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20 people killed in clashes in West Darfur State

November 2, 2016 (EL-GENEINA) - At least 20 people were killed and dozens injured on Tuesday in clashes between gunmen and cattle herders in Mara area, 60 km. north of West Darfur capital, El-Geneina on the Chadian border.

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A Cattle herder in Darfur region (FAO Photo)

An eyewitness told Sudan Tribune Wednesday that gunmen attacked cattle herders in Mara area killing 16 people, saying that 4 gunmen were also killed in the clashes.

He pointed out that the governor of West Darfur Fadl al-Mula al-Haga had attended the funeral at Umm Al-Qura cemetery, east of El-Geneina, but didn’t give any statement on the issue.

For his part, West Darfur information minister Mustafa Jar al-Nabi confirmed the incident to Sudan Tribune, saying it was triggered by the killing of a cattle herder whose body was found in Jebel Moon in the locality of Kulbos.

He added that the family of the victims hunted down the perpetrator who was riding a motorcycle which led to clashes between them and residents in the area in which dozens were killed.

According to the minister, the security committee in West Darfur has dispatched troops from the joint Sudanese/Chadian border force to the area to resolve the issue.

In September, al-Haga declared emergency orders to maintain security following a number of killing incidents in recent months.

Al-Haga has replaced former Governor Khalil Abdallah in August after the latter failed to control the lawlessness situation that swept across the West Darfur state.

Last May, eight people were killed and four others injured in a retaliatory attack by unidentified gunmen on a mosque in a village located 10 km. east of West Darfur state capital, El-Geneina.

Arms proliferation has become a major cause of instability in Darfur’s five regions as it feeds tribal conflicts and banditry.

Last April, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir announced the formation of a national body for the collection of illegal arms in Darfur region.

(ST)