11 August 2017

Sudan: Five Tribesmen Arrested in East Darfur While Criticism Grows

Ed Daein / Khartoum — Security agents arrested five more members of the Ma'aliya tribe from Adila in East Darfur on Thursday, as they are suspected of involvement in recent tribal conflicts. The continued arrests are criticised by both sides.

The five tribesmen, including school teachers and a lawyer, were taken to Ed Daein and from there to Khartoum. Reports arose that they have been beaten in detention.

The arrests came five hours before the arrival of Second Vice-President Hasabo Mohamed Abdelrahman in East Darfur on Friday, where he would advocate for the government's campaign to collect and confiscate weapons and vehicles illegally held by civilians in the Darfur region.

Yesterday the head of youth in Abu Karinka, Adila and Kilakil Abu Salama (north of Ed Daein) told Radio Dabanga that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested the two higher secondary school teachers Imad Ahmed Ibrahim and Fadlallah Ahmed Idris.

The NISS members also arrested El Hadi Mohamed Ali Kelani, an employee of the Ministry of Finance, lawyer Yousif El Bushra and Hisham Noureldin. Head of youth El Azrag Hassan Humeida condemned the arrests of the teachers, "in front of their students and during working hours from the school".

El Azrag expressed his surprise at the detention of the Deputy Nazir of Ma'aliya, who is held in Kober prison, while the Nazir and the Deputy Nazir of the Rizeigat have not been charged.

The five detained Ma'aliya tribesmen on Thursday (photos obtained by RD)

The series of arrests in the past weeks included the detention of 24 Ma'aliya leaders on Friday 4 August, and of 23 omdas of the Rizeigat native administration, after deadly clashes that erupted between the tribes in northern East Darfur on 21 and 22 July. The state authorities deployed a military buffer force to separate the warring tribesmen and contrary to former weak responses by the authorities to tribal fighting, a large number of Rizeigat and Maaliya leaders and other tribesmen have been detained, sentenced, and sent to prisons in Khartoum and Port Sudan.

'Government insults'

The Revolutionary Awakening Council, an association of former Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal's combatants and tribal leaders in North Darfur, accused the government of involvement in fueling tribal conflict between the Rizeigat and Ma'aliya in order to get rid of the Rizeigat tribe.

Haroun Medeikhir, a senior leader of the council led by Musa Hilal said: "The government has insulted the native administration and undermined its prestige through its campaign of arrests against omdas of Rizeigat and Maaliya."

Medekhir claimed that the Governor of East Darfur, Anas Omar, has been part of the ongoing conflict and should bear the responsibility.

Memorandum

On Monday, members of the Rizeigat tribe in Khartoum submitted a memorandum to the attorney-general, in protest against the recent detentions of leaders of the native administration of the tribe.

The memorandum reads that 23 omdas of the Rizeigat native administration have been detained in East Darfur without any known legal justification. Last week, six lawyers in Khartoum formed a defence team for the 23 Rizeigat omdas who were transferred to prisons in Port Sudan.

"The conflict between the Rizeigat and Maaliya has become a danger to society, left its mark on all aspects of life and has become a matter of public opinion that requires the state to intervene by real and satisfactory solutions." - Rizeigat memorandum

"Those who have been arrested are beacons and role models for our society, who have contributed to resolving problems and obstacles," the memorandum stated. "Their arrest without justification is a violation of the law, the constitution and all the conventions and agreements signed by Sudan with organisations, bodies and states."

The Rizeigat called on the attorney-general to quickly intervene to release the detainees and contribute to finding a solution for the conflict between the two warring tribes, for example by activating the outcomes of the Merwe Conference for Reconciliation, a document which has not been signed by the Maaliya.

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