Abbala tribe leaders call to end N. Darfur clashes

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(6 Mar .) - Two leaders of the Abbala tribe are calling for the end of hostilities against the Beni Hussein in North Darfur that broke out over control of a gold mine of Jebel ‘Amer on 5 January. The leaders blame the Sudanese government for the clashes, claiming Khartoum wants to have control of the mine for its own gains.

Ahmed Abdullah Ishaq, one of the Abbala chiefs, told Radio Dabanga the tribal hostilities in North Darfur are the result of a plan orchestrated by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

“I am calling upon my relatives from both sides: bloodshed and deaths are needless. When you die, other people take advantage of your deaths… We have no enemy but the government. If the Beni Hussein annihilate the [Abbala] Rizeigat or vice-versa, they are both losers and the beneficiary is the government”, he said.

The other leader who spoke to Radio Dabanga, Ahmed Ibrahim Mohammed Tiqi, said the Abbala and Beni Hussein are relatives and urged the warring parties to sit down and solve their problems among themselves.

They are appealing to all sides to halt the bloodshed: “listen to the voice of reason” and discuss ways to reach a solution, adding the Darfuris are the ones who will lose in the end.

Al-Sareif Beni Hussein locality’s commissioner, Haroun Hussein Jame, is urging the conflicting parties to commit to the cessation of hostilities and to “listen to the voice of reason”.

To avoid more fighting, Commissioner Jame asked Al-Sareif’s residents to “hold back their hands, tongues and telephones”. This means, he explained, avoid looting, gossiping and propagating possible news about clashes.

A Sudanese lawmaker recently announced that 510 people were killed, 865 people were wounded, 15 women were raped, 68 villages were completely burnt down and 120 others were set ablaze since the beginning of the hostilities in North Darfur.

About 100.000 people were displaced only in connection with the first wave of hostilities, the UN said, claiming this was the largest forced displacement in Darfur in years.

The second wave of tribal clashes erupted on 21 February and witnesses from West, Central and South Darfur told Radio Dabanga they saw large groups of border guards and Abbala militants heading towards Al-Sareif Beni Hussein city.