Farmers attacked by armed herders: sources

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MUKJAR (19 Dec.) - A number of farmers from the area of Jerny north of Mukjar in Central Darfur have reportedly been exposed to severe beatings by armed herders on Tuesday morning, 18 December. Sources told Radio Dabanga that more than 15 armed herders, allegedly loyal to the government, attacked a group of 30 farmers while they were working on their farms.

It was reported that the herders fired heavily in the air before beating the farmers with whips, crutches and rifle butts. According to onlookers, more than 10 farmers were injured. The herders reportedly released their cattle onto the farms with the purpose of destroying the harvest, the onlookers continued.

They added that the farmers reported the incident to the police, but so far no action was taken.

'Unprecedented instability'

In West Darfur, villages in a number of areas are facing 'unprecedented' instability in the security situation. Sources attributed the reason for the instability to the early start of the outdoor season for herders before completion of the harvest. This has led to frictions between farmers and herders and has already claimed dozens of lives, a source added to Radio Dabanga.