Violent clashes in Central Darfur blamed on Sudan govt

Clashes erupted in Sabi in Central Darfur’s ​​Jebel Marra on Saturday between the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) and an SLM breakaway splinter group.

SLM fighters (File photo)

Clashes erupted in Sabi in Central Darfur’s ​​Jebel Marra on Saturday morning between the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) and an SLM breakaway splinter group led by a man called Zulnoun. In North Darfur, a young man was killed by gunmen on the Kutum-El Tina road.

The government provided the splinter group with weapons, ammunition, and fighters to carry out the attack, said the SLM-AW military spokesman, Walid Abakar, in a statement yesterday.

This accusation comes days after the Governor of Central Darfur, Adeeb Abdelrahman, announced a new campaign for the complete disarmament of Central Darfur through the enforced collection of unauthorised weapons.

The attack was repelled by SLM-AW forces, according to the statement, after which the splinter group fled to the area of Jawa.

Abakar said that “the government's support for the dissidents represents a declaration of war against SLM-AW, even though the movement has remained committed to a unilateral cessation of hostilities and arrangements are being made to announce a comprehensive peace initiative in Sudan at home.”

The statement called on the government “to immediately stop harbouring and supporting dissidents, otherwise it must bear the consequences.” At the time of reporting, no statement about the events has been published by Zulnoun’s group.

In September, the Darfur Displaced and Refugees General Coordination began to consult people in camps about the proposal of El Nur to hold an internal dialogue on the ongoing peace process in Sudan. All major armed movements in Sudan are involved in the Juba Peace Agreement, except SLM-AW and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdulaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu).

The mainstream SLM-AW has denied “any contact with the Khartoum government at any level,” after reports of a telephone call made by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok with El Nur during his stay in Addis Ababa. El Nur has repeatedly stated that his faction will only enter peace talks after security and stability have been restored in Darfur.

Kutum attack

In North Darfur, a young man was killed and another was injured by gunmen on the Kutum-El Tina road on Saturday.

Yahya El Khumus, a Kutum resident, told Radio Dabanga that five gunmen riding in three vehicles intercepted a vehicle on the road from Kutum to El Tina near Abdelshakour area.

The gunmen opened fire on the vehicle, instantly killing Hazem Ibrahim (17). The driver of the vehicle was seriously injured, and taken to El Fasher Hospital.

El Khumus appealed to the local authorities to intervene immediately to provide protection for the citizens and to secure the roads.

Violent incidents have been taking place on the Kutum-El Tina road for months.

On September 30, people from Kutum living in Khartoum staged a vigil in front of the Council of Ministers and called on the authorities to “urgently intervene to stop the violence in the area”.

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