Thursday 19 April 2018

Estimates of 134 people killed in Darfur from recent clashes

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir
Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir

Some 134 people have been killed in new clashes between two rival tribes in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, a tribal leader said today.

Conflict has raged through the vast western region since 2003 when African tribes took up arms against the Arab government in Khartoum, accusing it of neglect.

Violence is down from a 2004-2005 peak, but fighting between rival tribes has risen sharply since January. Some of those involved in the fighting were armed by Khartoum in 2003 to suppress the rebellion.

Arab Misseriya tribesmen and members of the rival Salamat tribe in Um Dukhun in South Darfur clashed again on Monday, said Ahmed al-Kheiri, a Misseriya leader. They had fought already on Friday in the same area.

"Yesterday's clashes killed 108 from the Salamat and 26 from us," Kheiri told Reuters. "The clashes lasted from 3 am until 6 pm," he added, without giving more details.

It was not possible to independently confirm the figures. The Salamat and the Sudanese government were not immediately available for comment.

The International Criminal Court at The Hague has charged President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other Sudanese officials with masterminding war crimes in Darfur. Khartoum has dismissed the charges as a plot by Western powers.

Around 300,000 Sudanese have been displaced as a result of clashes between government forces, rebels and rival tribes.

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