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North Darfur governor brokers truce between two warring tribes

August 14, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of Sudan’s North Darfur state Osman Mohamed Youssef Kibir announced that the conflicting Maalia and Rezeigat tribes have reached an agreement to stop violent attacks following intensive meetings he held with some groups affiliated with the two tribes.

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FILE PHOTO - North Darfur governor Mohammed Osman Youssef Kibir (Sudan News Agency)

More than 100 people were killed in violent clashes on Saturday between the two Arab tribes over land and cattle in Sudan’s East Darfur state.

Kibir said that the two sides have agreed to stop violent attacks in North Darfur state in areas extending from Al-liait in the east to Gibal Adoula in the west, and from Um Saaona in the south to Tulu in the north.

He said in press statements following the meetings on Wednesday that his government’s initiative is aimed at saving lives and avoiding the adverse effects of tribal conflicts on East and North Darfur states, pointing to the large presence of the affiliates of both tribes in North Darfur localities of Al-Twisha, Al-Liait, Klemendo, and Um Kadada.

The governor disclosed that the two tribes have agreed to set up joint mechanisms to resolve their problems according to the local norms besides working with authorities, adding that the initiative was launched in coordination with the governor of East Darfur state, Abd Al-Hamid Musa Kasha and chiefs of Maalia and Rizeigat tribes.

This week Kasha himself, who is a member of the rival Rizeigat tribe, survived an assassination attempt after gunmen affiliated with the Maalia tribe attacked him in the Adila locality where he was visiting.

The efforts of North Darfur governor began last Sunday when he met with Maalia affiliates in areas of Mararait in Al-Fashir locality, Sani Kuro in Klemendo locality, Tulu in Um Kadada locality, and Um Katkut and Jibal Adoula in Al-Tiwaisha locality. Kibir then met with the Rezeigat affiliates in Um Saaona area in Al-Tiwaisha locality.

Both the Rezeigat and the Maalia are pastoralist tribes, based in East Darfur. The centre of Rezeigat territory is in Al Da’ain town, the capital of East Darfur, while the Maalia centre is in Adila, the second largest town after Al Da’ain.

Tribal fighting usually related to land ownership has become the major source of insecurity in Darfur since the beginning of the year, forcing more than 300,000 people to flee their homes.

Various officials in Darfur including the head of the regional authority, Tijani El-Sissi, 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)