More than 20 dead, many displaced amid violence in Sudan’s West Darfur

Children walk along smouldering houses burnt during clashes between nomads and residents in Deleij village, located in Wadi Salih locality, Central Darfur, Sudan. June 11, 2019. Picture taken June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

At least 24 people were confirmed killed when a camp for internally displaced people was attacked in Sudan’s West Darfur, an international peacekeeping official said on Wednesday, as top officials arrived to try to calm the violence.

FILE PHOTO:26 September 2011. Um Kadada: Egyptian soldier Ahmed Mahmoud, member of the UNAMID troops posted in Um Kadada (North Darfur), patrols at night in Hali Mussa (North-West of Um Kadada).Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran – UNAMID.

Krinding Camp, just east of state capital el-Geneina, was raided on Dec. 29-30 following a dispute between Arab and African ethnic groups, said Ashraf Eissa, a spokesman for the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur, UNAMID.

“The Arab tribesman’s people came to the IDP camp and started shooting and killing and burning,” he said.

“Then relatives went to the hospital and threatened hospital staff at gunpoint and destroyed the blood bank … and when a government of Sudan policeman tried to intervene he was shot and killed.”

Brokering lasting peace in Darfur and other parts of Sudan is one of the main challenges facing military and civilian authorities sharing power following the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir last April.

Conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003 after mostly non-Arab rebels rose up against Khartoum. Up to 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced, including more than 180,000 displaced in West Darfur, according to U.N. estimates.