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‘Tension rising’ between militias and regular forces in North Darfur

August 10 - 2016 SARAF UMRA
File photo
File photo

Tensions between regular Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary groups stationed in the Saraf Umra area in North Darfur threaten to boil-over into armed confrontation.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, Sheikh Abdelrazeg Yousef Suleiman, the coordinator of the Saraf Umra camps for the displaced, said that the paramilitary groups stationed in the area have held a series of meetings over the past week – most recently on Friday at Riyadh district – in which they demanded the withdrawal of the government troops who have arrived in the area.

They threaten armed confrontation should the troops not be withdrawn.

Sheikh Suleiman said that the tension came to a head after the army arrested four militiamen last week, following a dispute between a member of the group and the army commander. One one of the militiamen reportedly refused to pay the fees imposed by local authorities.

Sense of security

However, Sheikh Suleiman pointed out that “there has been a great sense of security among the residents following the return of the government forces”.

He said in the past, some traders and residents of the area left for Khartoum and other cities for fear of repeated attacks my militants, who dominated the area.

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