More than 500 dead in N. Darfur tribal conflict- Sudan lawmaker
The armed conflict between the Arab tribes of Abbala and Beni Hussein over control of a gold mine in Jebel ‘Amer, Al-Sareif Beni Hussein locality in North Darfur, has left 510 dead since it broke out on 5 January, a Sudanese lawmaker announced on Monday.
Adam Sheikha added that some 865 people were wounded, 15 women were raped, 68 villages were completely burnt down and 120 others were set ablaze.
On 17 January, local leaders from North Darfur told Radio Dabanga that according to initial estimates between 260 and 270 people had been killed and approximately 150 villages had been burnt since the beginning of the fighting.
The same day, the warring parties signed a ceasefire treaty in the presence of the North Darfur governor agreeing to open all vital roads in the area and to refrain from searching for gold until security arrangements were made.
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 in Land Cruiser vehicles, and on horses and camels heading towards Al-Sareif Beni Hussein city.
According to the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan over 50 people were killed in the fighting and 60.000 people were stranded in Al-Sareif Beni Hussein town alone.
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, expressed her deepest concern about the resumption of tribal hostilities in North Darfur.
She is urging all sides to refrain from taking any action that could jeopardize the agreement on a cessation of hostilities in preparation for the reconciliation conference to be convened by the governor of North Darfur in April.
Some local sources stated the fighting had halted after the Sudan Air Forces shelled the site on Saturday killing several Abbala militants. UNAMID declared airlifting 37 wounded to El-Fasher for medical treatment, including one woman and two children.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society are also evacuating wounded patients from Al-Sareif Beni Hussein city, as quoted in a press statement from 26 February.
Thirty-three seriously injured persons were transported from Al-Sareif, by means of UNAMID helicopters, to El-Fasher, where they were placed in the care of the health ministry of North Darfur.
In addition, the ICRC claims to be delivering medical supplies to hospitals in Al-Sareif, Saraf Omra and Al-Junaina, where other injured patients were taken to.
The organization announced in the statement that population displacement since early January has put pressure on already meager water resources in the area.