Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Tense calm in Darfur as troops deployed after clashes kill 155 | News from Sudan

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The Sudanese government is deploying military units to the western region to restore order after three days of inter-ethnic violence.

Tense calm has been reported in Sudan’s Darfur region after a massive deployment of soldiers following days of inter-ethnic violence that killed at least 155 people, injured dozens more and displaced tens of thousands.

Violence erupted on Saturday between nomadic Arabs and members of the non-Arab Masalit ethnic group in El Geneina, the state capital of West Darfur, killing at least 100 people and injuring more than 130, according to Governor Mohamed Abdalla al. -Douma.

The clashes prompted some 50,000 people to flee areas in and around an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp that had been driven from their homes in previous conflicts, said Save the Children, a humanitarian group.

Authorities in West Darfur have imposed a statewide curfew, while the transitional government of Sudan in the capital has deployed military units to the western Khartoum region and other parts of the country to restore order.

“There have been no clashes since Sunday, but there have been incidents of looting, especially of homes and farms of people living in the Kerindig IDP camp,” al-Douma told Tuesday. the AFP press agency.

“The situation is calm in the state as security forces have spread in and around the town of El Geneina and Kerindig.”

Al-Douma said houses were set on fire and agricultural products stolen from villages near El Geneina, but added that “we have sent security agents to surround these villages and they are now safe”.

Separate clashes in southern Darfur on Monday between members of the Fallata ethnic group and the Rizeigat Arab tribe left at least 55 dead and 37 injured.

A heavy troop presence also restored order there, the state-run SUNA news agency reported.

Tribal chief Mohamed Saleh told AFP by telephone that there had been no clashes and the situation was “calm”, adding, however, that people were “tense, fearing an upsurge in violence. violence”.

The recent violence was the worst since the signing of a peace deal in October, which observers hoped would end years of war.

While the former rebels pledged to lay down their arms, decades of conflict have left the vast impoverished region inundated with arms and divided by bitter rivalries over land and water.

The peacekeepers leave

The latest bloodbath, which did not appear to involve any signatories to the accord, came two weeks after the United Nations Security Council ended the mandate of a joint United Nations peacekeeping mission and the African Union in the region.

The UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), established in 2007, was the first joint UN-AU peacekeeping operation.

It has been replaced by a much smaller political mission known as the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, or UNITAMS.

The government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, a coalition of several armed groups, formed a 12,000-strong civil protection force in Darfur late last year, in accordance with a peace deal reached in 2020.

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum of discrimination.

The government has been accused of retaliation by arming local nomadic Arab tribes and unleashing the government-backed militia known as the Janjaweed on civilians – a charge it denies.


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