Report – Darfur 24

The “Darfur 24” website publishes a series of eyewitness accounts that show for the first time an aspect of the reality of the bloody conflict that plunged the city of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, nine days after the outbreak of war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in the capital, Khartoum.

These days mark the first anniversary of what was known as the “Geneina War,” whose true classification opinions differed. While some citizens of the state see it as an old, renewed tribal war between “Masalit and Arab tribes,” others consider it to be an expansion of the circle of war between the army and the Rapid Support in a region with complex demographics and complex demographics. Security fragility and societal disintegration amid a large spread of warring armies and militias.

Before the start of the war in Khartoum, the atmosphere in the capital of West Darfur state was dominated by security tension and the spread of hate speech and racial discrimination. Employment in many government institutions appeared on the basis of tribe rather than organizational and political affiliations.

After the outbreak of the April 15, 2023 war in Khartoum, both sides of the conflict exploited the complexities of the security situation and the tribal mobilization in El Geneina to obtain fighters.

It was clear that the military intelligence of the Sudanese army was striving to quickly transfer the war to El Geneina, perhaps to tighten the edges and relieve pressure on Khartoum, especially since most of the Rapid Support Forces soldiers came from West Darfur state.

Also, the government of West Darfur, led by the governor who was later killed, Khamis Abdullah Abkar, was not isolated from the circle of conflict, and the forces of the Sudanese Alliance Movement led by the governor and the militias allied with them, such as “Colombia – and the Sons of Ness,” did not hide their bias towards the Sudanese army in its war against the Rapid Support Forces. Its fighters, who are descended from the Masalit tribe, have officially engaged in the conflict against the Arab tribes supported by the Rapid Support Forces.

During the nine days “the period of time between the Khartoum and El Geneina wars,” the city witnessed three separate killing incidents that were clearly an attempt to ignite a fire in the city, which is lying on top of the powder kegs of tribal strife.

According to the “Darfur 24” correspondent, who was an eyewitness to the events in El Geneina from the moment before the explosion, a force affiliated with the Sudanese Alliance Movement, led by Governor Khamis Abkar, moved on April 18 from the Kandbi area, north of El Geneina, towards the Mistri area, south of the city, to follow the trail of a stolen horse, according to what was reported. It was nominated by Anba, and on its way to the city center, it passed through “Al-Jabal Neighborhood,” Block 6, which is inhabited by Arab tribes, where one of the soldiers shot a child named “Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Jabara” in the head, who was not more than 10 years old, before the force fled.

The second incident occurred on April 21, when a group called the “Columbia Gang” opened fire on a person as he crossed the main street in the customs area. The person belonged to the Arab tribes.

While the third incident occurred on April 22 in front of the house of the governor, Khamis Abkar, where his guards opened fire on a car that was passing on the main street, which led to the death of three people, including two brothers, all of whom belong to the Arab tribes. They are “Muhammad Issa Qabaqi, Hamdan Issa Qabaqi, and Muhammad Musa Abu.” .

Hours later, the leaders of the Arab tribes held a stormy meeting with the state’s security committee, and after confronting the governor with the facts confirming the involvement of his forces in the aforementioned incidents, he announced his commitment to pay the blood money for the victims of the latest incident.

The evidence is that the leaders of the civil administration and some community figures in the city of El Geneina played continuous roles during which they were able to temporarily stave off the strife and deny the opportunity to those who were seeking to awaken it.

The civil leaders and people of the state, with their various names, rushed to put forward a community initiative under the slogan “Together for the stability of the state of West Darfur,” headed by the head of the civil administration at the time, the leader of the Masalit tribe, Sultan Saad Abdel Rahman Bahr al-Din, and with the participation of the leaders of both sides of the tribal war, “the Masalit and the Arab tribes,” to stop all forms of hostilities and reject the discourse. The hatred.

The initiative stipulates that the forces of both sides of the war, the Army and Rapid Support, remain in their areas of control and do not move except with prior coordination and notification of the State Security Committee.

On April 23, 2023 AD, all civil leaders, unions, imams, preachers, merchants, and leaders of neutral tribes met, and everyone, including the state government, agreed to implement an “inclusive meeting event” in the main square south of El Geneina Hospital, addressed by the governor of West Darfur, Khamis Abdullah Abkar, his deputy, Tjani Al-Taher Karshoum, and the leaders of my tribe. Masalit and Arab tribes to herald the agreement to stop hostilities, reassure citizens and urge them on the importance of peaceful coexistence and opening markets.

Spark of fire
At nine in the morning on Monday, the fourteenth of June, while crowds of citizens and civil leaders began to converge towards the meeting place, which was expected to kill the perpetrator of the strife and spare El Geneina from conflict, intermittent gunfire was heard, which quickly developed into direct clashes in the customs area west of El Geneina, where The headquarters of the Rapid Support Forces Command, which is adjacent to the headquarters of the Sudanese-Chadian Joint Forces.

It later became clear that they were clashes between a force affiliated with the Sudanese army that moved from its position of control in the “Ardamta” area, north of El Geneina, to its west, without prior permission from the Security Committee and coordination with the Rapid Support Forces, according to what was stipulated in the community initiative.

According to the army’s account, which was obtained by the “Darfur 24” correspondent, the force that moved towards customs consisted of ten cars that were on their way to the headquarters of the Sudanese-Chadian joint forces to receive civilian protection vehicles.