At least 132 people were killed in tribal fighting in the Sudanese region of West Darfur on Saturday. This is reported by the region’s governor, Mohamed Abdalla Douma. A state of emergency has meanwhile been declared in the province.
The situation is now “relatively stable,” said Douma at a press conference in the capital Khartoum on Thursday. “There are no more fights, but there is still looting.”
Violence broke out on Saturday in El-Geneina, capital of West Darfur. Skirmishes started there in January when a member of the Massalit population group killed a member of an Arab tribe. Then there were 200 fatalities.
In 2003, a conflict broke out in Darfur between groups of former President Omar al-Bashir’s regime and members of ethnic minorities. The authorities then enlisted the help of the so-called Janjaweed, armed militias consisting mainly of Arab nomads.
The Janjaweed engaged in a systematic ethnic cleansing, in which non-Arab villages were burned to the ground and their inhabitants murdered or expelled.
According to the UN, this violence has already claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million people, mostly black African civilians.