tribal clashes in West Darfur kill nearly 90 people

Other tribal clashes took place in January in Darfur, killing more than 200, just over two weeks after the end of the joint UN and African Union peace mission, UNAMID.

Nearly 90 people have been killed and nearly 200 injured in Sudan in tribal clashes between members of the Masalit tribes and armed militias composed mainly of Arab nomads since Saturday around Al-Geneina, capital of West Darfur.

In a statement published on Wednesday April 7, the local branch of the Central Committee of Physicians, founded in 2016 to represent the Sudanese medical community, announced that it had counted “37 dead and 59 injured [supplémentaires], that is to say a total of 87 dead and 191 injured ”. A report, published the day before by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported 56 dead.

The Central Committee of Physicians “condemns in the strongest terms attacks against establishments and medical personnel” and notably asserts that the Sultan Tajuddin medical complex has been targeted by rocket launcher fire. The committee qualifies such acts as “barbaric behavior which cannot be justified under any circumstances”.

State of emergency and deployed army

On Monday evening, the authorities declared a state of emergency and deployed the army in West Darfur. “Humanitarian operations and flights have been suspended” at Al-Geneina, the region’s aid hub, affecting “more than 700,000 people”, according to the UN. In January, two weeks after the end of the UN-African Union (UNAMID) joint peace mission in Darfur, similar clashes left more than 200 dead, most of them in West Darfur.

Conflict erupted in this region in 2003 between forces of the regime of former President Omar Al-Bashir, deposed in April 2019 under pressure from the streets, and members of ethnic minorities who considered themselves marginalized. The authorities had deployed armed militias composed mainly of Arab nomads, accused in particular of “ethnic cleansing”.

The violence left some 300,000 dead and more than 2.5 million displaced, mainly during the first years of the conflict, according to the UN. The transitional government signed a peace accord in October with several rebel groups, notably in Darfur. But some insurgent groups in the region have not signed it.

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