Sudan. Death toll in days of violence in Darfur rises to 87 | Conflict News

The local medical committee said five days of fighting between members of the Arab tribes and Masalit also left at least 191 injured.

The toll of violence that erupted over the weekend in Sudan’s Darfur region has risen to 87, according to a local medical group which also reported attacks on healthcare workers in the region.

Sudan’s West Darfur Medical Committee said it had counted at least 37 more dead on Wednesday, bringing the number killed since Saturday to 87. At least 191 people were injured.

The group said gunmen opened fire on Wednesday at vehicles carrying health workers heading to United Nations warehouses in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur province. No casualties were reported as a result of the shooting, he said.

Several health facilities were also attacked and medical staff still have difficulty transporting the injured to hospitals, the group added.

Separately, residents told Reuters news agency that the streets of El Geneina had finally become quieter, with government troops deployed for the first time since the state of emergency was declared on Monday. Fewer new injuries were reported in hospitals.

“They may be exhausted,” a doctor said on condition of anonymity of the fighters. “Or maybe it’s a warrior’s rest.”

The latest fight is a new outbreak of violence that saw deadly clashes earlier this year and in 2019 in the face of deteriorating security across Darfur.

It was born out of a shooting on Saturday that killed two people from the non-Arab Masalit tribe in a camp for internally displaced people in El Geneina, according to the United Nations humanitarian agency.

Fighting broke out between the Rizeigat and Masalit Arab tribes, the two armed men mobilizing.

The unrest poses a challenge to efforts by Sudan’s transitional government to end decades-long rebellions in areas like Darfur, where conflict is often raced along ethnic lines.

The humanitarian situation in El Geneina remains dire, with thousands taking to the streets after a camp for internally displaced people was set on fire during the fighting.

The clashes have forced the UN to suspend all humanitarian activities in El Geneina, which serves as a hub for the delivery of aid to the conflict-ravaged region.

The global body said its decision would affect more than 700,000 people.

The vast region of Darfur was ravaged by a civil war that erupted in 2003, killing some 300,000 people and displacing 2.5 million, according to the UN.

It erupted when ethnic minority rebels rose up against the long-standing Arab-dominated government of Omar al-Bashir. Khartoum responded by releasing government-linked militias calling themselves the People’s Defense Forces, but which were known as “Janjaweed” by the rebels, recruited from nomadic tribes in the region.

The conflict has subsided over the years and the last in a series of peace deals was reached in October. But after years of conflict, the region is inundated with automatic weapons and clashes still erupt, often over land and access to water.

Sudan is in the midst of a difficult transition following the overthrow of al-Bashir in April 2019 following mass protests against his rule.

Transitional military-civilian authorities lobbied for peace with rebel groups in major conflict areas of Sudan, including Darfur.

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