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AFP
January 18, 2021

Death toll in Darfur clashes rises to 48

World

AFP
January 18, 2021

KHARTOUM: Ongoing clashes in Sudan’s restive Darfur have killed at least 48 people in two days, state media said on Sunday, just over two weeks after a long-running peacekeeping mission ended operations.

The violence has reportedly pitted the Massalit tribe against Arab nomads in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state, and quickly morphed into broader fighting involving armed militias in the area.

“The death toll from militia attacks in El Geneina yesterday (Saturday) reached 48,” the SUNA news agency said, 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.”

It was not immediately clear why the fighting started.

Sudanese authorities have since Saturday imposed a state-wide curfew in West Darfur, while the Khartoum government dispatched a “high-profile” delegation to help contain the situation.

Citing the doctors’ union, SUNA reported that casualties are expected to increase as the fighting continues.

The union’s local branch also “called for the securing of health facilities” and urged transport be made available for medics to assist the wounded.

On December 31, the hybrid United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) formally ended its operations in the region, 13 years after it came into being.

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

The Sudanese government “will take over responsibility for the protection of civilians” in Darfur, UNAMID said, as its mandate ended.