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Sudanese government to deploy joint force in East Darfur soon

July 5, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government will deploy during the upcoming days a joint force from the army and police elements in the East Darfur state to curb tribal violence and restore security, the governor said.

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East Darfur governor Anas Omer (Photo Ashorooq TV)

Hundreds were killed during inter-communal fighting between Rezeigat and Ma’alia tribes, despite reconciliation conferences and efforts by the local regular forces to prevent the armed confrontations.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Sunday, the new governor, Anas Omer, said the 1800-strong security force will be equipped with sophisticated weapons and will not include local elements in order to give it a neutral character.

He further underscored that the joint forces will not only deal with tribal clashes but will oversee the growing season, secure migration routes of pastoralists and protect Khartoum -Alnuhoud - Abu Karinka - Ed-Daein.

The government deployed troops in the conflict areas in August 2014 and May 2015; but the regular forces failed to contain violence and end the recurrent clashes between Ma’alia and Rezeigat..

However, the governor explained the failure of previous attempts by the presence of local elements in the regular troops.

"The joint force will be deployed in line with a new mandate and will not be based in one place, but will be able to move because it will be equipped with sophisticated weapons and new gears. Also there will be no local component and that means they will be neutral," and added.

"We are counting a lot on these forces," he added.

Following the deadly clashes last May, the government admitted the failure of traditional reconciliation conferences and said the regular forces will deal roughly with any party that attempts to carry out attacks and bring the culprits to justice.

The new governor who is from central Sudan, is appointed by the Sudanese president last June as part of his new government after his re-election in April 2015.

Just before April elections, the parliament abolished the election of state governors and adopted a constitutional amendment providing their appointment by the president. The move was taken after reports saying the election of governors contributed to the rise of tribalism particularly in Darfur region.

NEW STATE GOVERNMENT

Omer who was speaking to Sudan Tribune form Khartoum, said he is in the national capital to follow up the departure of the joint force and other new arrangements.

He further disclosed that the state government will be formed after Eid al-Fitr adding that its members will not be East Darfur in order to ensure government’s stability and provision of services and development in the troubled state.

The Ma’alia accuse the former governor and government officials in Khartoum including the vice-president Hasabo Abdel-Rahman of backing the interests of their tribe: Rezeigat.

They also say the army and government militia in East Darfur are composed mainly from the Rezeigat.

(ST)