Darfur tribal peace talks collapse
The long awaited peace negotiations between the Rizeigat and Ma’aliya collapsed on Saturday, owing to differences on land rights in East Darfur.
The long awaited peace negotiations between the Rizeigat and Ma’aliya collapsed on Saturday, owing to differences about the rights on land in East Darfur.
The chairman of the Ma’aliya delegation, El Shartai Ibrahim Abdallah Mohamed, told Dabanga that they refused to sign the draft agreement because it contains a paragraph according to which they would lose land to the Rizeigat in the East Darfuri localities of Abu Karinka and Adila.
“The paragraph states that these lands are considered to be part of the Rizeigat’s customary rights, to which we do not agree,” he stressed. “So the draft agreement was signed by one party only.”
In his speech at the closing session, First Vice-President, Lt. Col. Bakri Hassan Saleh, called on the participants to “listen to the voice of reason, instead of to the devil”.
The conference ended on Saturday after two weeks of negotiations in Merowe, northern Sudan, with a draft accord, in which the two warring tribes commit themselves to mutual amnesty, the settlement of blood money and compensation for the wounded and losses, the return of the affected to their villages, now occupied by the opponents, and the normalisation of life by realising peaceful co-existence.
On 16 August last year, fierce fighting broke out between the two tribes in Abu Karinka locality. Government troops were deployed as buffer forces, to no avail, as three days later clashes erupted in the area of Um Rakuba, reportedly after an attack by Rizeigat on Ma’aliya civilians in the area. Hundreds of people were killed.
In protest “against the continuous attacks by Rizeigat militants” and “the silence of the East Darfur state authorities and the Sudanese government”, Ma’aliya officials working at East Darfur state institutions in September decided to boycott the state politically and administratively.