South Darfur villagers flee to Kass fearing herders' attacks

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KASS (25 May.) - The population of about 11 villages south of Kass in South Darfur have begun moving to Kass in fear of revenge attacks by militant herders on farmers.

Last Tuesday, the Commissioner of Kass had formed a government force of policemen, Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira), and army troops, after complaints of farmers that the herders had released their livestock at gunpoint at farmlands in the area of Doura, south of Kass. Other herders of the same tribe besieged the government force, and in the ensuing fire fight, one Abu Tira combatant was killed, and two other government troops wounded. The government force arrested two of the herders.

In Nyala, the Deputy Governor of South Darfur, Mahdi Bush, reported to the Sudan Media Center on Thursday that two of the suspects who had ambushed the Commissioner of Kass and his force, were arrested, while five other suspects are still being searched for.

Bush said that the South Darfur State government has mobilised native administration leaders to calm the situation, and prevent the development of the incident into a broad tribal conflict.