Fresh violence in Darfur adds to Sudan’s crises

Written By: Abdi Latif Dahir © 2021 The New York Times The New York Times
Darfur, Sudan Published: Nov 27, 2021, 12:14 AM(IST)

(File photo) As of Friday, the security situation in the area remained volatile Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Sudan’s effort at a democratic transition is faltering, with thousands of demonstrators flooding the streets Thursday to denounce the military’s deal with the civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok.

Dozens of people have been killed and their villages burned in inter-communal violence in Sudan’s West Darfur state, the United Nations said, worsening the state of crisis that has troubled the region for years.

The violence comes as Sudan’s leaders are working through their own crisis, one that is likely to distract them from Darfur’s mounting problems.

Sudan’s effort at a democratic transition is faltering, with thousands of demonstrators flooding the streets Thursday to denounce the military’s deal with the civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok. After almost a month under house arrest following a coup, Hamdok signed a new power-sharing agreement with the military in a bid to end a bloody standoff and restore the democratic process.

In Darfur, at least 43 people were killed and 46 villages burned and looted after conflict erupted last week in the Jebel Moon area between Arab herders and farmers from the Misseriya Jebel tribe, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The local branch of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said at least 17 people had been injured and were receiving treatment in local hospitals, although activists and aid organizations said the true number was most likely higher. The U.N. refugee agency said in an emailed statement that an unknown number of people had fled across the border into Chad. Several people, including children, remained missing, with some of those displaced fleeing into nearby mountains and caves.

As of Friday, the security situation in the area remained volatile, with humanitarian organizations struggling to get assurances of safety to travel into conflict areas and provide help.

Experts say the deadly unrest in Darfur had already begun to intensify before a hybrid U.N. and African Union mission completed its withdrawal from the region this year. Under deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir, the region endured a campaign of rape, murder and ethnic violence in which at least 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million others displaced, according to the United Nations.

The latest clash between farmers and herders is part of a seasonal trend around nomadic movements and harvests, but aid workers say the recent attacks have been much more brutal.

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