CAIRO (AP) – At least 19 people have been killed in renewed tribal clashes in Sudan’s volatile west Darfur region in the past 24 hours, a medical group said on Friday. Violence between Arabs and non-Arabs in the same area of Jebel Moon also killed at least 16 people earlier this week.
The Sudan Doctors Committee of West Darfur called on local authorities to protect civilians in the area from attack. A local resident and activist Sharaf Jumma Salah said the clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs have also left behind dozens of burnt houses in four villages.
Spokesman for the General Coordination Body for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur Adam Regal said on Thursday that armed men attacked villages that morning and the fighting went on for hours. He said a communications cut had made it difficult to obtain complete information from the remote area.
Clashes in Jebel Moon first erupted in mid-November over a land dispute between Arab and non-Arab tribes. Dozens have been killed since then and authorities have deployed more troops to the area.
However, sporadic fighting has continued even as entire Sudan is roiled by unrest following an October military coup.
The takeover upended an already fragile democratic transition in the African country, which has also faced uphill security and economic challenges since the 2019 overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his government.
In Khartoum, the country’s capital, protests against the military coup have continued. Two teenagers were killed by gunfire in demonstrations there on Thursday, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee. The group, which has kept track of protester deaths and injuries since the military takeover, has tallied a total of 87 killed.
The instability has led to deteriorating security conditions in other parts of the country, like the war-wrecked Darfur.
In 2020, the United Nations closed its peacekeeping mission to Darfur, leading to fears that without a strong state presence violence would return.