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Darfur tribal parties agree to not resume fighting: says Hamdok

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W. Darfur governor Abdel Khaliq Badawi (L) welcomes Hamdok, Hemetti, and Ahmed al-Gadi at Nyala Airport on 1 January 2020 (Sovereign Council photo)
January 5, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that the conflicting tribal parties in West Darfur State had committed themselves to end hostilities after bloody violence that led to the death of over fifty people.

On Sunday, Hamdok, and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti of the Sovereign Council and several senior civilian and military officials ended discussions in El Geneina with the tribal leaders who pledged to not resume clashes.

The transitional government delegation returned to Khartoum, five days after their arrival in the capital of West Darfur on 1 January following the inter-communal fighting between the Massalit and Arab tribesmen.

Speaking to reporters in El Geneina after a meeting with the tribal leaders on Sunday, Hamdok said the government successfully convinced the two sides to cease hostilities.

"Each party committed itself to not initiate any hostilities and help to establish security and order," he said before to add that the government works to collect weapons.

"We have quickly started distribution of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the displaced," he said. Also, he pointed to the contribution done by the United Nations agencies and aid groups to provide the necessary assistance.

The prime minister further praised the role of the regular forces for their efforts to restore security and stability.

"We are concerned with preserving the lives of citizens, security and peace and imposing the authority of the state," he said.

Also, he stressed that what has been accomplished will stand.

A Darfur lawyers group issued a statement on Sunday criticising the approach of traditional reconciliation and called to investigate the crimes and to bring the culprits to justice.

Attorney General Taj Elsir al-Heber who was part of the government delegation in El Geneina confirmed that an investigation committee was formed and already started its activities with impartiality, transparency and professionalism.

He announced the committee’s readiness to receive complaints, calling on the complainants to provide the evidence with the complaints to enable them to bring the perpetrators to trial.

For his part, Hemetti stressed that the government "will decisively deal with everything that threatens national security and the safety of citizens," and also stressed that no immunity should be granted to any person or any entity that threatens the security of the state and the citizen.

He pointed out in statements from El Geneina to the necessity of imposing the authority of the state by applying the law through the regular forces by giving it wider powers, provided that all the mobile forces are accompanied by prosecutors.

He further held the government of West Darfur State responsible for the aggravation of the situation due to its belated measures to address the conflict, which led to security chaos, as he said.

He added that the deterioration of the security situation in the country was caused by the failure to impose the authority of the state and the restrictions imposed on the regular forces.

He stressed that restricting the regular forces would be handled by giving broad powers to the country’s security services.

He called on security forces to adhere to professionalism and to move away from tribalism, adding that measures would be taken address the imbalance that led to insecurity in El-Geneina.

(ST)

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