Death toll in West Darfur clashes rises to 132
Governor says looting and destruction ongoing in the state capital Geneina, but fighting has now stopped
The governor of Sudan’s West Darfur state urged the central government to send more troops after a surge of intercommunal violence left at least 132 people dead.
Looting and destruction continues in the state capital, Geneina, with Sudanese government forces unable to control it, governor Mohamed Abdalla Al-Doma said Thursday. The region borders Chad.
Fighting between the Arab Rizeigat and Massalit communities flared over the weekend, with authorities declaring a state of emergency and the UN suspending aid deliveries. The groups had traded gunfire and shelling.
“According to medical reports, the number of dead is now 132,” Al-Doma told reporters in the national capital, Khartoum.
“The situation is now relatively stable,” he said, adding that there was “looting” but “no more fighting”.
Government forces in Geneina lack proper equipment and are facing local fighters who have more sophisticated weapons. He described food and electricity shortages in the city, where the UN says at least 3,800 people have fled their neighbourhoods.
The resurgence in violence comes as a joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission winds down operations in Darfur, a western region of Sudan roughly the size of France that has been riven by conflict since 2003.
Sudan’s transitional government and militias loyal to it are supposed to assume security responsibilities.
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