Fifty-two civilians have been killed and 55 others wounded in renewed tribal clashes in Sudan’s South Darfur State, Khartoum media reported Wednesday.
“Violent clashes broke out Tuesday between Rizeigat and al-Sada tribes at various areas, some 61 kilometres north of Nyala, the capital city of South Darfur State,” Khartoum’s Al Ahdath daily reported.
The clashes, which involved heavy weapons and lasted for more than five hours, resulted in the killing of 40 members of al-Sada tribe and 12 members of Rizeigat tribe, according to the newspaper.
Calm the tension
In the meantime, Khartoum’s Al Ray Al A’m daily quoted commissioner of Wohda in South Darfur State as saying that two security committees of the state and Wohda are present at the sites and that the situation has been under control.
He said that a committee has been formed to calm the tension between the two sides and tackle the root-causes of the problem, according to the newspaper.
He attributed the causes of the problem to the robbery operations and that some criminals seek protection from the tribes after committing crimes.
The western Sudanese region witnesses repeated tribal confrontations due to several reasons including banditry activities and disputes over pastures, besides spread of vengeance among the tribes.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese government is expected on Thursday in Doha to sign a peace framework with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), a newly-integrated rebel group, in a step aimed at ending years of conflicts in Darfur.
The accord would be the second the Sudanese government inked within a month with rebel groups in the western Sudanese region.
On February 23, Sudan signed a temporary ceasefire deal with the Justice and Equality Movement, a key rebel group, breaking up a standstill in Darfur’s peace process.
The LJM was formed by ten rebel groups shortly before that signature.
Representatives of the LJM have been in Doha to prepare for talks with the Sudanese government on a possible framework agreement. The mediator, Qatar, said the date for signing the deal was reached after extensive consultations.
Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohammad Taha arrived in Doha late Wednesday heading a high-level delegation for Thursday’s signing ceremony, Qatar News Agency reported.
Devastating fightings in Darfur since 2003 between ethnic rebels and the Sudanese government forces have left around 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million others displaced, according to the United Nations.
The UN Security Council in 2008 dispatched a hybrid force, the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), in a mission to the volatile region to stamp out unabated violence and protect civilians.
Sudan has expressed the hope that other rebel groups could also return to negotiations with the government, but the hardline Sudan Liberation Army has so far shunned the offer. (Xinhua)