The death toll from tribal violence between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s West Darfur province climbed to at least 83, including women and children, a doctor’s union and aid worker said, as sporadic violence continued Sunday.
The deadly clashes grew out of a fistfight Friday between two people in a camp for displaced people in Genena, the provincial capital. An Arab man was stabbed to death and his family, from the Arab Rizeigat tribe, attacked the people in the Krinding camp and other areas Saturday.
The violence led to local authorities imposing a round-the-clock curfew on the entire province. Besides the 83 killed, at least 160 others were wounded, according to Sudan’s doctors’ union. It said the casualty toll was likely to rise.
The clashes pose a challenge to efforts by Sudan’s transitional government to end decades-long rebellions in areas like Darfur, where most people live in camps for the displaced and refugees.
Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A military-civilian government now rules the country.
That bout of violence came two weeks after the U.N. Security Council ended the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force’s mandate in the region. It also puts into question the transitional government’s ability to stabilize the conflict-ravaged Darfur region.
Salah Saleh, a physician and former medical director at the main hospital in Genena, said clashes renewed Sunday morning at the Abu Zar camp for internally displaced people, south of the provincial capital.
Adam Regal, a spokesperson for a local organization that helps run refugee camps in Darfur, said there were overnight attacks on Krinding. He shared footage showing properties burned to the ground and wounded people on stretchers and in hospital beds.
Authorities in West Darfur imposed a curfew beginning Saturday that includes the closing of all markets and a ban on public gatherings. The central government in Khartoum also said Saturday a high-ranking delegation, chaired by the country’s top prosecutor, was heading to the province to help reestablish order.