40 killed, 60 injured in ethnic clashes in Sudan’s West Darfur province: UN

Over 40 people were killed and 60 others were injured in tribal clashes in the Sudanese city of El Geneina, the United Nations said on Monday.

The incident is the latest in the troubled region since the signing of a peace agreement late last year and the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers.

The violence was between the Arab Rizeigat and the Masalit tribes in El Geneina, the provincial capital of West Darfur province. It happened after unknown armed men on Saturday shot dead two people from the Masalit, according to the UN humanitarian affairs agency.

Two others from the Masalit were wounded in that shooting, it said. The circumstances of the shootings were not immediately clear.

Since then, the two tribes have mobilised forces and gunfire could still be heard in El Geneina late on Monday, it said.

In January, at least 129 people were killed and military reinforcements were brought into El Geneina, which have since been withdrawn.

The West Darfur Doctors’ Committee, part of a nationwide independent body formed in 2016 representing the medical community, said in a statement that an ambulance carrying wounded victims was attacked in the melee, resulting in three health workers being wounded.

The UN said all humanitarian activities were suspended as roads around the southern part of El Geneina were blocked.

West Darfur Governor Mohammed Abdalla al-Duma said in a statement that officials were taking “necessary measures” without elaborating. He urged residents in El Geneina to stay vigilant and remain at home until security forces contain the situation.

The clashes posed a challenge to efforts by Sudan’s transitional government to end decades-long rebellions in areas like Darfur.