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Warnings about renewed violence in Jebel Amir

Mohamed Hilali
Tribal leaders in West Darfur warned against renewed clashes between the Beni Hussein and Rizeigat Abbala tribes at Jebel Amir.
20.02.2013  |  Geneina
مدينة الجنينة من أعلى قمة جبل السلطان جنوب المدينة، ويظهر وادي كجا، وهو من اطول الوديان التي تمر من وسط دارفور إلى العمق التشادي، 25 يناير 2013.
مدينة الجنينة من أعلى قمة جبل السلطان جنوب المدينة، ويظهر وادي كجا، وهو من اطول الوديان التي تمر من وسط دارفور إلى العمق التشادي، 25 يناير 2013.

Violent clashes between tribes in Jebel Amir in North Darfur State continue to overshadow the region. Cases of looting were reported in El-Sireaf district, in addition to clashes between gunmen from the Abbala Rizeigat and Beni Hussein tribes, claiming at least ten lives according to tribal leaders speaking on the condition of anonymity last week.

Chadian Consulate in Geneina, January 25.
© The Niles | Mohamed Hilaly
Weapons have proliferated in the region while roads were filled with a large number of violent groups, one of the leaders said in a telephone interview from Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, one of the areas receiving displaced people from Jebel Amir.

He said security agencies must effectively intervene to bring about law and order” to prevent armed clashes similar to those in the area last month, when hundreds were killed and thousands were displaced.

Villages at Jebel Amir were torched and looted, and armed tribesmen have closed several roads to prevent the UN observers from arriving at the region, the UN reported at the time.

The clashes broke out following a dispute between the owner of a gold rich land from Beni Hussein at Jebel Amir, and a tenant from the Mahamid Abbala tribe. The dispute developed and led to a death, sparking tragic confrontations between the two sides.

About 100,000 displaced people fled from Jebel Amir, the majority of whom arrived in Geneina, seeking shelter in the Chadian Consulate offices. In a statement made on January 27, OCHA said, many of these people are living in the open in appalling conditions”.

Kamal Omar, Political Secretary of the opposition Popular Congress Party.
© The Niles | Mohamed Hilaly
Jebel Amir is about 250 kilometre away from the city of El-Fasher, and around half this distance from Geneina. Passing through the city is the famous Wadi Kaja, which goes through the middle of Darfur deep into Chad, making it one of the world’s longest valleys.

In Jebel Amir a number of unregulated groups search for gold comprising large numbers of unemployed Sudanese and other Africans.

During the clashes at the start of the year, doctors from Geneina Hospital stressed that the government and military hospitals in El-Fasher and Geneina were filled with hundreds of casualties, while the search for thousands of missing people is still ongoing.

The UNAMID mission, meanwhile, expressed great concern over the inter-ethnic fierce fighting, urging the Sudanese Governments, North Darfur authorities and leaders from both ethic groups to end fighting and give dialogue a chance”.