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West Darfur: 15 dead in ‘dangerous and out of control’ Jebel Moon clashes

June 8 - 2022 KULBUS / JEBEL MOON
File photo
File photo

At least 15 people have been killed, dozens more wounded, and eight villages burned to the ground in two days of ‘tribal clashes’ north of Jebel Moon in West Darfur. Policemen, including a police commander, as well as Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers, are reported to be among the casualties.

Listeners told Radio Dabanga from Kulbus locality on Tuesday that a police commander has been killed, a large number of houses in eight villages burned to ashes, and a still unknown number of people who were travelling from Kulbus to Saraf Omra were abducted and taken to an unknown destination.

Abakar El Tom, head of the Gimir tribe, told Radio Dabanga that the clashes erupted after a dispute over agricultural lands between a Gimir man, a non-Arab African tribe, and a Rizeigat man, an Arab herding tribe, in which both men died. The clashes then expanded and escalated to include a number of villages and the occupation of a water well. The fighting continued until late on Tuesday.

El Tom called on the parties to resort to the voice of reason and restraint.

Abbas Mustafa, Deputy Executive Director of Kulbus locality, confirmed the killing of a number of policemen and army soldiers stationed in Um Kadeida, 85 km from Kulbus, during the ongoing clashes in the area. He described the situation as “dangerous and out of control”.

Ambush

Mustafa told Radio Dabanga that a joint force of army soldiers, policemen, paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Central Reserve Police (Abu Teira) was ambushed by herdsmen while they were moving to the site of the clashes.

He said that military reinforcements arrived in Kulbus from El Tina in North Darfur on Tuesday afternoon.

The Higher Coordination of Nomads in West Darfur said that the clashes occurred after the killing of one of the nomads and the injury of another in a shooting in the area of Um Hariz in Kulbus locality.

In a statement yesterday, the Nomads Coordination said that the perpetrators were pursued which led to clashes that left a number of dead and wounded, among them a police colonel after they arrived in the area on Monday evening to contain the situation.

The nomads hold the West Darfur government and security committee responsible for the violence. They called for the arrest of the perpetrators and the expulsion of “the gunmen of the rebel movements” from the state.

West Darfur violence

Darfur has a long history of strife between Arab herding tribes and non-Arab African herders or sedentary farmers. Nomadic Arab tribesmen were recruited by the previous regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir to join the Janjaweed militias. Al Bashir employed these Arab militias to repress a revolt over ethnic marginalisation in the region, mainly targeting non-Arab African farmers.  During the war that followed, at least 300,000 people were killed and over 2.5 million were displaced according to the UN.


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