Sudan: North Darfur's Kutum Still Far From Secure, Saraf Omra 'Under Control'

Kutum / Saraf Omra — A displaced man was killed by militant herders in Kutum, North Darfur on Thursday. Paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) took control of Saraf Omra yesterday.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, activist Yahya El Khumus told Radio Dabanga that Mohamed Sabah was on his way from the Fata Borno camp for the displaced to Kutum town when he was shot dead by militant herders.

"It happened in in Khor Jagedeldei, three kilometres from Kutum," he said. "The perpetrators then fled in north-western direction."

El Khumus criticised the security forces in Kutum. "The joint forces were informed early, but arrived at the scene more than three hours after the attack."

The source added that the people in Kutum locality have been experiencing attacks by gunmen for weeks, without intervention from the authorities. On May 2, he reported that in the area north of Kutum, a large group of armed herders was attacking cars and robbing the passengers, without intervention from the authorities.

Clashes

In neighbouring Saraf Omra, a large group of armed men on motorcycles began wreaking havoc in the area earlier this week.On Tuesday, a boy was killed by a stray bullet during a firefight between the gunmen and the RSF Peace Shield Forces*.

Yesterday, a contingent of Peace Shield Forces in 70 armoured vehicles combed the town. Their presence led again to fierce fighting with the bandits.

Maj Gen El Nour El Gubba, Commander of the Peace Shield Forces in the area, told reporters in Saraf Omra that his forces detained seven attackers and seized more than 81 motorcycles. Five paramilitaries were wounded.

"We have now completely control over Saraf Omra. The town is free from criminals, and our message is that we will not allow and will not accept any chaos and destabilisation of the security in the region," he stated.

The commander further reported that armed members of two Rizeigat herders' clans are mobilising forces in nearby Misteriha, after a tribesman was killed. RSF forces have been deployed in the area to contain the situation.

* The Peace Shield Forces, existing of members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia, has been formed to protect the people in Darfur following the exit of the joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on December 31 last year.

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