CAIRO (AP) — Clashes in Sudan killed at least 145 people and injured over 180 others this month, the United Nations said Tuesday, the latest tribal violence to rock the war-wrecked east African nation.
The violence in West Darfur and South Kordofan provinces, some of the deadliest in recent years, comes as Sudan’s turmoil worsens after an October military coup. The takeover upended the country’s short-lived transition to democratic rule after a popular uprising forced the military’s removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
The most recent bout of violence erupted last week in West Darfur’s town of Kulbus over a land dispute between Arab and African tribes, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Local Arab militias then attacked multiple villages in the area, OCHA said.
A total of 126 people were killed, including 101 from the Gimir tribe and 25 from the Arab Rizeigat tribe, it said. More than 130 others, mostly from the non-Arab tribe, were injured in the weeklong clashes, it added.
OCHA said at least 25 villages in the Kulbus area were attacked, looted and burned and that at least 50,000 people were forced to flee their homes in West Darfur and neighboring North Darfur province, where the clashes spread.
In South Kordofan, at least 19 people were reportedly killed, and 54 others injured in separate tribal clashes earlier this month, according to OCHA.
The violence in the town of Abu Jubayhah, which lasted for three days, grew out of a robbery of a tuk tuk, a three-wheeled vehicle, on June 5, it said. The fighting displaced more than 15,000 people after six neighborhoods in the town were burned down, it added.
OCHA said the fighting subsided following the deployment of troops to the area. Authorities declared a nightly curfew last week, but the situation remains tense, it said.
The past week’s fighting was the latest bout of tribal violence in Darfur, a vast region in western Sudan that was wrecked by two decades of conflict. The violence puts into question the U.N. Security Council decision last year to dismantle the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force’s mandate in the region.
The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated government in the capital of Khartoum of discrimination. Al-Bashir’s government was accused of retaliating by arming local nomadic Arab tribes and unleashing militias known as the janjaweed on civilians there — a charge it denied.
Al-Bashir, who has been in prison in Khartoum since he was ousted from power in 2019, was indicted over a decade ago by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Darfur.