Sudan: Armed Men Attack Villages in North Darfur's Tawila

Tawila / El Fasher — At least one person was wounded, five children went missing, and hundreds of people fled their villages in Tawila, North Darfur, on Friday and Saturday, following attacks by groups of gunmen. The North Darfur authorities say the violence was triggered by disputes over the use of agricultural land.

One of the victims told Radio Dabanga that dozens of armed men in vehicles and on motorcycles, camels and horses attacked the villages of Kolgi, Gallab, Kadarek, Um Siyala, Adara, Um Arda and East Um Ghubeysha in Tawila locality.

The area is inhabited by displaced people from the Zamzam camp near the state capital El Fasher, who temporarily returned to the villages to tend their land during the current agricultural season.

The attackers torn the shelters apart and took away all properties of the displaced.

The sudden violence caused the people to run in all directions. Five children went missing, the source said. Most of the victims fled to nearby Tabit or the Zamzam camp.

Mohamed Adam, a vehicle driver, sustained bullet wounds and also burns when his car was torched in the attacks on Friday.

Another victim reported that the road connecting El Fasher with Nyala, capital of South Darfur is closed since Saturday, as the gunmen are blocking the traffic in the area of Gallab.

Displaced people closed the road between Tawila and Zamzam in protest against the attacks. They demand Nimir Abdelrahman, Governor of North Darfur, to urgently intervene and protect them.

Frictions

The North Darfur state Security Committee described what happened in the area of Kolgi in Tawila locality as "frictions over agricultural lands between a group of Arab tribes and Zaghawa tribesmen in the past two days.

In a press statement yesterday, the committee said it had dispatched a joint force of 15 combat vehicles to contain the tensions.

The head of the committee, State Governor Nimir Abdelrahman said that the force arrived in Tawila on Saturday and managed to control the situation. The force will remain in the area "to monitor the situation and prevent the recurrence of conflict between the two parties".

The Security Committee has further ordered the establishment of a committee of civil administration leaders in order to address the dispute over the agricultural lands in the Kolgi area and to enable the displaced farmers to safely cultivate their lands.

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