21 January 2013

Sudan: Abbala Coalition Group Raids Villages in Central Darfur

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

Umm Dukhun — The Abbala coalition group, Adjinedin, have reportedly raided the market of Umm Dukhun in Central Darfur on Sunday afternoon, 20 January. It was reported that the group carried out widespread looting. Another group has allegedly raided the village of Kerry, near to Umm Dukhun. The group approached the village on camels and in Land Cruiser vehicles and looted a number of livestock, sources told Radio Dabanga.

Witnesses from Umm Dukhun told Radio Dabanga that the Abbala coalition group raided the town's market on Sunday afternoon and looted shops and belongings of civilians. They revealed that shops closed their doors and that residents fled to their homes.

The witnesses pointed out that the Abbala militias from different areas have gathered in the western part of the town since the outbreak of clashes in Jebel 'Amer and Al Sref Beni Hussein in North Darfur recently. The troops are composed of approximately 97 vehicles, they added.

Panic and fear

The presence of the militias have caused panic and fear among the town's population, especially caused by their daily shooting in the air in the mornings and evenings, witnesses continued. Additionally, they stated that the Abbala coalition group assaults women and harasses residents on the roads.

Sources from Kerry, a village in the vicinity of Umm Dukhun, informed Radio Dabanga that Abbala militias in Land Cruiser vehicles mounted with heavy weapons and others on camels and horses attacked the village of Kerry on Sunday afternoon. They added that the militias attacked the village from four different directions.

The sources reported that the militants fired heavily in the air before looting the village and added that the attack caused residents to flee, leaving children and elderly behind. It was also reported that people fled to neighbouring mountains and valleys and smoke was seen rising from the village.

Ongoing clashes: "more than 30 people killed"

Furthermore, witnesses informed Radio Dabanga that clashes between the Abbala coalition group Adjinedin and the Beni Hussein group Alabassin have resulted in a number of fatal victims. They added that the Abbala coalition group attacked neighbourhoods of the Beni Hussein group located between Bendessey and Mukjar camps. The witnesses confirmed that the attack resulted in a number of deaths and injured on both sides and added that the Abbala coalition group moved to the north of Wadi Saleh after the clashes.

Sources stated the situation remains tense and is expected to escalate at any time. It was added that the authorities did not intervene to settle the dispute or reconcile the parties until now.

For his part, Ali Issa Adam Musa, omda of Seleleh, revealed that the area of Seleleh was first attacked by Abbala militias on Wednesday and reportedly resulted in the death of more than 30 people. On the same day the group attacked the area of Saraf Bags and killed a teacher of Islam studies, six students as well as nine citizens, the omda stated.

He revealed that the second attack by the Abbala militias in the area followed on Friday, which resulted in the death of one person after the militants looted the local market. Moussa said that the members of the Abbala tribe attacked the village of Karkara on the same day and forced residents to pay 750 cattle heads and an amount of 300 million Sudanese pounds as 'blood money'.

Moreover, he stated that two Abbala tribesmen attacked Seleleh hospital with the purpose of attacking the injured victims. Moussa appealed to the authorities to urgently provide protection for the wounded or to transfer them to another area.

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