GENENA, 27 January 2021 – No fewer than 250 people have been killed and more than 100,000 others have been displaced by violence which erupted in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Members of the Arab Rizeigat tribe and the non-Arab Massalit tribe have been at each other’s throats since last January 15 when a fistfight between members of the two tribes degenerated into a free-for-all following the death of one of the two people involved in the initial scuffle.
The fistfight broke out in a camp for displaced people in Genena, the provincial capital of West Darfur.
The clashes spread to South Darfur last January 19 between Rizeigat and the non-Arab Falata tribe over the killing of a shepherd.
The violence is considered a serious threat to the transitional government in Khartoum, a joint military-civilian administration put in place after the collapse in April 2019 of Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for nearly three decades.
The clashes come soon after African Union and United Nations peacekeepers withdrew from Darfur at the end of 2020, handing over the responsibility for security to the caretaker interim government in Khartoum.
Some 3,500 Darfuris, mostly women and children, have fled into the neighboring Chadian province of Ouaddai, according to data confirmed Wednesday by Boris Cheshirkov, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Ouaddai is already home to more than 350,000 Sudanese refugees, according to the United Nations.