Toll in Sudan clashes rises to 132 dead

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FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2019 file photo, residents of a refugee camp gather around the burned remains of makeshift structures, in Genena, Sudan. Sudanese authorities on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, imposed a round-the-clock curfew in the entire West Darfur province after tribal clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs killed at least six people and wounded at least 28 others. (Organization for the General Coordination of Camps for Displaced and Refugees via AP, File)

Five days of fighting in Sudan’s West Darfur region has left at least 132 people dead, AFP reports, with thousands fleeing the latest outbreak of violence.

“The committee has recorded a new toll of a total of 87 dead and 191 injured,” the West Darfur Doctors’ Committee said, after clashes involving gunfire and shelling in El Geneina, state capital of West Darfur.

The last toll issued late Tuesday by the United Nations had stood at 56.

Fighting between the Massalit and the Arab communities broke out on Saturday, with thousands fleeing the latest outbreak of violence, some escaping into neighbouring Chad, according to the United Nations.

FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2019 file photo, residents of a refugee camp gather around the burned remains of makeshift structures, in Genena, Sudan. Sudanese authorities on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, imposed a round-the-clock curfew in the entire West Darfur province after tribal clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs killed at least six people and wounded at least 28 others. (Organization for the General Coordination of Camps for Displaced and Refugees via AP, File)

El Geneina residents and the UN have reported days of fighting including gunfire and shelling, with a power station destroyed, an ambulance attacked and a rocket-propelled grenade hitting the key Sultan Tajeldin Hospital.

Other hospitals were also damaged in the fighting.

The Doctors’ Committee said it condemned “in the strongest terms” attacks against hospitals and staff, calling them “barbaric behaviour which cannot be justified under any circumstances”.

It is the latest outbreak between the communities since January, which has forced over 100,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN.

The government on Monday declared a state of emergency and deployed troops to West Darfur.

The UN said it had suspended flights and aid operations to the city, a key hub for humanitarian assistance — a decision the world body said would affect upwards of 700,000 people.

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