Dozens of people have been killed and dozens more wounded in renewed violence between the Gimr and Beni Halba tribes in South Darfur. The two tribes clashed last week in the state, breaking a fragile ceasefire agreement – the fourth within a short period.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga from Nyala, Gimr spokesman Abkar Al Toum said the Beni Halba had support from the Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) and Border Guard forces when launching the most recent clashes, which were waged from Monday until 11:00am on Tuesday.
Villages and homes were torched during the attacks, which took place along the border of the Katayla and Ed El Fursan localities, and affected Kabba, Butab Abu Bashir, Umm Gutiya, Kabo, Amud Al Sah, Ati Kena, and Ajuekheen.
Underpinning his claim that the Beni Halba “had Presidential support in the guise of state Special Forces”, Al Toum asserts that the killings in Katayla were committed with government equipment, “which proves the involvement of official bodies at presidential level”.
Al Toum demanded that, in line with the national Constitution, “the authorities must rise to their responsibility; to preserve the lives of citizens and their property”.
The spokesman made similar accusations last week. The Gimr and Beni Halba tribes signed the latest ceasefire agreement at the beginning of May suspending hostilities that flared-up in February over land disputes. Sources said that as motivation for the new attacks the Beni Halba accused the Gimr tribe of “not respecting the peace treaty”.
March to HQ
Several Gimr women marched to the headquarters of the state government on Sunday and submitted a memorandum to the governor of South Darfur, Adam Mahmoud Jar Al Nabi , condemning the recent events, Magbbullah Mohamed Ismaiyl Al Sileh told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday.
The memo also attributed some responsibility to the governor and demanded an independent investigation into the operations of “ethnic cleansing and genocide against the people of the Gimr” in their areas centred on Katayla. It also demanded that communication channels be opened and criminal charges are laid against the perpetrators, including the Abu Tira and Border Guards.
Al Sileh said the memo demanded the government play its rightful role: repair the social fabric and provide aid to those in need in the affected areas.
In Nyala, governor Al Nabi accused foreign bodies of directing the battles against the Gimr tribe on behalf of the Beni Halba: “The third parties are foreigners beyond the borders of the proxy war.”
In a speech to National Congress Party (NCP) members at the National House in Nyala on Monday, he alleged that “you can see by their appearance that these combatants are not Sudanese”.
Related: Gimr calls foul following ‘tribal attacks’ in South Darfur (23 May 2013)