18 January 2013

Sudan: Central Darfur Abbala, Beni Hussein Clashes Ongoing, Death Toll Rises

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

Umm Dukhum — Clashes between the Abbala coalition group Adjinedin and the Beni Hussein group Alabassin continues for the third consecutive day in Seleleh, Umm Dukhum locality, Central Darfur.

The death toll following Wednesday's clashes in Seleleh have risen from 12 to 25 sources told Radio Dabanga. Two of the deceased were members of the Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira).

In addition, the number of injured has reached 12 at the moment, witnesses asserted.

Residents of Seleleh, located about 13 kilometers north of Umm Dukhum city, told Radio Dabanga the Adjinedin stormed their village on Friday, 18 January. They were driving 20 Land Cruisers "mounted with heavy weapons".

Testimonies suggest the Abbala and its supporters looted homes and shops in Seleleh inciting "terror and fear" among citizens.

Next, the perpetrators moved towards the villages of Karkar, Saraf El-Bakhs, Umm Bill, located between Seleleh and Bindissey.


Also on Friday, Abbala tribesmen released two of the four hostages belonging to the Almima tribe -supporting the Beni Hussein- who they had captured on Wednesday.

The Almima paid a ransom of 300 million Sudanese pounds for its members.

Sources explained the Abbala kept the other two hostages until they receive a compensation for their wounded fighters, and until the Almima provides them fuel and meals.

This, they continued, is part of an agreement between the Abbala and Almima which was made in the presence of the commissioner of Umm Dukhum Yahiya Haroun.

According to the agreement, if the Almima does not pay the ransom, Abbala tribesmen will seize all of their livestock.

The commissioner, who also works as a policeman, threatened to resign unless the central government helps him to expel the Abbala, who on their turn, have surrounded Umm Dukhum with 73 vehicles.

On Wednesday, Radio Dabanga reported that Abbala fighters had entered Umm Dukhum and captured eight Beni Hussein (coalition) members. Sources pointed out that four of these hostages belong to the Almima tribe.

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