El Fasher, 14 August 2013 – The Joint Special Representative and head of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur, Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, expresses his deep concern over the high number of casualties as a result of clashes between the Rezeigat and Ma’alia in and around El Daein and Adila, East Darfur.
“The violence must stop for the sake of everyone caught in this terrible ordeal. Fighting is not the answer and I urge all parties to resolve their differences through dialogue,” said Mr. Chambas, who today is in meetings over the situation with the Chairperson of the Darfur Regional Authority, Dr. Eltijani Seisi.
Tensions between the Rezeigat and Ma’alia were reportedly triggered earlier this month by unresolved disputes concerning access to land resources. Over the past week, the security situation deteriorated in the area as clashes broke out leading to an increase in criminality which has adversely affected the civilian population.
In response, UNAMID increased its presence and patrolling in the area and transported officials from the Darfur Regional Authority to the locality to support cessation of hostilities. The Mission also sent senior personnel to the field to provide technical advice in the mediation.
In connection with the unrest, on 12 August, a UNAMID patrol was attacked by a mob in El Daein town. The patrol was able to extract itself and return safely to the Mission’s base.
Government-led mediation efforts, supported by the Mission, to defuse tensions and restore stability are ongoing.