December 3, 2016 (EL-FASHER) - A farmer was killed on Friday by unknown gunmen in Babiker village, north of El-Fasher capital of North Darfur state in a new wave of confrontations between pastoralists and farmers in the war-torn region.
During the rainy season, usually various clashes erupt between herdsmen and farmers in some areas in North Darfur leading to violence and killing. These clashes are triggered by herdsmen attempts to graze their animals on agricultural fields.
These incidents create fears among farmers and dissuade displaced people willing to return voluntarily to their home villages or those intending to return back to their areas during the cultivation season.
On Friday, unknown armed herdsmen killed Musa Adam Sulieman in Babiker village after they attempted to graze their camels forcibly in his farm.
According to the victim’s brother Abdel-Majed Adam, Musa, who is also the Imam (prayer leader) of the village’s Mosque, was shot while he was trying to prevent the herders’ camels from entering his farm.
He told Sudan Tribune that one of herdsmen let loose a barrage of bullets in his brothers’ direction - killing him on the spot after he refused to allow their camels graze in his farm.
Abdel-Majed pointed that they notified the police in El-Fasher, saying however the authorities didn’t hunt down the perpetrators.
During the growing season, the herdsmen often wonder into the fields as their herds eat or trample on the crops. The destruction of crops and farm lands push the farmers to seek revenge on the herds and clashes occur between the two parties.
In a bid to reduce conflicts between the herders and farmers, the Commissioner of El-Fasher locality Al-Tigani Abdalla Saleh last July said that a higher committee, chaired by the deputy governor of the North Darfur state, has been formed to carry out the necessary measures to make the agricultural season successful.
He further disclosed that the state government has established special forces called “agricultural season forces” to prevent conflicts over the use of land which become a threat to peace in the region.