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The UN says the death toll now stands at 56 from the clashes in Sudan Darfur




The latest clashes escalated from shootings on Saturday that killed two people from the Masali tribe at a refugee camp in Genena, the capital of West Darfur province, according to the UN humanitarian agency. Two others from the Masali tribe were injured in that shooting, he said.

Fighting broke out between the Rizeigat tribes and the Masal tribes, with both men mobilizing armed men. Gunshots could still be heard in Geneva late Monday, the UN said. Authorities have declared a state of emergency in West Darfur.

The Sudanese Committee of Physicians in West Darfur said at least 132 people were injured in the clashes, some of whom had to be evacuated to the capital, Khartoum, for more advanced medical care. He also said medical workers were facing difficulties in transporting the injured due to the presence of armed groups.

Adam Regal, a spokesman for a local organization that helps run refugee camps in Darfur, said there were sporadic clashes on Tuesday, following relative calm overnight.

The UN also said the shootings were heard Tuesday across Geneva, which suffered power outages after the local power plant was destroyed in the clashes.

The UN said Monday that all humanitarian activities were suspended as roads around the southern part of Genena were blocked. She said more than 700,000 people have been affected by the clashes, as Genena serves as a distribution center for aid to the conflict-torn region.

Violence in Darfur often falls along religious and ethnic lines, with tribes claiming Arab heritage, such as the Rizeigat, battling those of African descent, such as the Masals.

Earlier this year, tribal violence in West Darfur and South Darfur provinces killed some 470 people. It also displaced more than 120,000 people, mostly women and children, including at least 4,300 who crossed into neighboring Chad, according to the UN.

Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A military-civilian government now rules the country.

The conflict in Darfur erupted when rebels from the territories of the central ethnic and sub-Saharan African community launched an uprising in 2003, complaining of repression by the Arab-dominated government in the capital Khartoum.

The Al-Bashirs government responded with a scorched earth campaign of airstrikes and released militias known as janjaweed who are accused of mass murder and rape. As many as 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million evicted from their homes.

The International Criminal Court has indicted al-Bashir, who has been in prison in Khartoum since his ouster in 2019, for war crimes and genocide for allegedly organizing a campaign of attacks in Darfur.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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