Tag Archives: Sudan and Darfur

Sudan Tribune

(EAST DARFUR) – Heavy fighting has erupted Monday in East Darfur state between Ma’alia and Rizeigat tribes amid fears that the deadly clashes could leave hundreds dead and injured.

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Maalia and Rezeigat delegations arrive at Al-Tawisha in North Darfur before the signing of a cessation of hostilities deal on 22 August 2013 (Photo: Hamid Abdulsalam/UNAMID)

Sudan Tribune correspondent quoted sources in East Darfur state capital, Ed-Daein as saying the security situation in the city is very tense following outbreak of fighting inside the locality of Abu Karinka which is considered a Ma’alia stronghold.

He noted that East Darfur governor, al-Tayeb Abdel-Karim, chaired an emergency meeting for the state’s security committee to discuss repercussions of the situation, pointing to a looming fierce war between the two tribes if authorities do not make decisive measures to stop the clashes.

The correspondent pointed that Ma’alia have evacuated hundreds of families from Abu Karinka with the approach of confrontations, saying the fate of those families is unknown because most of them have scattered in the desert in search of survival.

Other sources said that Rizeigat mobilized thousands of fellow tribesmen from several areas in Darfur and elsewhere to join the fight against Ma’alia claiming the latter refused to comply with repeated calls for reconciliation and seized their land.

On Saturday, the state governor said that mobilization of the armed tribesmen could lead to the deadliest clashes ever between the two sides.

He stressed that his government has sent large military reinforcements to create a buffer zone between the two tribes and prevent a security breakdown.

Reliable sources revealed to Sudan Tribune on Saturday that the federal government plans to deploy two army battalions to the area backed by two warplanes to monitor movement of the conflicting parties.

Meanwhile, the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has expressed serious concern over the recent escalation of tensions between the Rizeigat and the Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur.

It urged in a statement circulated on Monday the “leaders and members of both tribes to exercise maximum restraint, engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their dispute and refrain from all acts that would lead to violence and displacement.”

The mission welcomed the deployment of additional troops by the Sudanese government to create a buffer zone between the two tribes, calling on it to further intensify its efforts to avoid potential eruption of conflict.

UNAMID added that it “shall continue to protect affected civilians, facilitate and support all efforts by the Sudanese government, native administration, leaders of the two tribes and other stakeholders to de-escalate the tensions and achieve reconciliation between the Rizeigat and Ma’alia in accordance with its mandate.”

In Khartoum, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Sudan ad interim, Geert Cappalaere, for his part, expressed deep concern at reports of clashes between Ma’alia and Rizeigat.

He called, in a statement on Monday, on warring tribes to stop fighting immediately, exercise restraint to prevent further escalation, and support mediation efforts to resolve the underlying causes of this conflict by peaceful means.

“These towns are full of ordinary people, most of them women and children, who are just trying to live in peace. They should not have to carry the burden of renewed conflict. I would like to remind all parties to this conflict that they have an obligation to protect civilians and to allow them unhindered access to humanitarian assistance.” he said.

The conflict between the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur state is considered one of the longest and most deadly in the region.

Both the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia are pastoralist tribes, based in East Darfur. The centre of Rezeigat territory is in Ed Daein town, while the Ma’alia centre is in Adila, the second largest town after Ed-Daein.

Last month, 20 people were killed and several others injured in renewed clashes between the two tribes in East Darfur state.

In August 2014, 200 Ma’alia and 123 Rezeigat tribesmen were killed in clashes which took place in the Umm Rakubah area in East Darfur’ Abu Karinka locality.

Armed clashes between the two tribes in 2013 killed over 149 people and forced an estimated 51,000 people to flee their homes and seek shelter in Adila, Abu Karinka and Ed-Daein localities.

Last March, the reconciliation conference between the two tribes, which was held under the auspices of Sudan’s first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih in the locality of Merowe in the Northern state, stalled over the right of land ownership known as Hakura (traditional land grant).

Tribal fighting has intensified in four of Darfur’s five states during the past two years leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes. They are usually triggered by land disputes, pasture rights and fighting over water resources. More than 7,000 people were killed in those clashes since 2007.


Sudan – Darfur agreement between government and Minnawi group

Sudan Tribune

(KHARTOUM) – Sudanese government and a number of Darfur rebel commanders led by Mohamedain Ismail Bashar, a former operation commander of the Sudan Liberation Movement -Minni Minnawi, signed a peace agreement in the Chadian capital Ndjamena on Friday.

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Head of Darfur peace office, Amin Hassan Omer (L) shakes hands with Mohamedain Bashar in Ndjamena on 27 March 2015 (SMC photo)

Bashar’s group is composed of several dissident rebel commanders who on 7 October 2014 accused their leader of nepotism, corruption and illegal detention of some leading members. Two weeks later, Minnawi sacked four commander and accused them of treason and communication with the enemy.

The peace agreement was signed by the head of Darfur peace office Amin Hassan Omer, and Bashar, in presence of the Chadian foreign minister Moussa al-Faki, representing president Idris Debi who facilitated the deal.

The parties didn’t release the text of the signed deal but Sudan Tribune learnt it is a security arrangements agreement negotiated on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Omer welcomed the agreement and said that it was the first time that confidence building and cooperation between the two parties take place before the signing. He further called on the rebel groups to follow this example.

Bashar’s group strength is estimated at around 400 combatants with 30 vehicles.

Former SLM-MM military spokesperson Adam Saleh Abakar, the group logistics officer Abdalla Tijani and former humanitarian official Adam Buy-Dad are among Bashar’s group members.

Several sources told [Sudan Tribune that the signatories were is relation with JEM-Sudan leader Bakheit Abdallah Abdel-Karim (Dabajo) who encouraged them to negotiate with the government.

Dabajo himself before to join JEM was part of the SLM-MM.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) called Darfur rebel groups including SLM-MM and their political allies of the Sudan Call forces to meet with the government next Sunday to discuss procedures of the national dialogue process.


Sudan’s defence minister says Darfur rebels must join peace process or be crushed

Sudan Tribune
Sudan’s defence minister vows decisive summer for Darfur rebels

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April 11, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese defence minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has called upon the rebel groups in Darfur to seek a negotiated peaceful solution, warning the summer campaign will bring rebellion in the restive region to an end.

Sudanese Defence Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein (File/Reuters)
Hussein, who addressed a public meeting with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in North Darfur capital Al-Fashir on Friday, said the government welcomes rebel groups who wish to join the peace process, adding the government made the necessary arrangements to end rebellion in the region.

“Rebels have to join peace before they be militarily crushed”, he said.

He further praised the RSF militias saying they set a good humanitarian example in dealing with hostages and citizens, pointing they provided services for the needy population in the region.

The director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Mohamed Atta, for his part, disclosed they dispatched other RSF units to South Kordofan state to fight against the SPLM-N rebels and maintain security in the state.

The SRF militia, which operates under the command of NISS, is formed August last year to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.


Meanwhile the Sudanese rebel alliance, SRF, announced in a statement issued by its top military commander, Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu, they obtained “certain information” that NISS is undertaking a plan in coordination with the military intelligence, the Popular Defence Forces (PDF), aiming to mobilise tribal militias to fight against its forces in Blue Nile, Nuba Mountain, North Kordofan, and Darfur.

He added that those militias, which include forces recruited from outside Sudan, will target civilians to displace them from rebel areas. But, the government will cover these attacks, describing it as tribal clashes.

The statement added this task was assigned to a force stationed in Al-Fayed village in Rashad district in the Nuba Mountains, pointing the force is commanded by Brig. Gen. Abdel-Samad Babiker, Lieu. Col. Mohamed Al-Fatih Ahmed, and Maj. Gen. Mohamed Al-Rabie’.

The force is also supported by a battalion of Mujahideen (holy fighters) from Khartoum and a battalion of the paramilitary PDF, according to the statement.

The rebels said the militias backed by aerial bombardment, shelled Toumi and Al-Mansour areas in South Kordofan and burned several villages including Toumi, Al-Mansoura, Tarawa, Kluro, Tendimen, Taglbo, Teri and other villages in order to force villagers to move to the government controlled areas.

Al-Hilu called upon rights groups and human rights activists to condemn the scorched land policy carried out by the government and expose regime’s repressive policies against defenceless citizens.

The commander of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, for his part, denied that his force committed war crimes or violated civilians’ rights in the region, accusing rebel groups of seeking to tarnish their image.

He said the RSF is innocent of these criminal practices, underscoring they arrested groups of outlaws who attacked civilians north of the town of Mellit while they were chasing remnants of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM) following an attack on the town last month.

The African Union and United Nations Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, had last March openly accused the RDF of attacking civilians.

He condemned in his address at Um Jaras peace forum the RSF attacks, saying they were the main cause of displacement of thousands of villagers.

The rebel SLM-MM carried out attacks in South and North Darfur states triggering reprisal attacks by government militias on villages suspected of support to the rebels. These attacks coincided with tribal clashes in the North Darfur state.

The violence displaced over 215,000 civilians in the state.



Sudan – UN failed to stop killing of civilians in Darfur


Darfur violence: UN troops ‘failed to stop attacks’

Unamid peacekeepers in Fasher, the Sudanese region of Darfur (file image) The UN’s Darfur mission is one of the largest in the world

UN peacekeepers failed to protect civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region, even when they were shot in front of them, a former UN spokeswoman has said.

Aicha el Basri told the BBC UN chief Ban Ki-moon was part of a “conspiracy of silence” about the conflict.

She said she resigned last year because she “felt ashamed to be a spokesperson for a mission that lies”.

Responding, a UN official said the mission was doing a “brave” job and reported “faithfully on what we know”.

“Yes, there have been incidents, some of them dramatic, some of them shocking. Every one of them has been investigated to the best of our ability,” UN peacekeeping head Herve Ladsous told the BBC.

The UN has about 19,000 troops in Darfur, which has been hit by conflict since 2003.

‘Cynical farce’

In a BBC Focus on Africa interview, Ms Basri said she had decided to speak out after the UN ignored her appeals for an investigation into its operations in Darfur.

“In many circumstances, the civilians were shot in front of Unamid [the UN force in Darfur],” she said.

Refugee in Darfur More than one million people have been displaced
man herds cattle in Sudan Much of the conflict is over land and grazing rights

In one instance last September, peacekeepers “watched” the pro-government Janjaweed militia group carry out an assault on civilians travelling in a truck, but did not intervene, Ms Basri said.

Troops also took photographs of the assault, but “never reported it”, she added.

“The conspiracy of silence was much larger than Unamid. It extended all the way to Ban Ki-moon,” Ms Basri said.

Mr Ban had failed to mention in reports released about the conflict in Darfur that government forces had bombed villages 106 times in 2012, she added.

The UN Security Council was involved in a “cynical farce” and “pretending” that it was concerned about the conflict, Ms Basri said.

‘Difficult environment’

“The mission does not even have a helicopter to monitor an area that is as big as France,” she added.


She said she resigned about a year ago after she issued a statement that was not true.

“I felt ashamed to be a spokesperson for a mission that lies, that can’t protect civilians, that can’t stop lying about it,” Ms Basri told Focus on Africa.

Mr Ladsous said the UN force was operating in a “very difficult environment” because of the large number of armed groups and bandits in Darfur.

Co-operation from the Sudanese government had also been “spotty”, Mr Ladsous said.

A strategic review had been carried out to tackle the problems the UN was facing in Darfur.

“Our duty is to respond frankly and faithfully on what we know has happened but in many cases we can’t identify with certainty who was responsible,” he added.

About two million people have been displaced by the fighting in Darfur since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government.

Last month, the UN said there had been an upsurge in violence, with about 50,000 people displaced since the end of February.

Much of the violence was between rival Arab groups, although rebel and government forces were also involved, correspondents say.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of genocide in Darfur.

He denies the allegation and says the court is a tool of Western powers.

UN warns of upsurge of violence in Darfur

11 March 2014 Last updated at 11:10 Share this pageEmailPrint
Darfur violence: UN warns of new Sudan clashes

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The UN has warned about an upsurge in violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, saying some 50,000 people had been displaced since the end of February.

Peacekeepers and aid agencies had been blocked from entering affected areas, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said.

Much of the violence is between rival Arab groups, although rebel and government forces are also involved, a BBC correspondent reports.

Darfur has been hit by conflict since 2003, when rebels took up arms.

Two million people have already been displaced by the conflict.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of committing war crimes and genocide against black African communities in Darfur.

He denies the charge.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said was deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Darfur, and he urged all parties to immediately stop hostilities.

Ms Pillay said some 45 villages were reportedly targeted in the Um Gunya area, about 250km (155 miles) south of Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state.

“I urge the authorities to protect civilians and hold to account those who have committed grave breaches of human rights and humanitarian laws,” Ms Pillay said.

The joint UN and African Union (AU) peace force in Darfur, known as Unamid, and humanitarian agencies had been prevented from reaching areas affected by the attacks, she added.

“The Sudanese government must allow Unamid to fulfil its mandate to protect civilians, and grant access to populations in need,” Ms Pillay said.

In the past week, Unamid had also reported looting and destruction in Saraf Omra, near the border with Chad, says BBC Africa Security correspondent Moses Rono.

Thousands of people uprooted by the inter-communal fighting have sought refuge near a Unamid compound, he adds.

The leader of Arab militiamen accused of fuelling conflict in Darfur, Musa Hilal, recently quit the government and threatened war, adding a new dimension to the conflict, our correspondent says.

The black African rebels took up arms in 2003, accusing the Arab dominated government in Khartoum of ignoring them.



Sudan government rejects Darfur rebel call for common platform for talks

Sudan Tribune

(KHARTOUM) – Sudan has rejected Darfur rebel demand for a common political platform to negotiate the different crises in Sudan instead of the existing separate peace processes.

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Amin Hassan Omer (Photo SUNA)

Amin Hassan Omer, head of Darfur peace follow-up office, on Wednesday told the joint peace mediator, Mohamed Chambas, that his government refuses “any talk about creating new platforms”, stressing government’s commitment to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Chambas was accompanied by the European Union special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Rosalind Marsden who attended the week consultations meeting organised with the rebel groups in Arusha, northern Tanzania.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan and Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) told the mediation and representatives of international community that “a holistic and comprehensive approach to resolving the problems facing the country is both necessary and urgent”.

The rebels therefore “stressed the need to harmonise and coordinate the existing mediation mechanisms in order to achieve a coherent and integrated approach”, said a statement on the outcome of Arusha consultations the mediation released on 27 August.

Omer, in statements to reporters following the meeting, spoke about the absence in any evolution in the position of the non signatory rebel groups towards the peace process in Darfur.

“The meeting was an opportunity for the joint chief mediator to know the views and ways of thinking of the rebel groups which did not witness any positive development to serve the goals of peace”, he said.

He further reiterated the government’s refusal to establish one platform for the conflicts in Darfur, Blue and South Kordofan as it is demanded by the rebel coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) which includes rebel movements in Darfur and the SPLM-North.

The Sudanese official who chaired the government negotiating team to the Doha process pointed out that they welcome the participation of all the rebel groups in a comprehensive constitutional dialogue together with the other political forces.

Chambas has to meet with rebel groups within 60 days for consultations.

Arusha meeting was only attended by two groups. The SLM faction led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur refused to participate in the meeting, asking to invite all the SRF forces.


Sudan – Darfur rebels say government militias killed UN peacekeepers

Sudan Tribune

July 18, 2013 (PARIS) – Minni Minnawi, leader of a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) accused the government’s militias in South Darfur of killing seven Tanzanian peacekeepers and urged an international investigation on the attack.

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Tanzania soldiers recover in the UNAMID hospital in Nyala from the injuries suffered in an ambush that occurred on Saturday 13 July in Khor Abeche, on 14 July 2013 (Photo by Albert González Farran, UNAMID)

In an interview with the Sudan Tribune from Geneva where he participated in dialogue on peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflicts in the country, Minnawi rejected the accusations made Sudanese government that his group was behind the attack.

“The attack on the UNAMID patrol was perpetrated by the Janjaweed militias that we can indentify, and we are willing to cooperate with an international investigation team in this regard”, he said on Wednesday.

He stressed they can cooperate with this team or the UNAMID and provide it with information can help to indentify the authors of the attack on the Tanzanian troops.

The rebel leader went to say that these militias are now without resource as the government has no more financial means to fund them. So, they “dare now to carry out attacks” on UNAMID patrols or commit violent crimes and looting individuals inside Nyala, capital of South Darfur state.

On 13 July, unidentified gunmen ambushed a patrol of the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) at 25 km west of the Mission’s site in Khor Abeche, which is at 75km from Nyala . Seven Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed and 17 others are injured.

The incident was largely condemned by the international community because it is one of the most severe attack on the hybrid mission. Khartoum was urged to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the culprits to justice.

However Minnawi said the government is not qualified to lead such investigation because it would seek to create a scapegoat to protect its armed groups that are involved in Darfur crimes and atrocities.

“We reject the participation of the government in this investigation because they will seek to hide evidence proving the Janjaweed’s involvement in this attack”, he said.

In a letter on 15 July to the American envoy who chairs the UN Security Council for July, the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman reiterated the accusation against the rebel group and said this attack aims to obstruct the efforts of the international community to bring peace in Darfur.

He further reiterated the Sudanese government demand to alert them of the movement of UNAMID patrols in order to provide the necessary protection to the mission military or civilian personnel.

In a briefing at the UN headquarters on Thursday, U.S. alternate representative for special political affairs in the U.S. mission, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, confirmed that Sudanese ambassador did meet them.

Osman outlined the points in his letter of 15 July and ” indicated that they would investigate and try to bring the perpetrators to justice”; DeLaurentis said.