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Sudanese troops to be deployed between Darfur, W. Kordofan to prevent tribal clashes

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July 2, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Authorities in West Kordofan and East Darfur states have ordered deployment of joint military troops to secure the dividing line between areas of Hamar and Ma’alia tribes following renewed fighting between the two ethnic groups which claimed lives of 75 people.

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Al-Rahaad residents celebrate as a military convoy returns from Abu Kershola, at Al- Rahaad in North Kordofan State May 28, 2013. (REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Twenty two tribesmen were killed in recent clashes between the two tribes in East Darfur state in which heavy and light weapons were used.

Tribal leaders pointed that clashes between Ma’alia and Hamar were triggered by a cattle looting incident.

The commissioner of Adeela locality, Ahmed Ali Rizg, told the government-sponsored Sudan Media Services (SMS) website that an emergency meeting was held in Al-Foula in the presence of the minister of decentralised governance, Farah Mustafa, and states’ security committee headed by West Kordofan governor, Ahmed Khamis.

He said the meeting decided to deploy “buffer forces” between areas of Ma’alia and Hamar tibes in order to control the situation.

The commissioner of Abu-Karnaka locality in East Darfur state, Osman Gism Hassan, for his part, said his locality will send joint forces to secure the border strip to prevent clashes between the two tribes, noting that deployment of the forces would promote security and prevent renewal of clashes.

A tribal leader from Hamar tribe, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the fighting which erupted on Monday in East Darfur was triggered by cattle looting incident, adding that clashes extended to West Kordofan on Tuesday.

He stressed that both sides used heavy weapons, saying that 22 people were killed and dozens of others injured.

A tribesman from Ma’alia also said fighting erupted on Monday and continued to the next day, pointing that he saw 10 bodies lying on the ground besides 20 wounded.

At least 29 tribesmen were killed and 23 others injured in clashes between the two tribes last May.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some of the 38,000 displaced people in West Kordofan have fled recent fighting between the Hamar and Ma’alia tribes in North and East Darfur in March and April.

Tribal fighting has become the major source of insecurity in Darfur since the beginning of last year, forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.

Last year, Sudan’s president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, warned against tribal strife in some areas of the country, noting the country is facing challenges that need 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 ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Different officials in Darfur including the head of the regional authority, Tijani El-Sissi, also 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.

(ST)

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