Unamid deplores Rizeigat, Ma’aliya violence in East Darfur

The UN-AU peacekeeping mission is gravely concerned about the situation and ‘stands ready’ to assist the authorities. The opposition criticises Khartoum for ‘standing idly’.

The United Nations-African Union peacekeeping Mission in Darfur is gravely concerned about the continued mobilisation of the Rizeigat and Ma’aliya tribes in East Darfur state. Clashes in Abu Karinka on Monday reportedly led to more than a hundred dead.

In a statement on Tuesday, the peacekeeping mission (Unamid) expressed its concern despite ‘a temporary lull in the fighting’, it described. Unamid stressed that it is ‘ready to assist the Sudanese authorities in the ongoing evacuation of more than 50 injured tribesmen from both tribes to Khartoum for treatment’.

The mission also provided East Darfur’s medical authorities with medicines and other surgical equipment, which were in short supply.

Unamid officials are, in the meantime, coordinating closely with the UN Country Team to facilitate a delivery of critically urgent assistance to those affected by the conflict, according to the statement on Tuesday.

In addition, peacekeepers in East Darfur have raised their level of preparedness and put in place ‘proactive response measures which address any potential demands for physical protection or shelter for affected civilians’.

Opposition holds Khartoum responsible

From Sudan, the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of Sudanese opposition parties), has called on both the Rizeigat and Ma’aliya tribes to stop the bloodshed and return stability to the region. It holds the Sudanese government responsible for inciting the tribal conflict, ‘promoting racism and raising tribalism above citizenship which is the basis of rights and duties’.

The coalition added in a statement that the authorities are to be held responsible for the insecurity in Darfur and Sudan. ‘It has left arms in the hands of citizens and supported one party against the other to serve their goals in splitting Sudan.’

State criticised for ‘standing idly’

For its part, the National Umma Party (NUP) has denounced the renewed clashes between Rizeigat and Ma’aliya on Monday morning, which resulted in attacking and shelling Abu Karinka town with heavy weapons. There are reportedly dozens of dead, including women and children. A number of houses were destroyed.

The NUP also holds the central government responsible for arming the outlaws of the tribes. In addition, the party criticised the state government for ‘standing idly and doing nothing to deter the tribal bloodshed’.