Sudan, Darfur in a state of emergency: over 130 dead in ethnic clashes

The toll of the clashes in Sudan between Arab and Masalit militias is at least 132 dead. This was reported by Mohamed Abdallah Douma, the governor of western Darfur, the region around whose capital, El Geneina, gun and heavy weapons fighting began last Saturday.

“The situation is now relatively stable”, said Douma, explaining that the fighting is over but looting and isolated shootings are still ongoing. During the clashes a power plant was destroyed, an ambulance was attacked and a grenade hit a hospital.

Sudan has been the scene of a violent civil war since 2003 which has caused 300,000 victims and two and a half million displaced persons. The rebellion of the ethnic minorities was repressed by the then president Bashir with the dispatch of the notorious Janjaweed Arab militias, recruited from the nomadic tribes of the region. Although the conflict has over time died out, tensions between nomadic Arab shepherds and settled Masalit farmers often re-erupt due to disputes over land and water resources.


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