Violence Spikes in Darfur Amid Nationwide Protests

Article Summary
Violence in Sudan’s Darfur province has spiked again as protests rock the rest of Sudan. Al Nour Ahmad al Nour reports that the town of Kutum has seen the worst violence, with kidnappings, murders and armed robberies claiming the lives of at least 20 civilians across the province each day.

The security situation has deteriorated in many areas of the Darfur province, while the pace of killings and reprisals is threatening to spiral out of control. A UN official told Al-Hayat yesterday [August 6] that Khartoum has witnessed extensive violence over the past few weeks, resulting in dozens of civilian deaths. He added that “the increasing rate of violence is a growing concern,” given that 20 civilians are killed every day in various parts of Darfur. This is the same rate that was witnessed at the height of confrontations between government troops and rebels in Darfur in 2004.

The official warned of repeated reprisal killings, which were witnessed by the town of Kutum in North Darfur state last week. This warning followed the killing of the head of Al-Waha district along with his driver in the city market, as well as other reprisal campaigns by gunmen that claimed the lives of displaced residents and policemen. He continued, saying that protests in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, had resulted in the shooting deaths of 12 people.

Furthermore, kidnappings, armed robberies and murders continue every day across the five states of Darfur. Tijani Sissi, head of the Darfur Regional Authority, said the situation has worsened in Kutum following the district head’s assassination. He added that the area had witnessed extensive looting and pillaging, necessitating intervention by the armed forces in order to restore security and stability. This comes in the wake of the killing of a number of displaced persons and the burning of the Kassab refugee camp. Sissi condemned the incidents that took place in Nyala and Kutum, describing this behavior as extremely dangerous, and said that those found to be involved in these incidents will be prosecuted.

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been heavily deployed in and around Kutum in the state of North Darfur. The SAF spokesman, Col. Alswarmi Khaled Saad, said the recent developments in the region prompted the military to act to restore security and stability, adding that two government soldiers were killed and two others injured when dealing with “lawless” rioters in the city market.

South Sudan has accused the international community of siding with neighboring Sudan in recent talks regarding oil deals, security and the demarcation of the border. In a news conference held in Juba, Bakam Amoum, senior negotiator for South Sudan, said that the international community’s bias toward Sudan was extremely evident.

A US news report revealed that the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, admitted that his country has provided military and logistical support to the rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, which border South Sudan. The report said that Mayardit formally apologized to US President Obama for previously denying his support to Sudanese rebels.

Found in: sudan uprising, sudan spring, sudan, oil in sudan, oil, darfur, armed factions in darfur

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