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West Darfur: Six displaced killed in mosque, protest erupts

May 23 - 2016 EL GENEINA
The eight victims of the attacks by armed tribesmen in Azerni camp on Sunday 22 May, before displaced people carried them to El Geneina (RD)
The eight victims of the attacks by armed tribesmen in Azerni camp on Sunday 22 May, before displaced people carried them to El Geneina (RD)

Eight displaced people were slain in attacks by armed tribesmen near El Geneina, including a shooting in a mosque on Sunday evening. The attacks sparked thousands of people to go out in a march. A tribal member and a Sudanese soldier were killed the same day.

The attack on the mosque in Azerni camp, north-east of El Geneina, happened against the backdrop of a fight between an Abbala tribe member and another man in the morning. The Abbala member was killed. Tribal members and camp leaders were unable to settle the conflict, and a couple of armed tribesmen launched an attack on Azerni's mosque in the evening.

Six prayers at the mosque were killed, and five people, including two children, sustained injuries. At night, armed tribesmen killed two camp residents in their homes, bringing the death toll of displaced people to eight.

The next day a mass march erupted when thousands of displaced people carried the bodies of the victims to El Geneina, the state capital, where they were buried. Marchers chanted slogans, 'Freedom, peace and justice', and demanded the departure of State Governor Khalil. (watch the video)

Photos below: Mass march in El Geneina on Monday 23 May. People are carrying the bodies from the hospital (RD)


Speaking to Radio Dabanga, witnesses said the attacks were caused by a fight that involved a member of the Abbala tribe who visited the market in Azerni on Sunday morning. After he asked the owner of a wheelbarrow to carry goods to his home, he refused to pay him for his services.

The owner objected and a fight between the two erupted, in which he stabbed the Abbala member with his knife. He succumbed to his wounds in the hospital the same day. The man subsequently went to the police station to report himself.

Soon after a group of Abbala tribesmen arrived at Azerni to negotiate about the financial compensation for the killed Abbala (known as 'blood money'). “One of the men was the brother of the deceased. He left the meeting in disagreement and uttered threats to destroy the camp,” a witness explained.

Between 6 and 7pm, two unidentified armed tribesmen, riding motorcycles, arrived at Azerni camp. “One of them entered the mosque, were sunset prayers were being held, and opened fire on the praying people,” the witness said.

Six of the displaced people were killed on the spot. Five people were wounded, including two young brothers. People brought the bodies and the wounded from the mosque to the local police station. 

Camp raids

At around 11pm, two brothers were killed in Azerni when armed tribesmen entered the camp again, raiding a number of homes and stealing several horses. They slayed Mohamed Adam Daoud and Abdallah Adam Daoud in their home.

A Sudanese soldier was shot dead near Azerni the same day, when he chased down armed tribesmen who had stolen a motorcycle. The next morning the body of the soldier was carried to El Geneina along with the eight bodies of the displaced people.

The death toll on Sunday stands at 10. Radio Dabanga was able to collect the names of the six displaced people killed in the mosque: Mohamed Yahya Ibrahim, Abdallah Harun Abaker, Yasin Adam Yahya Ibrahim, Mohamed Ibrahim Yahia, and Mahjoub Abdallah Ahmad, and Abdelmajid Yahia Ali.

The wounded in the mosque were Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim, Adam Ismail Mohamed, an elderly woman named Haba, and two young brothers: Ahmed Mustafa Adam and Nasreddin Mustafa. 

(Photo: RD)

Large march in El Geneina (23 May 2016)

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