Death Toll Rises to 49 in Ongoing West Darfur Violence in Sudan

The death toll from ongoing tribal clashes in Kulbus locality, West Darfur, has risen to 49 after six people were killed and a village burned in a continuation of clashes on Friday.

Continual ‘tribal clashes’ in Kulbus locality, north of Jebel Moon in West Darfur, over the last week have now claimed at least 49 lives, with many wounded and many more displaced after fleeing the fighting, which has raged in Kulbus and the villages of El Sufra, Rmeili Waad El Qamary north of Saraf Omra, and the village of Jowk Jouk, which resulted most recently in the deaths of six people.

Eight villages burned to the ground in the first two days of the clashes, Abakar El Tom, head of the Gamar tribe, told Radio Dabanga that the clashes erupted after a dispute over agricultural lands. The clashes then expanded and escalated to include a number of villages and the occupation of a water well. The fighting continued until late on Tuesday.

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The Deputy Executive Director of Kulbus locality, Abbas Mustafa, said in an interview that gunmen attacked the villages of Um Rukeina, Wari, Ray, and Beit Arbaa, on Wednesday morning.

Mustafa noted that a joint force of army soldiers, policemen, paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Central Reserve Police (Abu Teira) was ambushed by herdsmen while they were moving to the site of the clashes. He said additional reinforcements were deployed to the conflict areas on Tuesday evening but did not arrive until Wednesday afternoon.

The Higher Coordination of Nomads in West Darfur said that the clashes occurred after the killing of one of the nomads and the injury of another in a shooting in the area of Um Hariz in Kulbus locality.

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In a statement after the initial clashes last week, the Nomads Coordination said that the perpetrators were pursued which led to clashes that left a number of death toll dead and wounded, among them a police colonel after they arrived in the area on Monday evening to contain the situation.

The nomads hold the West Darfur government and security committee responsible for the violence. They called for the arrest of the perpetrators and the expulsion of “the gunmen of the rebel movements” from the state.

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