Sudan deploys ‘large numbers’ of troops to South Darfur after violence erupts

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Sudan will deploy “large numbers” of troops to South Darfur state after the killing of 15 people in tribal violence recently, the state news agency cited the state governor as saying on Sunday.

The state is part of the restive Darfur region, in the west of Sudan, which suffered a bitter conflict that erupted in 2003.

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A dispute over a water source between members of the tribes of Masalit and Fallata in Gereida city ended with the killing of two people from the Fallata tribe, SUNA news agency said, citing two local leaders.

One of the leaders said Fallata members responded by killing 13 people from Masalit and wounding 34 others.
Gereida is located 97 kilometers south of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state.

The area witnessed several bloody clashes between the tribes over the last two years, SUNA said. The latest violence is the first since they reached a reconciliation in October, it added.

A meeting of the state security committee with military and local community leaders in Gereida decided to deploy troops “in large numbers” to pursue the perpetrators and collect arms, Mousa Mahdi, the governor of South Darfur told the agency.

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They agreed also on forming an investigation committee, he added.

Conflict spread in Sudan’s western Darfur region from 2003 after mostly non-Arab rebels rose up against Khartoum.

Government forces and mainly Arab militia that moved to repress the revolt were accused of widespread atrocities. An estimated 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced.

In October, Sudan’s transitional authorities finalized a peace deal with some rebel groups from Darfur. But the agreement excluded the group that has been most active on the ground.

Last week, the UN Security Council decided to end the mission of a joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, on Dec.31, more than 13 years after it established the operation.

Many Darfuri residents say UNAMID has not effectively protected them, but they fear its withdrawal will leave them more vulnerable and have staged protests in recent weeks.

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