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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan’s VP calls for calm in South Darfur in the wake of deadly violence

September 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese 2nd Vice President, Al-Hag Adam Youssef, has called upon the residents of South Darfur state capital city of Nyala to remain calm and not to escalate violence following the assassination of a prominent tribal leader in Nyala.

Sudanese vice-president al-Haj Adam Youssef speaks during an interview in Khartoum on 5 December 2012 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Sudanese vice-president al-Haj Adam Youssef speaks during an interview in Khartoum on 5 December 2012 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Last week, Ismail Wadi, a prominent businessman from the Zaghawa tribe, was killed along with his son and a relative by allegedly Janjaweed militia.

At least two people were killed and dozens others wounded when thousands of angry demonstrators clashed with police as they protested Ismail’s killing.

Police fired tear gas when the protesters set fire in the government headquarters building, burning the governor’s car and seven other cars.

Youssef vowed to speed up efforts to capture the killers of Ismail and those who burned the government headquarters building.

The Sudanese VP, who led a delegation from Khartoum and arrived in Nyala on Saturday, said that they were briefed by the government of South Darfur and its security committee on the details of the events, pointing that those who attacked the government headquarters are known to the security apparatus and will be presented to a fair trial.

He said that authorities do not object to peaceful protests but will not allow those who have a “personal agenda” to attack innocent citizens and government properties.

Youssef also announced the execution of a tight plan to secure Nyala and prevent the recurrence of assassination incidents and attacks on individuals and private properties, stressing the ability of the security forces to disarm the unlicensed arms bearers.

He also asserted the need to activate the emergency law until the city is completely secured.

The Sudanese official met with the family of Ismail Wadi and told them that the government is determined to capture the perpetrators and bring them to justice, pointing that security is a collective responsibility.

Youssef and his delegation were unable to go to the mourning tent of Ismail Wadi due to security warnings that it might provoke violence while the governor of East Darfur state, Abdel-Hameed Musa Kasha, was welcomed with cheers upon his arrival at the condolence tent.

The VP described the political role of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in South Darfur as “weak” and urged the NCP members to strengthen the performance to meet the challenges facing the state.

The member of Nyala chambers of commerce and representative of Ismail Wadi’s family, Adam Taha, criticized the lawlessness situation in Nyala, demanding the federal government to provide logistical support for the state security agencies.

The governor of South Darfur, Adam Mahmoud Jar Al-Nabi, issued a resolution to form an investigation committee on the repercussions of Isamil Wadi’s assassination under the chairmanship of Idris Hamid and Colonel Al-Fadil Youssef Mohamed as a rapporteur and representatives from the army, security, and the state’s government.

The NCP and the legislative council in South Darfur state also demanded that the presidency take the necessary decisions to resolve the state’s problems.

The NCP deputy secretary general in South Darfur state, Abdel-Rahman Al-Zain, said that the major problems facing the state are lawlessness, tribal conflicts, rebel groups, railways, and high prices of airlines tickets.

He urged the federal government to resolve those problems besides the problem of the wages of government employees, saying that employees’ wages arrears reached 300 million pounds within the last ten years.

Al-Zain also complained about the continuous change of governors, demanding a decisive move on the issue of the pro-government militias particularly the border guards force.

South Darfur State and its capital Nyala, the largest town in the region, have been witnessing a state of security breakdown recently. Incidents of armed robbery have increased and a protest over price rises last July saw the authorities killing 13 people most of them are teenagers.

Last July, deadly clashes erupted between members of security apparatus and a tribal militia which led to the death of First Lieutenant Ammar Anwar al-Haj and police assistant Mohammed Abdullah Sharara who is nicknamed ‘Dekrom’ and also hails from the powerful Rezeigat tribe, amid reports that militiamen continue to hide in the town’s neighborhoods.

The upsurge of violence in Darfur brings the region back to the fore after its conflict was overshadowed by more recent wars in Sudan’s southern regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.