BEIRUT

Middle East

Fighting erupts in Darfur's second city: residents

Sarah Nugdallah (R), secretray general of the opposition Sudanese Umma party, announces her party's withdrawl from the national dialogue with the ruling National Congress Party on May 18, 2014, in the capital Khartoum, following the arrest last week by Sudan's state security of Umma leader and ex-premier Sadiq al-Mahdi. Mahdi was arrested after he reportedly accused a counter-insurgency unit of rape and other abuses of civilians in Darfur. AFP PHOTO/EBRAHIM HAMID

KHARTOUM: Heavy fighting erupted in El Fasher Tuesday, residents said, break an uneasy calm in the second most populous city of Sudan's restive Darfur region.

"They are fighting inside El Fasher town -- heavy fighting," one resident told AFP by telephone, adding that he could not identify the combatants, although some were in uniform.

Continuous gunfire was audible over the phone line as he spoke.

A second person in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, said the shooting started at about 4 am (0100 GMT) in the east of the town, and was continuing.

"I heard the sound of heavy weapons," the resident said.

"I am in my house and I'm not going out to work."

Fighting had also been reported in El Fasher on Monday.

In early April, El Fasher residents told an AFP correspondent that the town had been gripped with fear for a month, since government-linked paramilitaries arrived.

They said the hard-faced men were "shooting for no reason" and had a strong presence in El Fasher's east side.

Residents claimed some were from the Rapid Support Forces, a counter-insurgency unit that the head of the UNAMID peacekeeping mission in Darfur said had "perpetrated attacks on communities" as violence rose to alarming levels earlier this year.

Commanders of the RSF last week denied such allegations and said the unit was "on holiday" after completing its Darfur mission.

Similar government-linked units and militias remain in Darfur, but Khartoum has faced mounting economic problems since South Sudan broke away in 2011 and has had difficulty controlling them.

Rebel-government battles are no longer the main source of violence in Darfur, where insurgents from ethnic minority groups launched an uprising against the country's Arab elites in 2003.

The deteriorating economy has led to worsening crime and escalating tribal clashes, a February report by UN chief Ban Ki-moon said.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

Heavy fighting erupted in El Fasher Tuesday, residents said, break an uneasy calm in the second most populous city of Sudan's restive Darfur region.

A second person in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, said the shooting started at about 4 am (0100 GMT) in the east of the town, and was continuing.

Fighting had also been reported in El Fasher on Monday.

In early April, El Fasher residents told an AFP correspondent that the town had been gripped with fear for a month, since government-linked paramilitaries arrived.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here