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Unknown gunmen kill 8 people in South Darfur

June 5, 2018 (NYALA) - Eight people have been killed and seven others injured seriously by unidentified gunmen at Higair Tunu village for voluntary return, 29 kilometres south-east of South Darfur capital, Nyala.

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A women sets down besides the body of a victim killed by gunmen in Higair Tunu market on 5 June 2018 (ST Photo)

The native administrator of the village Issa Salih Fidaly told Sudan Tribune Tuesday that 5 gunmen on camels’ back attacked a crowded market at Higair Tunu at 10.00 pm (local time) on Monday killing 6 people instantly.

He added 9 wounded had been transferred to Nyala Teaching Hospital, saying 2 of them died while receiving treatment.

Fidaly pointed out that the culprits fled south of the village, saying dozens of the victims’ relatives gathered at the hospital on Tuesday morning forcing authorities to deploy police and security forces to protect the hospital.

He stressed the government and the security committee didn’t dispatch any forces to pursue the perpetrators, saying the incident threatens to bring lawlessness situation back to the area.

Fidaly further said known criminals still carry their weapons despite government claims about the success of the disarmament campaign.

Since the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in July 2011, the government constructed several villages and vowed to support IDPs who return to their home areas.

However, the displaced complain that the security situation remains the same pointing to the government militia saying they continue to attack them and grab their land.

Last August, the Sudanese government launched a campaign to eliminate illegal weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan.

The Sudanese authorities say the spread of weapons among the rival tribes in the region is one of the main causes of Darfur’s instability.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.

CONDEMNATIONS

Two armed groups, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North of Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar) and the Sudan Liberation Movement Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) condemned the attack on the civilians and called for international action against the regime.

SPLM-N Agar spokesperson Mubarak Ardol accused the government militiamen of perpetrating what he described as "a new chapter of the repetition of the third genocide in Darfur".

Ardol further announced the Movement’s intention to establish contacts with international and regional rights to expose "this crime."

While the SLM-AW Spokesperson Mohamed al-Nayer called on the international community to protect civilians in Darfur and called to arrest the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir and to hand him over to the International Criminal Court.

"Failure to arrest and prosecute him means more crimes and bloodshed against defenceless civilians," added al-Nayer.

JUST A QUARREL

For his part, South Darfur Governor Adam al-Faki minimized the motivations of the incident saying it was just a "quarrel" in the area’s market.

He said there was a friction between four gunmen and a female market seller, adding they open fire when the people in the market intervened in the quarrel, killing immediately six people and two others died later after being transferred to hospital Nyala.

Al-Faki said the police arrested one of the four criminals adding search operations continue for the three others.

He said that the State Security Committee arrived at the scene of the incident and engaged discussions with residents to reassure them, stressing that the incident has nothing to do with any tribal conflict, and adding, "Even those who were killed in the incident were from several tribes".

Further, he announced the opening of a police station in the area and to deploy the army for the protection of civilians, reiterating that what happened was an "accidental incident".

The governor said the armed forces continue the weapons collection campaign but the army dispatches small units to track those who hide arms under the ground.

(ST)