CAIRO (AP) — Tribal clashes on Sunday between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region have killed 168 people, a local aid group said, the latest bout of intercommunal violence in the country since a military coup last year.
Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, says fighting in the Kreinik area of West Darfur province also wounded 98 others.
He says the clashes first erupted Thursday with the killing of two people by an unknown assailant in Kreinik, around 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of Genena, the provincial capital of West Darfur.
He says the militias known as janjaweed attacked the area early Sunday with heavy weapons, and burned down and looted houses in the area. He shared footage he said of destroyed houses in the area and a pick-up truck with a mounted machine gun.
The clashes eventually reached Genena, where militias and armed groups attacked wounded people while they were being treated at the city’s main hospital, according to Salah Saleh, a doctor and former medical director at the hospital.
Authorities have deployed more troops to the region since the fighting on Thursday left eight dead and at least 16 others wounded.
Sudan’s Darfur region has seen bouts of deadly clashes between rival tribes in recent months as the country remains mired in a wider crisis following last year’s coup, when top generals overthrew a civilian-led government.
The October coup has upended the country’s fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
The yearslong Darfur conflict broke out when rebels from the territory’s ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community launched an insurgency in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in the capital, Khartoum.
The government of now-deposed strongman Omar al-Bashir responded with a campaign of aerial bombings and raids by the janjaweed militias, which have been accused of mass killings and rapes. Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes in Darfur over the years.
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