Khartoum — azirs (chieftains) of the Rizeigat and Maaliya tribes signed a declaration of peaceful coexistence at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum on Tuesday in the presence of Vice-President Dr Osman Kibir, patron of the agreement.
Rizeigat Nazir Mahmud Mousa Madibbo and Maaliya Nazir Mohamed Ahmed El Safi, pledged to promote stability and security in East Darfur through commitment to comprehensive peace and peaceful coexistence throughout the state, as well as avoiding the negative media escalation between the two sides.
The declaration stipulated supporting the efforts of the Presidency and the partners to reach a comprehensive peace in the state.
The declaration was signed by the Rizeigat and Maalia Nazirs, their undersecretaries, and the Omdas of the tribes.
The two sides affirmed their commitment to promote peace, stability and development.
In addition, they welcomed the visit of the President Al Bashir to South and East Darfur, which is scheduled to begin in Nyala today.
On November 2, 14 Maaliya and Rizeigat omdas were released from Port Sudan jails and the Kober Prison in Khartoum North.
After government forces managed to contain fierce clashes between the Maaliya and Rizeigat in East Darfur's Muhajiriya in mid-July, the authorities opted for an unprecedented detention campaign against dozens of leaders from both tribes.
On July 31, a special East Darfur court sentenced 22 Rizeigat and Maaliya omdas and 73 other tribesmen to prison terms between three to six months. They were imprisoned in Khartoum and Port Sudan to prevent attempts by their fellow tribesmen to release them.
El Azrag Hasan Humeida, Head of the Maaliya Youth Organisation, told Radio Dabanga that 13 Rizeigat and Maaliya omdas were released in Port Sudan, and the Maaliya deputy-nazir in Khartoum North.
He pointed out that there are still three Maaliya omdas and 30 other tribesmen being held in Port Sudan, and 10 omdas and 34 other tribesmen in Kober Prison.
For his part, Rizeigat leader Mohamed Eisa Aliyu reported that nine Rizeigat omdas were freed from Port Sudan prisons on Friday. He expected the release of the rest of the detained Rizeigat omdas from both Kober and Port Sudan prisons to happen soon.
Aliyu said that the aim of the authorities' release of the omdas in batches is to rate reactions of the tribesmen. He appealed to his fellow tribesmen "to receive the released omdas in a quiet way so as not to disrupt the release of the rest".
Humeida told this station on October 24 that 89 tribal leaders were being held "without trial or charge" since their arrest in East Darfur.