January10, 2016(EL-GENEINA) – Throngs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Sunday stormed the premises of the government of West Darfur State for fear of armed militia attacks. But, local security authorities forcefully evacuated them amid conflicting reports about fatalities in the incident.
The IDPs fled Moli village, 20 KM South of El-Genaina to the state capital after the murder of a pastoralist near their area, fearing revenge attacks.
The state’s government spokesperson, Abdallah Mustafa, told Sudan Tribune that the villagers headed towards El-Genaina , hoping to find refuge in the nearby IDP camps.
Mustafa further accused some “political entities” , he did not name, of having exploited the situation and “instigated the crowd to protest inside the Government premises”.
He said some IDPs began to sabotage and burning cars and spread chaos. Then the situation forced the authorities to intervene.
He stressed the situation is under control and returned to normal after the evacuation of protesters from the government building.
Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that more than one thousand IDPs, mostly women and children, entered the government building, carrying their belongings on donkeys.
The presence of the Federal Minister of Social Welfare Masha’ir al-Dawallab , in the premises of West Darfur state prompted the security to evacuate the IDPs.
The state government categorically denied any fatalities during the evacuation of the protesters.
However eyewitnesses confirmed to Sudan Tribune the killing of three persons by the security that used live ammunition and tear gas.
The witnesses said not less than 27 persons were hurt while many others had fainted due to the tear gas and were taken to hospital.
So far, no official figure was released about the number of the victims.
Regarding the reasons of the displacement of the villagers, the IDPs said they decided to leave their home area after threats by the pro-government militiamen to burn the village after the herder’s body was found near Moli.
The militia gave them two days to implement one of two options: to pay blood money (diyya) or to surrender his killer.
As the villagers failed to respond positively, the militias carried out widespread attacks, burning the village and looting the locals belongings a matter that prompted a mass exodus from the villages in the areas towards the premises of the state government.
The West Darfur is seen as a safe state in the troubled region where the tribal violence replaced fighting between the government forces and rebels.
The Sudan Liberation Movement – Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) condemned the brutality of the security forces, and said the state government and to provide protection not to kill them.
”Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement strongly condemns the vicious attack on Moli village, south of El Geneina in West Darfur, resulting in the burning of the entire village and the displacement of all its citizens,” said JEM spokesperson Gibreel Adam Bilal.
Bilal further slammed West Darfur government for failing to provide protection to the civilians or to hear their complaint.
The spokesman of the office of the SLM-AW chairman, Mohamed Abdel Rahman al-Nayer said the number of the victims reached 10 people. He further said the militiamen burned down six villages outside El-Geneina.
Al-Nayer called on the African Union and the UN as well as the joint peacekeeping mission UNAMID to investigate the incident and to shoulder their responsibility of protecting the citizens.
He also urged rights groups to campaign for an investigation by regional and international right institutions.