Sudan: At least 24 killed in inter-communal violence in Darfur region after escalation of financial dispute

Clashes between Arab and non-Arab tribal people killed at least 24 on Sunday in Sudan’s western Darfur region, an aid group said.

The fighting grew out of a financial dispute late on Saturday between two individuals in the Krinding camp for displaced persons in West Darfur province, said Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur.

Regal said Arab fighters known as Popular Defence Forces attacked the camp early on Sunday, torching and looting properties. At least 35 others were wounded, he said.

This is the latest inter-communal violence to rock the conflict-stricken region.

Last month, a land dispute between Arabs and non-Arabs in the Jebel Moon area led to bloody clashes that left at least 17 people dead and 12 others wounded.

Such clashes pose a significant challenge to efforts by Sudan’s transitional authorities to end decades-long rebellions in some areas such as war-wracked Darfur. Sudan is in the middle of a fragile democratic transition since a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

The Darfur conflict broke out when rebels from the territory’s ethnic central and sub-Saharan African community launched an armed uprising in 2003, complaining of oppression by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

Al-Bashir’s government responded with a campaign of aerial bombings and raids by the Popular Defence Forces, who stand accused of mass killings and rapes. Up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million were driven from their homes.