West Darfur fighting spreads to capital city El Geneina

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The bloody tribal clashes in West Darfur spread to the state capital Geneina on Monday with the participation of former rebels and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The clashes between Arab tribes and Massalit tribes resumed in Kereneik, 80 km east of Geneina, after revenge attacks by the formers following the murder of two herders last Friday.

Independent medical group Central Committee of Sudan Doctors CCSD’s) in a statement on Monday, confirmed that the fighting was taking place in Geneina and the medical personnel fled the hospital due to the insecurity in the town.

Eyewitnesses in Geneina confirmed to the Sudan Tribune that the participation of the RSF forces and fighters of the Sudanese Alliance Forces SuAF of Khamis Abkar who is also the state governor and from the Massalit tribal group.

Musa Mustafa, a SuAF member, accused the RSF of killing civilians on an ethnic basis. He further claimed that the paramilitary forces killed Elias Mustafa a senior military official of his group on Sunday.

The fighting in the state capital forced the residents of five neighbourhoods to flee the downtown.

A resident of the Al-Jabal neighbourhood said that two people were killed and about four others were wounded as a result of the indiscriminate artillery shelling by armed militias.
He pointed out that a large number of houses were severely damaged because of heavy shelling, adding that the clashes continued until the sunset.

The Executive Director of the Kereneik locality, Nasser Al-Zain told the Sudan Tribune that according to the preliminary statistic about 150 were killed during the recent clashes in the area.

He announced the arrival of huge military reinforcements to the locality, in order to control the deteriorating security situation.

The Sultan of Dar Massalit, Saad Abdel Rahman Bahr al-Din, the tribe’s leader issued a statement saying the attackers came from other states and even from outside the country alluding to Chad.

He accused the security services of failing to protect civilians and called on the international community to provide protection for civilians. Also, he urged the United Nations organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected population.

Yasir Arman, a leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change condemned the attacks and called for strong reactions from the civil society organisations and the Resistance Committees.

“The atrocities committed in Western Darfur require a strong reaction from civil society, political forces, Resistance Committees, the Diaspora, women and all forces of revolution and change,” Arman in a tweet posted on Monday.

“What happened there will happen here and everywhere if impunity continues,” he asserted.

Emergency meeting in Khartoum, the Security and Defence Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in West Darfur chaired by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

His deputy and RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo did not take part in the meeting while his militiamen are accused of participating in the clashes.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister of Defence Yassin Ibrahim Yassin stated that the council took several measures including strengthening the deployment of the security forces in the troubled and continuing to implement the provisions of the Juba Peace Agreement.