UNAMID concerned about hostilities in East Darfur, impact on civilians

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur has expressed concern over the recent clashes between two Darfurian tribes that left dozens dead, with tension still running high in East Darfur state, near the borders with South Sudan and Central African Republic.

A press release issued by UNAMID on Wednesday said the Joint Special Representative and head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has expressed his "deep concern" over the high number of casualties as a result of clashes between the Rezeigat and Ma’alia in and around El Daein and Adila, East Darfur.

“The violence must stop for the sake of everyone caught in this terrible ordeal. Fighting is not the answer and I urge all parties to resolve their differences through dialogue,” the press release quoted Dr. Chambas as saying.

He met on Wednesday with the Chairperson of the Darfur Regional Authority, Dr. Eltijani Seisi, the overall political authority in the five states of Darfur region  

The release said tensions between the Rezeigat and Ma’alia were reportedly triggered earlier this month by unresolved disputes concerning access to land resources.

Over the past week, the security situation had deteriorated in the area as clashes broke out leading to an increase in criminality which has adversely affected the civilian population.
In response, the release explained, UNAMID increased its presence and patrols in the area and transported officials from the Darfur Regional Authority to the locality to support cessation of hostilities. The Mission also sent senior personnel to the field to provide technical advice in the mediation.  

It said that in connection with the unrest, on 12 August, a UNAMID patrol was attacked by a mob in El Daein town. The patrol was able to extract itself and return safely to the Mission’s base.

Government-led mediation efforts, supported by the Mission, to defuse tension and restore stability are ongoing.

Press reports published in Khartoum during the week said dozens were killed and scores injured on both sides with tension running high in the region.

PANA notes that both the Rezeigat and Ma’alia are Darfurians of Arab origin, the first being nomads and the second sedentary farmers.
-0- PANA MO/MA 14Aug2013

14 august 2013 20:22:57

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