Africa Dozens killed in Darfur tribal clashes: UNAMID

Dozens killed in Darfur tribal clashes: UNAMID

unamid(AA) – The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Tuesday confirmed that dozens of people had been killed in tribal clashes in the western Sudanese province.

UNAMID spokesman Ashraf Issa said that at least 50 people were seriously injured in clashes between Ma’alia and Reziegat tribes in East Darfur State.

“UNAMID strongly deplores the rapid deterioration of tensions between the Ma’alia and the Reziegat tribes into armed confrontations [that resulted in] the death of dozens of fighters from both sides and the injury of many others,” Issa told Anadolu Agency.

“The mission remains gravely concerned about the continued mobilization on both sides despite a temporary lull in the fighting,” he said.

The spokesman said that UNAMID was ready to provide help to Sudanese authorities in evacuating people injured in the clashes to Khartoum.

“[The mission] also provided medical authorities of East Darfur State with medicines and other surgical equipment which were in short supply,” he said.

“Mission officials are, in the meantime, coordinating closely with the UN Country Team to facilitate delivery of critically urgent assistance to those affected by the conflict,” Issa said.

UNAMID has been operating in Darfur since early 2008.

Since 2003, Darfur has been the scene of a simmering conflict between the Sudanese government and three rebel movements, which, according to the UN, has left some 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced.

In 2009, the Darfur conflict prompted the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir amid allegations that Sudanese troops and allied militias had committed atrocities in the troubled region.

-Tense-

The Sudanese government, meanwhile, said that an investigation team has arrived in Daen city, the capital of East Darfur State, to look into the causes of the clashes.

“It’s so regretted that these tribal clashes have claimed the lives of this big numbers of our people,” presidential aide Ibrahim Ghandour told reporters.

“We call on all the people to restrain and distance themselves from this violence,” he said.

Residents of Daen city said that the situation remains tense in East Darfur State despite a lull in the fighting.

Algali Hussien from Ma’alia tribe told Anadolu Agency that thousands of armed men from Rezigat tribe have attacked Abu Karinka locality on Monday.

“The fighting was very fierce as thousands of fighters took part in the clashes,” he recalled. “A lot of people have been killed. But we can’t count them.”

Fadul Ahmed from Reziegat tribe, for his part, said both tribes were likely to resume their fighting.

“We call on our people from both sides to abandon the violence and exercise restraint to solve the problem,” he said.

The two tribes have engaged in fighting in the past over land ownership.

Dozens of people were killed in the last wave of clashes between the two tribes in March.

In 2009, more than 200 people were killed in one day of fighting between the two rival tribes.

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