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Tracts of Darfur farmland damaged by livestock

Foro Baranga, West Darfur (Albert González Farra/Unamid)
Foro Baranga, West Darfur (Albert González Farra/Unamid)

Herders continued driving their cattle and camels onto farms in Central, South, and North Darfur over the weekend. The grazing damaged vast tracts of farmland.

Farmers in Garsila locality, Central Darfur, face fierce herder attacks on their farms, one of them reported to Radio Dabanga. “During the latest incident on Saturday, militant herders beat and whipped a number of farmers near Garsila, including Koran reciter Mohamed Adam, El Taher Eisa, and Fatima Hassan,” he said. “The grazing destroyed most of our crops.”

In Kedelangi, Zalingei locality, farmers were forced to flee, when militant herders, firing heavily in the air, released their livestock onto their farms. An affected farmer told Radio Dabanga that fields with sorghum, fava beans, and okra were destroyed. He said that they informed the authorities in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, but “none of them acted so far”.

A number of farmers in Mershing locality in South Darfur were wounded during several fierce attacks by herdsmen last week. “Mohamed Ibrahim Shumu sustained serious injuries,” a villager reported. He said they filed several complaints to the authorities however they did not move to protect them.

Abbala herdsmen continued to expel villagers from their farms, gardens, and orchards in Kutum locality, North Darfur over the weekend. The grazing destroyed large quantities of sorghum and fava beans, a farmer told Radio Dabanga from Kassab village.

Because of the late and less than average rainfall in various parts of Sudan, there is less and poorer quality pasture available. As a result, herders increasingly drive their livestock onto cultivated farms.

The livestock is being migrated southward towards agricultural land earlier than usual, the Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS Net) reported in September.

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