Sudan: Ethnical Violence in Kordofan Leaves Seven Dead

Kadugli / El Nehoud — Five people were killed and four others wounded in tribal clashes in the outskirts of Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, on Thursday. In West Kordofan, two people died in an attack on a village near El Nehoud.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that the fighting that broke out in northern Kadugli yesterday morning was triggered by the kidnapping of a Nuba coal miner by members of the Arab Baggara tribe on Wednesday.

The victim’s relatives and other people living in the Kalba neighbourhood in the northern outskirts of Kadugli, closed the road to Delling to protest the kidnapping and demand the release of their fellow tribesman. In skirmishes that followed, two people were killed and a third was wounded.

The sources said that the violence expanded to Logri, east of Kadugli, where three people were killed and another was wounded in an attack by Baggara gunmen on Nuba farmers in the area later that day.

The insecurity led to unrest inside Kadugli. The town’s Grand Market closed its doors.

‘Absence of the state’

In West Kordofan, at least two people were killed and three others wounded on Wednesday, in an attack by armed men on the village of Ajak, southeast of El Nehoud.

Listeners from the area reported yesterday that the attackers plundered the village after which they set a number of houses on fire.

Abdelgadir Munim Mansour, head of the Humur clans, accused “certain parties” of “striving to ignite strife and tribal conflicts in the region”.

He told Radio Dabanga that he holds the government fully responsible for the violence. “This attack could happen because of the absence of the state. We, native administration* leaders, do not have weapons, forces, or any competence to prevent such attacks.”

According to reports by the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) earlier this week, at least 145 Sudanese were killed and more than 180 others were injured in inter-communal fighting in Darfur and Kordofan this month. The violence is often triggered by conflicts over natural resources between communities, though, as it is alleged, some attacks are caused by third parties. The absence of the Rule of Law and poor employment and payment of policemen, in addition to the proliferation of arms in the country, exacerbates the insecurity.

* Sudan’s native administration system was set up by British colonial authorities in the first quarter of the twentieth century – who sought a pragmatic system of governance that allowed for effective control with limited investment and oversight by the state, Audrey Bottjen writes on the website of The Conflict Sensitivity Facility. The British divide-and-rule tactic to increase the political relevance of the tribe has since been used by successive Sudanese regimes for similar policies.

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