UN: Weekly death toll from clashes in Darfur now at least 125

KARO — The death toll from last week’s tribal clashes in Sudan’s Darfur region has reached at least 125, the United Nations said Tuesday.

The violence, most recent in the war-ravaged region, broke out after a land dispute between Arab and African tribes in the town of Kulbus in West Darfur province, in which local Arab militias subsequently attacked multiple villages in the area.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the dead included more than 100 of the African Gimir tribe and 25 Arabs. It said the clashes injured more than 130 others, mostly Africans.

OCHA said at least 25 villages in the Kulbus area have been attacked, looted and burned and at least 50,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in West Darfur and the neighboring province of North Darfur, where clashes are spreading.

The fighting was the latest onslaught of tribal violence in Darfur. It came as Sudan was still mired in a wider crisis following a military coup in October — a takeover that rocked Sudan’s transition to democracy after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when ethnic Africans rioted and accused the Arab-dominated government in the capital, Khartoum, of discrimination. Al-Bashir’s government was accused of retaliation by arming local nomadic Arab tribes and unleashing militias known as the janjaweed on civilians, a charge it denied.

Al-Bashir, who has been in prison in Khartoum since his removal from power in 2019, was indicted by the International Criminal Court more than a decade ago for genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

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