Armed conflict in Darfur … How can people and properties be saved in Sudan?

Armed conflicts concerning farmlands escalate in Sudan’s Darfur province on a daily basis. More than 60 people were killed last Saturday in an attack in one region of the province, preceded by a first struggle earlier, killed three people, including a woman. The conflicts are led by armed farmers and herders.

The two incidents were preceded by an attack that took place at the beginning of this month, which affected a peaceful sit-in by some people from the Vattaprono region (north), leaving at least nine people dead, in addition to the incidents of setting fire to government headquarters in Kutum city, including the police station. Moreover, the city of Al-Geneina witnessed tribal conflicts that claimed dozens of dead and wounded people. South Darfur also faced tribal fighting that resulted in 30 deaths in last May.

The ethnic conflict has been exacerbated due to the lack of arable land, a constant situation that left the transitional government in Khartoum unable to resolve. This regional conflict is originally an ethnic one between African and Arab Bedouin tribes that started in 2003, resulted in the death of 300 thousand people and led to the displacement of 2,500,000 people.

Sudan has a central administrative system, the Darfur province is inhabited mainly by Muslims. However, it is defined as an African region, with contempt towards the Sudanese authorities in the capital Khartoum, where democrats, the army and mercenaries continue to tacitly compete seizing power there.

Violence returns

In the past few days, bloody violence returned strongly to Darfur after a relative lull that lasted for years, especially after the fall of President Omar Al-Bashir’s regime. Authorities and parties blame the local governments in Darfur, accusing them of failing to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians.

The United Nations Office of Humanitarian Aid in Sudan earlier warned of a violent escalation in Darfur and its humanitarian consequences of increased displacement and hence endangering the planting season. It also states that the tension remains high in West Darfur, after a rapid increase of security incidents in recent weeks, revealing seven incidents of violence in the period from 19 to 26 of this month.

Furthermore, the UN believes that there are many factors increasing the frequency of violence, including the continued presence of armed movements in the region, external interference, tribal conflicts, as well as the presence of entities seeking to ruin Arab societies. Nevertheless, people of Darfur hope to obtain security and stability after the success of the revolution and the overthrow of the previous regime.

In the past days, the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk has appointed 18 governors, five of them in Darfur, without clearly specifying their powers, which could weaken their security duties.

The Sudanese government had rushed to summon the Security and Defense Council, which held a meeting on Sunday. It decided to do everything possible to impose the government’s dominance through the use of legal force required by law, aiming to save lives and properties and to stop the lawlessness and to address the outlaws. The Minister of Interior, Al-Tarifi Al-Siddiq, said in a press statement after the meeting, that the Security and Defense Council stressed the need to urgently send forces from the center to the areas of the security incidents in the country to achieve security and stability.

Cultural Revolution

A number of political and security analysts argue that the announced negotiations with the rebel movements would not necessarily be the solution, since the rebels do not represent the population, besides that these negotiations are led by a controversial person, Muhammad Hamdan Diqlo, known as “Hamidati“. He is the leader of the Rapid Support Forces, a former militia in Darfur, accused of committing many crimes. The analysts consider that there is an urge for a cultural revolution in Sudan, and the province of Darfur must be supported in order to improve the situation, especially that the province is close to the borders of Libya, a distinctive way to smuggle weapons. Despite the wealth and agricultural capacity of the province, as well as having copper and uranium, about three million residents of Darfur are suffering from hunger.

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