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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora