September 2, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of Sudan’s East Darfur state Abdel-Hamid Musa Kasha has attributed the recent flare in tribal conflicts in the region to the scramble for political gains and power, calling on the government not to select states governors on tribal or regional basis but on their personal merits.
- Governor of East Darfur Abdel Hamid Musa Kasha (SUNA)
Kasha, who was speaking at a media forum in Khartoum on Monday, said that the experience of selecting states governors on the basis of their tribal background has failed to bring about the desired political or tribal consensus among the various components of the Darfur states.
He stressed that power struggle among tribal leaders has contributed to the eruption of inter-tribal clashes and accused unnamed figures in the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of complicity in order to serve their own political interests by showing the federal government their tribal weights and flexing their muscles.
He described this behavior as a “fatal mistake” which requires immediate rectification.
The governor called on authorities to bring all those who were involved in the recent clashes between Maalia and Rezeigat tribes to justice without exception.
More than 100 people were killed last month when clashes between the Rezeigat and the Maalia tribes broke out in the Kilaikil area located north of the state capital, El Daein, which both groups claim as part of their territory.
The Maalia has accused Kasha, who is a member of the rival Rezeigat tribe, of siding with the Rezeigat and supplying them with government vehicles and weapons.
On August 22nd, both tribes signed an agreement committing them to stop fighting and to resolve their difference peacefully.
Kasha further said that public opinion should receive adequate information on the tribal conflict in East Darfur state.
Tribal fighting has become the major source of insecurity in Darfur since the beginning of the year, forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.
Last June, Bashir warned against tribal strife in some areas of the country, noting that Sudan is facing challenges that requires cooperation of all its people.
“The tribal conflicts in a number of Sudan’s areas constitute the biggest threat to the country", Bashir said when addressing a meeting of the Shura (consultative) Council of the NCP.
Different officials in Darfur including the head of the regional authority, Tijani El-Sissi, also said that tribal violence is among the biggest threat to ongoing efforts to implement a peace document signed in Doha more than two years ago.