Sudan: Darfur Under State Of Emergency

This follows inter-communal fighting that has left more than 40 people dead.

Sudanese Government has declared a state of emergency in West Darfur State following three days of inter-ethnic fighting that left at least 40 dead and thousands of people displaced. On Monday, April 5, 2021 the UN said that at least 40 people have been killed and more than 50 injured after violence broke out on Saturday between Arab groups and the non-Arab Massalit ethnic community in the city of El Geneina.


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According to a statement by officials of the UN Humanitarian Affairs Agency (OCHA), gunfire rang out in Al Jamarik and Hay Al Jabal on Monday afternoon prompting the suspension of activities in the area, “Humanitarian operations have been suspended and humanitarian flights have been cancelled until the situation improves.” The officials added that there was still some tension in the area as opposing sides in the conflict were still organizing and preparing their forces.


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Residents told Agence France-Presse they heard fresh gunfire accompanied by loud explosions at dawn Monday as the violence spread to the suburbs. The witnesses who described thick smoke hovering over the city also said women and children are among those fleeing. Sudan's Security Council, which declared a state of emergency, said it had deployed troops to the area to restore peace. Several peace accords have been signed since, but the area remained under the shadow of the war. 


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Statistic from the UN show that, over 700,000 people are now affected by worsening security situation in the area, which is often used by organizations as a centre for aid deliveries to the region. In January, conflict between the Massalit and the Arab communities led to the death of at least 129 people and displacement of over 108,000 people with most of them sheltering in schools and health facilities in the town.


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Easy access to weapons, coupled with ethnic differences and confusion about land or water ownership, has resulted in a string of killings. In January, two weeks after the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission ended its 13-year occupation of the area following the October peace deal, about 200 people died in ethnic clashes. In 2003, conflicts erupted into war in the Darfur region, claiming at least 300,000 lives and displacing about 2.5 million people, according to the U.N 


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