Sudan bears primary responsibility to protect civilians in Darfur: says FM

(KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government condemned on Tuesday the bloody intercommunal violence in West and South Darfur states and stressed its responsibility to protect civilians and maintain security in the region.

On 16 January over 159 people were killed in West Darfur capital El-Geneina in revenge attacks by the Arab tribes. Also, at least 40 others lost their lives in tribal clashes between Fallata and Rizeigat tribes in South Darfur over cattle stealing.

The UN chief, the United States and the European Union condemned the bloody attacks which have shown the government’s failure to meet its pledge to protect civilians and to restore security when it called for the withdrawal of the hybrid operation in Darfur known as UNIAMID.

“The Secretary-General calls on the Sudanese authorities to (…) bring an end to the fighting, restore law and order and ensure the protection of civilians, in accordance with the Government’s National Plan for Civilian Protection,” said a statement released by the spokesperson on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Sudanese foreign ministry denounced the tribal violence that led to the death and injury of about 200 civilians in the South and West Darfur states.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms the Sudanese government’s responsibility to maintain security in Darfur and throughout Sudan, as well as its responsibility to protect civilians,” said the foreign ministry.

“The government and peace partners are exerting great efforts to meet these responsibilities, through activating the joint tripartite mechanism and implementing the national plan to protect civilians,” further asserted the statement.

Sudan’s Attorney General formed an investigation committee into the attacks on West Darfur camp of Krinding. The committee, also, has to identify the causes that led to the clashes and the measures taken by state and local authorities.

The West Darfur Governor Mohamed Aldoma had already accused the army force commander in the state of refusing to implement his instructions to restore security and to use force against attackers of the displaced people in Krinding camp.

The West Darfur State on Tuesday evening stated that gunmen sought to attack the residence of the Governor Aldoma at 08:30 pm local time but the security forces repulsed the assailants without further details.

For his part, the head of the EU delegation to Sudan Robert van den Dool discussed the situation in Darfur with Shams al-Din Kabbashi, a member of the Sovereign Council and a leading member of the government peace negotiating team.

“Ambassador van den Dool said that the EU follows with grave concern the recent developments in Darfur in and around El Geneina (..),” read a statement released by the EU mission.

“The European diplomat called for swift implementation of the peace agreement and particularly the measures to ensure the protection of civilians,” further said the statement.

Source: Sudan Tribune