6 November 2017

Sudan: Herders Abduct Two Farmers, Attack Others in Darfur

Tawila / Kutum / Mukjar — A group of herders abducted two villagers from their farms in North Darfur's Tawila locality on Saturday. Herders are grazing their livestock on farms in Kutum. In Central Darfur, militiamen robbed a number of farmers of their belongings.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a relative of one of the victims reported that four gunmen riding camels attacked Adam Abakar Haroun (45) and Suliman Omar Saleh (35) and on their farms near Timo village, 10 km west of Khazan Tunjur.

"The camelmen accused them stealing a number of cows that went missing some days ago. But Adam and Suliman had nothing to do with the matter," he said.

He added that others from Timo village informed the military garrison of Murtal about the incident.

Grazing

Farmers in Kutum complained about livestock destroying their farms.

"Three days ago, herders began grazing camels and sheep at the farms belonging to Jengouli and Gharban villages, less than 3 km east of Kutum town," a farmer told this station on Sunday.

"The herders threaten to kill anyone who protests the grazing or tries to remove the animals from the farms."

Hand broken

In Mukjar locality in Central Darfur, militiamen attacked a number of farmers in Kombo Umbera on Sunday morning.

"At 4 am, a group of militiamen stormed the village. They were shooting heavily in the air to intimidate us," one of the victims reported.

"They then began to take our property. When Khadija Adam protested, they beat her with a baton, and broke her hand," he added.

Disarmament

The agreed period for grazing in Sudan's western region does not commence until February, about two months after the start of the dry season. However, each year herders graze their livestock on farms prematurely, causing repeated tension with farmers.

This year, farmers in Darfur began to report assaults by herders grazing their livestock on farms by force of arms in October. A number of farmers have been killed and injured.

The attacks raised calls for the intensification of the disarmament campaign in the region, announced by Khartoum in July.

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