EL GENEINA, 8 April 2021 – Five days of inter-ethnic clashes have left 87 people dead and close to 200 others injured in Sudan’s West Darfur region, according to doctors.
Medical staff struggling to attend to the wounded have been attacked and are among some of the dead, according to a doctor in the city of El Geneina.
There is no electricity in the city’s hospital, making it complicated for doctors to attend to the injured.
Authorities say the fighting involves members of the Masalit community and Arab groups.
A state of emergency declared last Monday and the deployment of soldiers from the capital, Khartoum, have been helpful in bringing about an uneasy calm.
More than 100,000 people have been displaced by this most recent inter-ethnic clashes which erupted at the beginning of 2021.
Darfur has been in-and-out of violent conflict since 2003 when two black African rebel movements – the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) started attacking the Sudanese government – hitting military targets such as airbases.
The Khartoum government launched Arab militias called the Janjaweed (roughly translated as ‘devils on horseback) to attack black Africans in Darfur.
The Janjaweed attacked hundreds of farming villages across Darfur, using slash and burn methods to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians.
The U.S. government later described the mass slaughter of mostly black African Sudanese as genocide.
Over 400 villages were completely destroyed during the violent campaign which left millions of civilians homeless.
Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in detention in Khartoum since being chased from power, is wanted by the International Criminal Court at The Hague on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.