Sudanese group says new tribal clashes leave 168 dead in Darfur
Sudanese aid group says tribal clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs in war-ravaged Darfur region have left 168 dead
CAIRO — Tribal clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region killed 168 people on Sunday, a local aid group said, in one of the deadliest episodes of violence in the world. country in recent years.
The tribal clashes also raise questions about whether military leaders are capable of bringing security to Darfur, which has been ravaged by years of civil war. In 2020, the UN Security Council ended its known peacekeeping mission there.
Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced Persons in Darfur, said Sunday’s fighting in the Kreinik area of West Darfur also left 98 injured.
The fighting stemmed from the killing of two people by unknown assailants on Thursday, he said.
Early on Sunday, a large number of people armed with heavy weapons launched a major attack on Kreinik, burning and looting properties, Regal said. The fighting lasted for several hours and forced thousands to flee their homes, he said.
Regal, whose group provides food and other assistance to displaced people in the area, shared footage of destroyed homes in the area, with some footage showing pickup trucks armed with machine guns.
The clashes eventually reached Genena, where militias and armed groups attacked injured people while they were being treated at the city’s main hospital, said Salah Saleh, a doctor and former medical director of the hospital.
“The area was burned and many people were killed (…) There was no intervention” from the local government to stop the fighting, he said.
Authorities said they had deployed more troops and a military aircraft to the area since Thursday’s fighting that left eight people dead and at least 16 injured.
Volker Perthes, the UN envoy for Sudan, deplored “the heinous killings of civilians…as well as attacks on health facilities” in West Darfur.
He called for a thorough and transparent investigation and holding those responsible accountable.
Darfur has seen deadly fighting between rival tribes in recent months as the country remains mired in a wider crisis following the October coup. Kreinik was the scene of clashes in December that left at least 88 people dead.
The Security Council terminated the UNAMID peacekeeping mission on December 31, 2020. Since then, sporadic intercommunal clashes have increased in the region.
In December, Human Rights Watch urged the UN to deploy monitors to Darfur, saying the departure of UNAMID had caused an “abuse monitoring gap” fueled by impunity for atrocities in the region.
The years-long conflict in Darfur erupted when rebels from the territory’s Central and Sub-Saharan African ethnic community launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in the capital, Khartoum.
Al-Bashir’s government responded with a campaign of aerial bombardment and raids by Janjaweed militias, who were accused of massacres and rapes. Up to 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million driven from their homes in Darfur over the years.
Al-Bashir, who has been in jail in Khartoum since his ousting, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity related to the Darfur conflict.