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Tribal Violence Claims Dozens More Lives in Darfur

After years of obscurity and little international reporting, the ongoing genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region is again in the news.

According to

“Dozens more people have reportedly been killed and wounded as violent clashes between Misseriya and Salamat tribesmen in Central Darfur move into the second week.

“Witnesses have told radio Dabanga that the sound of small arms, heavy machine-gun fire and grenade explosions could again be heard around the cities of Garsila, Mukjar, Bundisi and Deleig.

“Apart from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) fortifying security positions such as the market of Garsila, they report that no attempt has been made by the government to separate the warring tribes.

“Tensions between the tribes have run high since an incident in Umm Dukhun in April, which escalated into running battles between about 4,000 tribesmen from both sides. A reconciliation conference was convened in Zalingei and on 1 July and in spite of sporadic flare-ups of violence between tribesmen,  the tribes announced they had ‘reached an agreement.’ However, the current hostilities are causing sources to question its viability.

“The latest hostilities were sparked on July 22 by an incident between tribesmen in Garsila market in which a Salamat trader died. The ensuing clash spread to Salamat neighborhoods in the city before contingents of the SAF forced them to withdraw from the city itself.”

Civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region face wholesale destruction

According to the Washington Post:

“The United Nations recently estimated that 300,000 Darfuris had been displaced in the first five months of this year; more than 1 million civilians have been displaced since the fall of 2008. Human Rights Watch recently reported that satellite images confirm the wholesale destruction of villages in Central Darfur in an attack in April.

“The attacks were directed by Ali Kushayb, who was indicted in 2007 by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Radio Dabanga — an extraordinary news network organized by Darfuris both displaced and still in the region — provides daily, highly detailed accounts of events in Darfur. Although rarely cited by news organizations, which themselves have no access to Darfur, Radio Dabanga has long reported brutal assaults on camps for the displaced, chronic breakdowns in the vast humanitarian effort in Darfur, an epidemic of rape and the appropriation of African lands by Arab militias, which ensures continued instability and displacement.

“The ethnic animus in the assaults remains clear, although in recent years, conflicts among Arab tribes have become increasingly destructive. The regime in Khartoum, which cannot defeat the Darfuri rebels militarily and chooses not to address their legitimate grievances, has resumed its scorched-earth campaign, using Arab and non-Arab militias against anyone thought to be providing support to the rebels.

“Central Darfur’s Jebel Marra region has been the site of a three-year humanitarian blockade and endless aerial bombardment by Russian-built cargo planes that have been crudely retrofitted to drop shrapnel-loaded barrel-bombs. Useless against military targets, these attacks have caused countless civilian casualties while also destroying property and livestock among the region’s primarily non-Arab Fur people.”

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