Sudan dispatches troops to end tribal violence in West Darfur

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December 30, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Monday night decided to dispatch additional troops to the capital of West Darfur State El-Geneina following the eruption of intercommunal clashes in the region.

Eight people were killed and eight others were injured as a result of armed clashes between the Massalit and Arab tribes after the murder of a young man from the Arab tribes near the Crendingue camp for displaced persons in El-Geneina.

The fighting also extended to two other areas inhabited by the IDPs triggering the imposition of curfew by the state military governor in a bid to end the violence.

Following what, a meeting was held in the presidential palace, including Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, members of the two councils, the army and the intelligence service.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Omer Manis said that the government took a series of decisions, including "sending sufficient forces immediately from all components of the armed forces and security services to control the situation."

Also, Manis announced that a high-level delegation, led by both Hamdok and Hemetti would travel to El Geneina to inspect the security situation and verify the implementation of the measures taken to prevent the renewal of tribal clashes.

He pointed out that the meeting also decided to suspend negotiations with the Darfur armed groups for 24 hours to address the situation.

He further said that a national investigation committee headed by the Attorney General and includes representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Sudan Armed Forces, Rapid Support Forces, the police, and the General Intelligence Service to investigate the events, determine responsibility, and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The meeting also directed to send a plane to evacuate the wounded to Khartoum hospitals for treatment.

For his part, the Spokesperson of the Sovereign Council Mohamed al-Faki said that the events began on Sunday following a dispute between two people from the tow tribal groups.

The recurrent tribal clashes involving displaced persons pinpoint to their frustration and recall the need to settle their problem and allow them to regain their areas of origin. Many of them say their villages are occupied by newcomers.

Reliable sources told "Sudan Tribune" that the tribal violence divided the regular forces along tribal lines and warned against an escalation of clashes.

The families of the victims killed by the Arabs carried the bodies of their dead in a procession to the state government secretariat, demanding to transfer Crendingue camp to another location and to arrest of those involved in the violence.

For its part, the IDPs Coordination said in a statement issued on Monday that a number of the resident had been burned inside their camps.

The IDPs said that the armed militias used four-wheel-drive vehicles loaded with Doshka machine guns in their attacks on the camp’s residents.

The tribal violence was condemned by Darfur armed groups, the Sudanese Congress Party and the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar.

In Juba where the peace talks are taking place, Darfur armed groups announced the suspension of negotiations saying discussions would resume once the security is restored.

The armed groups condemned the violence against the IDPs, stressing that the government bears the full responsibility of the security deterioration. Also, they called to protect civilians.

The Sudanese Congress Party condemned the intercommunal clashes saying it threatens the fragile security situation in Darfur.

In the same vein, the SPLM-N Agar condemned the tribal violence and attacks on IDPs. The group leaders said they were in contact with the Massalit tribal leader to follow up the situation.

"We call on the state leadership to go immediately to El Geneina to address the challenging situation, and we also call on the forces of the Sudanese revolution to come out and stand in solidarity with the victims and demand a stop the massacres against the IDPs" further said the group.