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Sudanese government ignores West Darfur demands for military reinforcements: official


Tribal attacks West Darfur
Abandoned village in Adikonk area, located north of Geneina and close to the Chadian border following inter communal attacks (photo ST)

April 16, 2022 (GENEINA)- A senior official in West Darfur complained on Saturday that the federal authorities in Khartoum have ignored demands of the state government to provide needed military reinforcements enabling them to quell chronic tribal violence in the state.

West Darfur State has witnessed tribal conflicts that have claimed the lives of large numbers of people and displaced thousands now residing in shelters inside the city of El Geneina or taking refuge in refugee camps in neighbouring Chad.

A state official told the Sudan Tribune that the state government had made many demands to the Sovereign Council and the prime minister before the October 25 coup, to provide military equipment, including warplanes.

Also, the state government requested to replace the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) deployed in West Darfur with forces from outside Darfur in order to avoid colliding with this or that tribal component.

“It seems that there are people in the centre who are working hard to prevent the state government to get the needed military capabilities,” added the official who was speaking under the cover of anonymity.

Also, he confirmed that they have security reports about security forces deployed in the area who side with their tribes in the intercommunal clashes.

The Jebel Moon area, which is close to the Chadian border but also other areas in West Darfur witness frequent clashes between Arab nomad tribes and Massalit farmers. The Arab gunmen used advanced weapons that exceed the military equipment available to government forces there.

The Masalit accused, on several occasions, the Rapid Support Forces, made up of the Arab tribesmen in the region, of favouring and supporting the Arab tribes. They are also accused of turning a blind eye to the attacks carried out by their clan members.

For their part, the Arab groups point an accusing finger at the former Massalit rebels who regained their area after the end of the war with their weapons saying they aggress and attack them for no reason seeking revenge.

Minnawi orders

According to the state official, Darfur Governor Minni Minnawi who is currently visiting West Darfur directed to replace the security forces deployed in the area.

“But Minnawi’s directives will not be implemented because that is not within his competence, as he so far does not have known powers,” he added.

Former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok appointed Minnawi as the governor of the Darfur region on May 2, 2021, in line with the Juba Peace Agreement.

However, the transitional government did not adopt a law defining the powers and competencies of the region’s governor.

“Such directives should be issued by the Sovereign Council in accordance with the state of emergency declared on October 25,” he added referring to the military coup.

The farmers in the area say that these regular attacks against them aim to expel them from their lands and to prospect for gold and precious metals in the Jebel Moon area.

The Sudan Tribune failed to reach the state governor after several attempts to speak with him.

The official spoke about recent inter-communal attacks in Adikonk area north of Geneina close to the Chadian border.

He pointed out that its residents fled to refugees camps in eastern Chad, and the assailants burned large parts of the area and looted the residents’ properties.

Mohamed Deby the head of the Transitional Military Council in Chad last February expressed fears that the tribal violence in West Darfur spills over into the Chadian side of the borders.

The statements prompted the head of the Sovereign Council to visit N’Djamena at the end of March to discuss the matter and agree with Deby to strengthen the joint patrols in the region.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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