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More than 48 people killed in Darfur clashes

Tribal clashes in Sudan’s Darfur region have killed at least 48 people in the latest bout of violence, according to state media.

“The death toll from militia attacks in al-Geneina yesterday reached 48,” the SUNA news agency said on Sunday, referring to the capital of West Darfur state and quoting the local branch of the country’s doctors’ union.

“The bloody events which are still ongoing since Saturday morning have also left 97 wounded.”

Saturday’s clashes initially pitted the Massalit tribe against Arab nomads in al-Geneina, about two weeks after the United Nations and African Union ended a 13-year peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

The violence morphed into broader fighting involving armed militias in the area, which left several buildings, including houses, scorched.

At the time, fighting erupted when ethnic minority rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, which responded by recruiting and arming a notorious Arab-dominated militia known as the Janjaweed.

The main conflict has subsided over the years but ethnic and tribal clashes still flare up periodically, largely pitting nomadic Arab pastoralists against settled farmers from non-Arab ethnic groups.

The violence often centres on land and access to water.

Sudan is undergoing a tumultuous political transition after the overthrow of longtime President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 after mass protests against his rule.

The transitional government, a power-sharing arrangement comprising generals and civilian figures, has pushed to build peace with rebel groups in Sudan’s main conflict zones, including Darfur.

But two rebel groups refused to join a recent peace deal, including the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction led by Abdelwahid Nour, which is believed to maintain considerable support in Darfur.

The hybrid UN African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) formally ended its operations on December 31 last year.

It plans a phased withdrawal of its 8,000 armed and civilian personnel within six months.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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