News / Africa

Darfur Tribal Hostilities, Violence Intensify

UNAMID vehicle after ambush that killed seven peacekeepers and wounded several military, police personnel, Khor Abeche, South Darfur, July 14, 2013.
UNAMID vehicle after ambush that killed seven peacekeepers and wounded several military, police personnel, Khor Abeche, South Darfur, July 14, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
Fighting has intensified in recent months in Sudan’s Darfur region, with hundreds of people killed in ongoing battles between rival Arab communities.
 
Observers say the government is losing control over the very militias they once armed to wage war against rebel groups.
 
According to the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID), some 300,000 people have been displaced by this new wave of tribal strife that has seen villages burn, markets close and people wounded.
 
Darfur has been a battleground between government forces and rebel militias since 2003, a conflict Khartoum sustained by providing arms to allied Arab tribes.
 
Abdullah Adam Khatir, a writer and analyst in Darfur, told VOA the current violence is a direct result of the government’s policies.
 
"Today, the same arms in the hands of these Arab tribes, they are pointed against each other," he said.
 
Sudan officials, left, and leaders of Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes, right, at conference aiming to put end to ongoing violence in Darfur, July 27, 2013.Sudan officials, left, and leaders of Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes, right, at conference aiming to put end to ongoing violence in Darfur, July 27, 2013.
x
Sudan officials, left, and leaders of Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes, right, at conference aiming to put end to ongoing violence in Darfur, July 27, 2013.
Sudan officials, left, and leaders of Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes, right, at conference aiming to put end to ongoing violence in Darfur, July 27, 2013.
Much of the fighting has stemmed from disputes over natural resources in the area, including cattle and grazing land in East Darfur, gold in the North and gum arabic — an ingredient in colas — in the South.
 
Khartoum has sent delegates to engage in local mediation efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the fighting.
 
The Sudan Tribune reported the governor of North Darfur State had negotiated a truce between members of the Maaliya and Rezeigat tribes in the North. But previous cease-fires have not held, and it is not yet clear if such a deal would also pacify East Darfur, the scene of the most recent fighting.
 
Khatir, the Darfurian writer, said citizens in the area are hoping for the best from these talks but said Khartoum has lost much of the influence it once had with its former allies.
 
"The government is just trying to pacify them whenever it's possible, but it cannot take the arms from them," he said. "It cannot take the power given to them."
 
In a press statement Wednesday, as reported by Radio Dabanga, East Darfur Governor Abdul Hamid Musa Kasha said the state is not in control of the situation and warned that because of an influx of fighters to the region, he expects the conflict to "explode at any moment."
 
UNAMID also has expressed concerns about rising tensions and has increased patrols on the ground in affected areas.
 
But the acting spokesperson for the force, Chris Cycmanick, said the peacekeepers will not become directly engaged in the fighting.
 
"One of the problems that we face is that we simply cannot become a party to the conflict," he said. "That is, if there are two groups that are fighting, if it’s tribal violence, we simply wouldn’t get in the middle of it. You know, we remain impartial."
 
The violence has also turned against the peacekeepers. The force says the most recent incident was August 12 when a mob in El Daein, the capital of East Darfur state, attacked a UNAMID patrol. Nobody was injured.
 
The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government, which they accuse of neglecting the region and hoarding power.
 
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, while about 1.4 million of the displaced continue to live in camps.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs