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Sudanese presidency orders end to tribal fighting in West Kordofan

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August 18, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Saleh, has directed West Kordofan governor Ahmed Khamis to end tribal fighting, restore security and mend the social fabric in the state.

Intermittent clashes have been going on between Hamar tribe which dwells in West Kordofan state and Ma’alia tribe which inhabits in East Darfur. The fighting was triggered by land dispute between the two tribes.

Last month, the Misseriya tribe disclosed that 150 of its members were killed and another 100 injured in renewed clashes between two of its clans, Awlad Omran and al-Zyoud in West Kordofan state. The government deployed police and military troops to contain the situation amid widespread of weapons among tribesmen.

Khamis said in press statements on Monday following his meeting with the vice-president that he briefed the latter on the security situation, tribal reconciliation and ongoing efforts to complete the reconciliation among Misseriya clans besides preparations to hold the reconciliation conference between Hamar and Ma’alia.

He stressed that Hamar and Ma’alia held a meeting in the past few days in West Kordofan’s town of Al-Nuhood, pointing they discussed ways for making the reconciliation conference a success.

113 people were killed following the renewal of tribal clashes between Rizeigat and Ma’alia in East Darfur state on Saturday.

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

Last May, 28 people were killed in battles between the Hamar and Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur and West Kordofan according to tribal leaders.

The United Nations confirmed that 38 people were killed last December in West Kordofan as a result of clashes between the two groups because of a dispute over the right to pasture.

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 the cooperation of all of 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 Council of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Several officials in Darfur including the head of the regional authority, Tijani al-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.

DIVIDING STATE ASSETS

The governor further said he gave the vice-president a detailed report on the work of committees tasked with redistributing assets of the state following division of greater Kordofan into three states including North, South and West Kordofan, stressing the latter directed activating the work of these committees in order to finish its mission.

The president al-Bashir abolished West Kordofan state in August 2005, and established the greater South Kordofan while some of its territory was transferred to North Kordofan state.

The measure was part of the provisions of a protocol related to the resolution of the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state encompassed in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005 between the Sudanese government and the former South Sudanese rebels SPLM.

In 2013 Bashir reinstated West Kordofan state and endorsed the final status of the three Kordofan states.

West Kordofan is the home of Arab Misseriya tribe and where oil fields are located.

(ST)

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