Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Ethnic battle in displaced people camp kills 48 in Sudan’s Darfur region

Similar clashes between Arab farmers and non-Arab groups caused hundreds of casualties last year.

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Clashes between different ethnic groups in Sudan’s West Darfur state have left 48 people dead, Sudan’s news agency says.

A state-wide curfew has been imposed and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has sent a delegation to investigate.

The weekend’s violence comes less than three weeks after peacekeepers from the UN and African Union (AU) handed over security to the Khartoum authorities after spending 13 years there, reports the BBC.

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003, forcing millions to flee and, despite a peace process, tensions remain.

The fighting in the state capital, El Geneina, began on Saturday in a camp for people displaced by the conflict after an argument in which a man was stabbed to death.

The deadly row escalated into a battle between armed militias which left at least 48 dead and over 100 injured, Reuters reports.

Similar clashes in El Geneina erupted last year, between Arab farmers and non-Arab groups, causing hundreds of casualties.

A peace deal involving most, but not all, groups in Darfur was signed last year.

The conflict began under the presidency of Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019 and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and genocide in the region.

Justice for the people of Darfur was a key rallying cry for civilian groups who backed the overthrow of the president after nearly three decades in power.

Sudan’s news agency reports that the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, is calling for the current government to deal with “unruly armed groups which have been freely moving and terrorising civilians since the collapse of the former regime”.

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