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Tribal tensions in N. Darfur after killing of human traffickers by RSF militias

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September 25, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - Jabal al-Amer and the surrounding areas of Sarif and Saraf Umrah in North Darfur state are witnessing tensions between the different branches of Rizeigat tribesmen after the killing of their sons by others who are part of the government forces combating human traffickers.

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RSF troops in camouflage and draped with ammunition show off the spoils from a major clash with the rebel (JEM), in Nyala 13 May 2015 (Photo AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

Last Friday, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said 19 people had been, killed in clashes with armed gangs involved in the human trafficking and illegal immigration on the Sudanese-Egyptian-Libyan border.

Following the statement, it was reported that a bodyguard of the tribal leader Musa Hilal, Suleiman Daoud, and 16 other people had been killed near the Libyan border during clashes with the RSF militiamen last Thursday.

The spokesman of the Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC), Haroun Medikheir, confirmed to Sudan Tribune that tensions have increased among the relatives of those who had been "liquidated" by the RSF.

However, he denied that the involvement of the RAC militia in these tensions, saying they didn’t besiege the base of the Sudanese government militia.

Medikheir was alluding to reports about the siege of the RSF forces by more than 200 vehicles of the RAC armed elements that Musa Hilal dispatched demanding to hand over those involved in the attack on the traffickers.

The RAC official further said that the RSF General Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti) ordered his troops to withdraw from the area because of the tribal tensions.

"The government is behind this tension and Hametti did not realize that," he said. "We advised him a lot to not bring tension and strife among the Rizeigat branches," he added.

He said the families of the dead have accused commanders of the Rapid Support Forces who are not present in the area, pointing that now conciliators intervened to contain tensions and prevent violence.

"Also, the SRF pledged to address the situation and efforts are taking place with the relatives of the killed people," he said.

The leader of Mahameed, a Rizeigat tribal branch, Musa Hilal was involved in the counterinsurgency campaign and was accused by human rights groups of war crimes. However, he is currently at odds with the government and opposes the merger of his tribal militia in the RSF.

(ST)

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