Wednesday, November 30, 2022

At least 168 killed in violence in Sudan’s Darfur: aid groups

At least 168 killed in violence in Sudan's Darfur: aid groups

According to a Sudanese aid group, 98 others were wounded in fighting in the Kernik region of western Darfur province.

At least 168 people have been killed in fighting between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.

Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, said on Sunday that 98 others were wounded in fighting in the Kerenik area of ​​western Darfur province.

He said the conflict first began on Thursday with the killing of two people by an unidentified assailant in Kerenik, about 30 km (18 miles) east of West Darfur’s provincial capital, Jinnah.

According to Salah Saleh, a doctor and former medical director of the hospital, the clashes later reached Genena, where armed groups attacked the wounded while they were being treated at the city’s main hospital.

Images posted online on Sunday showed burning houses sending plumes of thick black smoke into the sky, while others showed round spots of scorched earth where huts stood before burning.

AFP news agency could not independently verify the authenticity of the images.

The International Committee of the Red Cross called on officials to ensure the safe arrival of the injured in hospitals.

‘Janjaveed’ convicted

On Sunday, the aid group accused government-backed militias of plotting the latest attacks.

The predominantly Arab armed group gained notoriety for its role in the suppression of an ethnic minority insurgency in Darfur in the early 2000s.

According to rights groups, many of its members have since been integrated into the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Force, led by Sudan’s de facto deputy leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

Regal said the armed group has committed “without mercy killings, burnings, looting and torture” in recent weeks.

The conflict that erupted in 2003 raised ethnic minority rebels who complained of discrimination against the Arab-dominated government of then-President Omar al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir’s government responded by freeing the Janjawid, recruited mainly from Arab herding tribes, who had been convicted of atrocities including murder, rape, looting and burning of villages.

According to UN figures, 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced in the conflict.

Large-scale fighting has subsided in much of Darfur, but the area is heavily armed, and fighting often erupts over access to pastures or water.

Sudan’s Darfur region has seen deadly clashes between rival tribes in recent months as the country plunged into a wider crisis following last year’s coup, when top generals overthrew a civilian-led government.

After a popular uprising in April 2019 saw the military overthrow al-Bashir, the October coup upended the country’s fragile path to democracy.

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