UN peacekeepers warn of imminent flare-up in Darfur

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Sudanese troubled Darfur has warned of "imminent tribal clashes’’ in the region.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Sudanese troubled Darfur has warned of "imminent tribal clashes’’ in the region.

The mission has expressed its concern as the both the Rezeigat and Ma’alia communities have massed troops in East Darfur State.

‘’The United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (Unamid) expresses serious concern over the recent escalation of tensions between the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia tribes in East Darfur,’’ read a Unamid statement seen by the Africa Review Monday.

‘’Unamid encourages the leaders and members of both tribes to exercise maximum restraint, engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their dispute and refrain from all acts that would lead to violence and displacement,’’ the statement further urged.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the repeated attacks between Ma’alia and Rezeigat during the past three years.

Unamid has also welcomed the government reinforcements sent to East Darfur to create a buffer zone between the two communities.

The mission has also announced it would intervene to protect the civilians according to its mandate.

People were killed

“The Mission welcomes the deployment of additional troops by the Government of Sudan to create a buffer zone between the two tribes, as well as its ongoing efforts to de-escalate the tension. Unamid calls on the government to further intensify its efforts to avoid potential eruption of conflict,” the UN statement said.

A local state radio called on the members of the two communities to act with restraint and use the local mechanisms for reconciliation.

In the meantime, the residents of Daen city, the capital of the East Darfur State, told the Press the main market was closed and most of the people stayed at home fearing the eruption of war.

A trader from Ma’alia, Mr Walid Alfazeya, said they had been told by their relatives that thousands of Rezeigat troops had been massed outside the town.

“We anticipate they may attack at any time, so this is why most of the people were staying at home today,’’ he said.

Dozens of people were killed in the last wave of clashes between the two communities in March.

In one of the bloodiest violence between the two communities in August 2009, more than 200 people were killed in one day.

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