More than 83 people killed in Darfur clashes
Dated : 19 Jan 2021 (IST)
Members of Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s controversial counter-insurgency unit, show on Sunday in Khartoum sacks of hashish that were captured in the state of South Darfur a week earlier. About 19 tons of hashish was seized after an RSF unit ambushed a gang of smugglers that was transporting the drugs to Khartoum. Photo: AFP
More than 83 people have been killed in two days of ongoing clashes in Sudan’s restive Darfur, doctors said on Sunday, just over two weeks since a long-running peacekeeping mission ended operations.
The violence is the most significant fighting reported since the signing of a peace agreement in October, which observers hoped would end years of war that has left the vast western region awash with weapons.
The fighting reportedly pitted Arab against non-Arab tribes in West Darfur’s capital El Geneina, and is thought to have started as a local dispute before escalating into broader disputes between militias.
“The death toll from the bloody events that occurred in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur State, has risen since Saturday morning… to 83 dead, and 160 wounded including from the armed forces,” the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.
The UN, a long-running presence in the nation, also expressed deep concerns on Sunday over the violence.
Sudanese authorities have imposed a statewide curfew in West Darfur, while the Khartoum government dispatched a “high-profile” delegation to help contain the situation.
Citing the doctors’ union, the state-run SUNA news agency said casualties were likely to increase as fighting continues.
The union’s local branch also said health facilities must be secured and transport made available.
On Sunday, the head of Sudan’s ruling body, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, met top security chiefs to discuss the violence.