Eight killed in fighting in Sudan's western Darfur, aid group says

Thursday December 29 2022
Rwandan peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur

Rwandan peacekeepers on guard in the war-torn town of Golo in central Darfur on June 19, 2017. Sudan's Darfur is still reeling from years of civil war, and clashes between ethnic groups often erupt over land and water in the arid region. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP


Eight people have been killed in fighting in Sudan's western Darfur region between groups of Arab Rizeigat and the Fur people, an aid group said Thursday.

Shooting broke out late Wednesday in Zalingei, the state capital of Central Darfur after a Fur member was killed, sparking wider fighting, witnesses said.

Rizeigat gunmen on motorbikes then stormed a camp for displaced people in the city attacking Fur residents, said Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, a Sudanese independent aid group.

"The clashes have left eight people killed and 11 wounded," said Regal. 

Fighting raged overnight until Thursday morning in the city, 1,020 kilometres west of the capital Khartoum.

Ethnic clashes regularly erupt in Darfur, a troubled arid region awash with automatic weapons still reeling from the bitter civil war that erupted in 2003.


Read: Seven killed in Sudan's Darfur clashes

That conflict pitted ethnic minority rebels against the Arab-dominated government of the then-president Omar al-Bashir.

Some 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.

While the conflict has subsided over the years, violence still flares between nomadic herders and settled farmers over shrinking access to scarce water and grazing land.

On Saturday, at least 11 people were reported killed following deadly clashes in South Darfur state. It was not clear what started that fighting. 

The latest bouts of violence come as Sudan grapples with the crippling aftermath of a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in October last year.

Read Also: Fresh clashes claim 125 lives in Darfur

Civilian groups signed a preliminary deal with the military to end the crisis earlier this month but it has been criticised as "opaque".

Conflicts in Sudan's far-flung regions have killed around 900 people this year and driven almost 300,000 from their homes, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.