17 January 2013

Sudan: Abbala, Beni Hussein Tribal Clashes Move to Central Darfur, 12 Killed

Photo: Derk Segaar/IRIN
Displaced (file photo).

Umm Dukhum — Clashes between members of the Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes have moved to Central Darfur, where 12 people were killed on Wednesday afternoon, 17 January, witnesses told Radio Dabanga.

The fighting took place at the Seleleh area, located 13 kilometers north of Umm Dukhum city, in Umm Dukhum locality, near the border with West Darfur and Chad. Local sources told Radio Dabanga that two coalition groups supporting Abbala (called Adjinedin) and Beni Hussein (Alabassin) were the ones clashing.

They added that of the 12 people killed, eight belonged to the Abbala coalition and four belonged to the Beni Hussein group.

5.000 Beni Hussein

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that at 10:00pm on Wednesday, Abbala tribesmen entered Umm Dukhum and captured eight Beni Hussein members. Upon entering the town, the Abbala were shooting intensively with their Dushkas and woke up the "frightened" population.

The rumor that more than 5.000 Beni Hussein men were preparing to enter Umm Dukhum to free the eight captives led residents to close the city's market on Thursday morning. The market has not re-opened since.

Some Umm Dukhum inhabitants are reportedly packing their belongings and migrating to areas in neighboring Chad, namely: Rutrut, Gabbar, Keli, Rammaliya and Tumassi.

'Hostilities incited by government'

Adam Ikheshim Brehme, an Arab leader, appealed to both parties to stop fighting immediately.

He suggested that the hostilities are incited by the government and by the security services and urged the tribesmen not to give them the opportunity to implement their agenda.

Brehme called on native administration members and on Darfur elders to intervene and stop the clashes.

The Arab leader said everyone should know that the enemy is the National Congress Party, noting they should unite to topple the regime in Khartoum.

Weapons removed

At the same time, Dr. Amin Mahmoud, chief of the council of Fur tribes (shura), called on all tribal conflicts to stop and on tribes armed by the government to have their weapons removed.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from Khartoum, the shura also called on the government to "keep the forces it recruited (Abu Tira and border guards) under control".

He said reconciliation should not be a cover for impunity and that those who committed murders, looting and arson must be brought to justice and not be protected by their fellow tribesmen.

The shura appealed to the warring tribes to put an immediate halt to the fighting, adding he deeply regrets the lives lost on both sides.

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