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Sudanese president calls to end tribal clashes in Darfur

April 5, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir has warned residents of East Darfur state against the consequences of taking the law into their own hands and renewed government determination to disarm tribal militias.

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Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir (C) waives to the crowd in El Fasher on 1 April 2016 (ST Photo)

Bashir, who addressed a public rally in East Darfur capital, Ed-Daein at the end of a five-day tour in the region Tuesday, reiterated his government intention proceed with the plan to collect arms from civilians voluntarily before it takes legal action against those who refuse to deliver their weapons.

On Saturday, Bashir announced the formation of a national body for the collection of illegal arms in Darfur region.

East Darfur state is witnessing one of the longest and most deadly clashes in the region between the Rezeigat and the Ma’alia tribes since 1966. The conflict between the two tribes is triggered by disputes over land ownership.

Bashir stressed that arms would only be held by regular forces, saying that individual citizens must resort to police and the judiciary for the restitution of rights.

He urged the residents to refrain from killing innocent souls, pointing that tribal clashes is an old phenomenon but people in the past have enjoyed “good spirits”.

The Sudanese President acknowledged that East Darfur deserves a special attention particularly as it is a newborn state, promising to provide water, electricity, health and education services besides building roads.

He called on the residents to provide support for maintaining security because “development couldn’t be achieved without peace and security”.

Bashir further demanded the residents of East Darfur to participate effectively in the upcoming referendum.

Darfur residents are called to vote from 11 to 13 April on whether or not the region will keep its five states or reunite as one entity with a semi-autonomous administration.

REFERENDUM IS A CONSPIRACY

Meanwhile, the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Arku Minnawi has described the administrative referendum as “mere play”.

SLM-MM deputy chairman for political affairs, Abu Obieda al-Khalifa, described the genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by Bashir in Darfur as the “crime of the century”, saying Darfur people would legally prosecute him sooner or later.

He said in press statements on Tuesday that the regime is at its weakest stages, describing the claims regarding its military power as “great illusion”.

Al-Khalifa pointed that the Darfur referendum is nothing but a play aimed at continuing genocide and ethnic cleansing.

He added that several residents have been killed on Monday morning in aerial attacks against areas west of Fanga, downplaying recent government claims that it has crushed rebellion in Darfur.

“National liberation movements are no longer military forces but a project of liberation, values and concepts that have been adopted by all Sudanese people,” he said.

He pointed to the demonstrations held by the IDP’s in conjunction with Bashir’s visit to Darfur, saying the political conflict in Sudan can’t be resolved by speeches, forgery and buying of conscience but rather by punishing war criminals, restoring democracy, allowing freedoms, recognizing the other and achieving social justice.

(ST)