CAIRO (AP) — Tribal clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs killed at least 24 people Sunday in Sudan’s western Darfur region, an aid group said. It was the latest bout of intercommunal violence to rock the conflict-stricken region.
The fighting grew out of a financial dispute late Saturday between two individuals in a camp for displaced persons in the Kreinik area in West Darfur province, said Adam Regal, the spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur.
Regal said Arab militias known as janjaweed attacked the camp early Sunday, torching and looting properties. At least 35 others were wounded, he said.
A hashtag that reads “Kreinik is bleeding” in Arabic was trending on Twitter on Sunday, with users posting footage purportedly showing burned houses and bodies wrapped in burial shrouds.
The camp is located east of the provincial capital of Genena, and houses displaced people from the African Masalit tribe, who have been forced to leave their homes during the Darfur conflict.
The violence in Kreinik was the latest to rock West Darfur in recent weeks. Last month, a land dispute between Arabs and non-Arabs in the Jebel Moon area led to bloody clashes that left at least 17 people dead and 12 others wounded.
In the nearby South Darfur province, tribal clashes over the past two months have claimed the lives of at least 45 people in the town of Tawila, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee.
Such clashes pose a significant challenge to efforts by Sudan’s transitional authorities to end decades-long rebellions in some areas like war-wrecked Darfur. Sudan is in the midst of a fragile democratic transition since a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
The Darfur conflict broke out when rebels from the territory’s ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.
Al-Bashir’s government responded with a campaign of aerial bombings and raids by the Janjaweed, who stand accused of mass killings and rapes. Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.
Al-Bashir, who is in prison in Khartoum, faces international charges of genocide and crimes against humanity related to the Darfur conflict.