Khartoum: The latest inrocious violence in the region saw at least 168 deaths in clashes between rival groups in Sudan’s Darfur on Sunday.
Darfur has been ravaged since 2003 by civil war. There have been escalating clashes over land, water, and grazing.
Adam Regal, spokesperson of the Darfur General Coordinating for Refugees & Displaced Persons, stated that fighting broke out in West Darfur’s Klink area on Friday.
Regal stated that at least 168 people were killed in the attack and that 98 were injured on Sunday. He expressed concern about the possibility of an increase in death tolls.
Aid groups claim that the violence broke out after armed tribesmen attacked the village belonging to the non-Arab Masalit minority in retaliation against the deaths of two tribesmen.
It was also reported that at most eight people were killed Friday.
A Masalit tribal chief stated that multiple bodies had been found in villages in the Klink area, about 80 kilometers (50 mi) from West Darfur’s capital Geneina.
The Central Council of Sudanese Doctors has warned that West Darfur’s health situation is “catastrophic”. They also stated that several hospitals were attacked by the violence.
The ICRC urged the authorities to ensure that the injured are safely admitted to hospital.
UN Special Representative Volker Perusses condemned the killings and called for an inquiry.
Online images posted on Sunday showed the burning house emitting thick black smoke into a blue sky. Others showed the hut standing in circular scorched earth after it was set alight.
AFP was unable independently to verify the authenticity.
Arab Janjaweed militias were accused by aid groups of planning Sunday’s latest attack.
In the early 2000s, most notable was the role of Arab militias in suppressing a Darfur insurgency by a minority.
Human rights groups claim that many of the members of this group have been incorporated into Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Force. This is under General Mohammad Hamdan Daglo who is de facto Sudan’s deputy leader.
Regal claimed that militias have “killed, burned, looted, and tortured unabatedly” in recent weeks.
The 2003 conflict has left ethnic rebels in a difficult spot, complaining of discrimination towards Omar al-Bashir’s Arab-dominated administration.
Bashir’s government responded to Janjaweed, who were largely recruited from Arab nomadic tribes and accused of atrocities such as murder, rape looting, and the burning villages.
According to the United Nations, 300,000 people were killed in fighting and 2.5 million people were displaced by it.
While the conflict that dominated Darfur has ended, there are still deadly clashes in the region, mostly over water and pasture.
After months of mass protests against Bashir’s rule in the past, Bashir was forced to resign in April 2019. The International Criminal Court still holds Bashir under arrest for his role in Darfur.
According to medical professionals and the United Nations, there have been dozens of deaths and hundreds of houses set on fire by violence in Darfur in recent months.
This latest violence is a reflection of a wider security collapse in Darfur after last year’s military coup under Army Chief Abdul Fattah al-Burhan that hampered the transition to civilian rule.