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UN urges Sudan to hold accountable responsible for W. Darfur tribal violence

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Smoke rises from Abu Zar camp for displaced persons in West Darfur, Sudan, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021(AP photo)
April 9, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on the Sudanese government to investigate the tribal attacks in West Darfur and to hold accountable the perpetrators.

Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday issued a statement to condemn the new tribal violence between Masalit and Arab tribes in El Geneina that resulted in the death of 125 people and injured over 200 others.

"We are appalled by the latest resurgence of violence" in West Darfur, said Hurtado. "We are also disturbed by the slow progress in ensuring accountability for this and previous violence, despite repeated calls by victims and their families" she added.

The region witnessed similar attacks between the Massalit and the Rizeigat that occurred in El-Geneina in December 2019, and January 2021.

The Sudanese Attorney General announced that 15 prosecutors have been sent to West Darfur to investigate the recent violence.

Also, the prosecution referred 33 alleged perpetrators for trial over the clashes in January 2021 and established a committee to investigate December 2019 violence.

The statement welcomed the steps taken by the authorities to contain the situation in El Geneina after the deployment of additional troops and stressed the need for concrete measures to address the disputes over land, pasture and water resources which are the root causes of the violence.

"Independent, impartial and thorough investigations into these acts of violence must be initiated without delay. Effective accountability processes must be established to pave the way for genuine reconciliation and lasting peace".

Further, the spokesperson urged the transitional government to ensure prompt, transparent and effective follow-up to these investigations. All those responsible for human rights abuses must be held accountable".

"Grievances from both sides must be tackled after decades-long ethnic disputes stoked by the previous regime".

West Darfur Governor Mohamed al-Doma on Thursday urged to restore the state authority and to collect weapons, as well as protecting civilians.

He said the state authorities have requested the interior and defence ministries in vain to send more troops.

The governor who is from the Massalit tribe said he offered his resignation but the transitional government rejected it to avoid igniting further rifts on ethnic bases similar to what happened in Kassala state.

The OHCHR official urged the Sudanese government to protect civilians and to accelerate the implementation of the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians.

(ST)

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