whips, and four women sustained serious injuries. Among the victims were the agricultural supervisor and a high-school student.

In his report, the families of the victims were sent away by the Commissioner and the police, after informing them about the incident. “The Commissioner rebuked the victims instead of expressing his sympathies,” the witness said.

The last two months, farmers in North and South Darfur have been complaining about attacks by Abbala tribesmen and the destruction of their farms by the herders’ livestock. The Abbala (camel herders) of the large Rizeigat tribe, live in northern Darfur and Chad, while their brethren, the Baggara (cattle herders) inhabit south-east Darfur. The late and below average rainfall, is causing poorer quality pasture, which is one of the causes for herders to drive their cattle onto cultivated lands.

The number of assaults on farmers in which armed camel or cattle herders were involved - that were reported to Radio Dabanga - has been increasing since September.

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