March 6, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The head of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani El-Sissi warned against the rapidly deteriorating security situation in South Darfur and criticised government for failing to restore security in the region, which has witnessed rebellion since 2003.
- Tjani El-Sissi, head of Darfur Regional Authority (Photo SUNA)
In a press conference held in Khartoum Thursday, Sissi, accused what he called "uncontrolled elements" of attacking and burning more than 38 village in South Darfur .
He further severely censured the government saying "the authority of the state is completely absent in Darfur". He further criticised the government’s handling of recent attacks by rebel groups South Darfur state, saying, "North Darfur suffered a large scale attack and there were no efforts to deal with".
On 3 March, UNMAID reported the burning of a number of villages and the displacement of a large number of civilians near Um Gunya, located about 50 kilometres south-east of Nyala. Sudanese authority estimated the number of news IDPs at 20,000.
Also, the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the government confirmed clashes on 2 and 4 March in Alleit Jar-Elnaby, Haskanita and Al-Tawisha areas in the southern part of North Darfur state.
Sissi said the burning and looting occurred after the involvement of the Rapid Response Force, a government militia led by Ahmed “Hemedti” Hamdan. , stressing that some uncontrolled elements took advantage of the intervention of the militia to attack the villagers.
11 of the 18 burnt villages were constructed within the framework of DRA recovery projects and voluntary return of displaced people in line with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), he pointed .
He called on the government to direct its forces against the rebels, but not innocent civilians.
Sissi further said that the insecurity in North and South Darfur hampers the implementation of development projects. "What happens there will not be a catalyst to start in any reconstruction effort in those areas," he added.
The leader of the former rebel Liberation and Equality Movement (LJM) urged the federal government to take the necessary measures to contain the attacks carried by the rebel groups emphasising that the continuation of the current situation without decisive riposte or (political) solution will negatively impact the DDPD, peace in Darfur and the country generally.