Tribal clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region Sunday killed 168 people, a local aid group said, among the most dangerous bouts of violence in the country in recent years.
The battling in West Darfur province comes as Sudan has actually been plunged into turmoil since a military coup last year. The takeover upended the nation's shift to democracy after a popular uprising forced the removal of long time autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
The clashes raise questions over whether military leaders are capable of bringing security to Darfur, which has been wracked by years of civil war. In 2020, the U.N. Security Council ended its peacekeeping mission known there.
Adam Regal, representative for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, said Sunday's combating in West Darfur's Kreinik location also injured 98 people.
The fighting outgrew the killing of two people by unknown foes Thursday, he stated.Early Sunday, large numbers of people armed with heavy weapons introduced a significant attack on Kreinik, torching and looting properties, Regal stated. The combating lasted for a number of hours and forced thousands of people to flee their homes, he stated.
Regal, whose group offers food and other assistance to displaced people in the region, shared video footage of damaged homes in the area, with some images showing pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns.
The clashes eventually reached Genena, where militias and armed groups attacked wounded people while they were being dealt with at the city's primary healthcare facility, said Salah Saleh, a physician and former medical director at the hospital.
"The location was burned down, and many individuals were killed.There was no intervention" from the local government to stop the combating, he said.
Authorities said they deployed more soldiers and a military aircraft to the region since battling on Thursday leaving 8 dead and a minimum of 16 injured.
Volker Perthes, the U.N. envoy for Sudan, deplored "the abhorrent killings of civilians in addition to the attacks on health facilities" in West Darfur.
He called for a thorough and transparent investigation and to hold those responsible liable.Darfur has actually seen bouts of deadly combating in between competing people in recent months as the country remains stuck in a wider crisis following the October coup. Kreinik was the scene of clashes in December that killed at least 88 people.
The Security Council terminated the peace-keeping mission UNAMID on Dec. 31, 2020. Ever since, erratic intercommunal clashes have increased in the region.
In December, Human Rights Watch prompted the U.N. to deploy monitors to Darfur, stating that the departure of UNAMID caused a "gap in monitoring the abuses" sustained by impunity for atrocities committed in the region.
The yearslong Darfur conflict broke out when rebels from the territory's ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community released an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in the capital, Khartoum.
The government of al-Bashir reacted with a campaign of aerial battles and raids by the janjaweed militias, which have actually been accused of mass killings and rapes. Approximately 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes in Darfur over the years.
Al-Bashir, who has been in prison in Khartoum since his ouster, is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of genocide and crimes against humanity related to the Darfur conflict.