Home | News    Tuesday 13 August 2013

East Darfur governor survives assassination attempt as tribal tensions worsen

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August 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of East Darfur, Abdel Hamid Musa Kasha, has escaped an assassination attempt on Monday after gunmen affiliated with the Maalia tribe attacked him in the Adila locality, which recently witnessed a fresh wave of tribal violence.

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Ex-Governor of East Darfur Abdel Hamid Musa Kasha (SUNA)

The governor, who is a member of the rival Rizeigat tribe, had apparently been visiting the Maalia stronghold, in a bid to calm recent tribal tensions, which escalated on the weekend, resulting in the death and injury of at least 150 people.

Kasha was reportedly surrounded by the hostile group of youths armed with sticks and batons inside the locality headquarters where he was meeting with the commissioner and the security committee inside.

Bullets were fired at the building, with the police evacuating the governor and the security delegation.

Kasha was accompanied by senior military officials including the Sudanese army chief-of-staff, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Ali, and the commander of East Darfur’s army division, Maj. Gen. Isam Sheriff.

Maalia elders who intervened to prevent the youth from harming the governor were themselves injured by the angry mob.

It is believed the youth wanted to avenge the killings in tribal clashes over the past few days. The Maalia accuse the East Darfur government of siding with the Rizeigat and supplying government vehicles and weapons. Both the army and police have also been accused of carrying out the killings themselves.

Reliable sources from East Darfur state told Sudan Tribune that the Maalia were angered by Kasha’s statements to the media in which he denied that violent clashes in the state are tribal conflicts.

The governor is also accused of trying to mislead public opinion and the federal government by representing the Maalia-Rizeigat conflict as fighting between the Rizeigat and rebel groups.

The Maalia further accuse Kasha of seeking to antagonise the Sudanese army and the regular forces by portraying their tribe as a rebel group, and say he is committing ethnic cleansing against them.

VIOLENT CLASHES

According to the latest update from the UK-based Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO UK), fighting erupted between the two groups on Saturday after a large number of Rizeigat attacked the Maalia at Abga’ab, 10 Km north of Megailid. It’s estimated that some 50 members of the Rizeigat and 20 from the Maalia were killed during the violence, while dozens more from both sides were injured.

The violence continued on Sunday when Rizeigat attacked and set fire to Maalia village Dar al-Salam, which had already been deserted by its inhabitants prior to the incident.

The Rizeigat claims that the Maalia are being supported by the Minni Minawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA/MM) and that its forces are fighting on the Maalia side.

It’s understood the latest conflict was triggered after the killing of five Maalia men at the beginning of August allegedly by members of the Rizeigat tribe, sparking retaliatory attacks and the theft of cattle.

BANKRUPTCY OF POLICY

SUDO UK says the worsening conflict in Darfur between the two rival tribes highlights the bankruptcy of government policies in the war-torn region and the failure of the hybrid United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) as a peace-broker.

It said the tribal violence reflected deep divisions between the Sudanese government, armed groups in the area and the SLA/MM, adding that only reconciliation through normal channels after an immediate ceasefire can end the 10-year conflict.

SUDO UK has called on Rizeigat and Maalia leaders to immediately order a ceasefire to restore a period of calm and effect a temporary reconciliation.

Both the Rizeigat and the Maalia are pastoralist tribes, based in East Darfur. The centre of Rizeigat territory is in Al Da’ain town, the capital of East Darfur, while the Maalia centre is in Adila, the second largest town after Al Da’ain.

Tribal fighting usually related to land ownership has become the major source of insecurity in Darfur since the beginning of the year, forcing more than 300,000 people to flee their homes.

Various officials in Darfur including the head of the regional authority, Tijani El-Sissi, said that tribal violence is among the biggest threats to ongoing efforts to implement a peace document signed by two former rebel groups in the region.

SPLM-N CONDEMNS POLICIES

SPLM-N secretary-general Yasir Arman has condemned the tribal clashes in East Darfur, saying the ongoing violence “reflects the result of the policies of divide and rule of the National Congress (NCP) government”.

“This new plan of the National Congress is a recipe for a new genocide at the time when the ongoing genocide has not ended”, he said.

Arman called on both Sudanese and Darfurians to unite their efforts to challenge the NCP regime, which he says threatens the entire social fabric in Darfur and the wider Sudan.

He also urged the international community to strongly condemn Khartoum’s policies in the region.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 13 August 2013 11:24, by chol

    Death to fake Arabs.Let them kill each other I don’t feel sorry at all for them.The gay president is soon to die of cancer so want to see many people die before him.
    Chol Y.

    repondre message

  • 13 August 2013 11:44, by Marco Bul

    They always laugh when pple fight of cattle.How are they different now?

    repondre message

    • 13 August 2013 14:43, by South South

      Very sweet Allah, let Fake Arabs kill themselves. It is very good for all Sudan. Death to all Fake Arabs in Sudan. Allah Akabar!!!!!!!

      repondre message

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