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200 dead in Darfur

200 dead in Darfur

200 dead in Darfur
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At least 200 individuals have already been confirmed dead in West Darfur as a result of the latest onslaught on civilians and local troops blamed on Janjaweed militants.

Darfur, Sudan’s semi-arid western area where a violent civil war started in 2003, has seen a new outbreak of conflict in recent months as different factions struggle for water and grazing pasture, both of which are in limited supply due to the climatic catastrophe.

On Friday, eight people were slain, and more than 200 were killed on Sunday in and near Kreinik.

By Monday, fighting had spread to El Geneina, the regional capital, between the Sudanese government’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a notorious paramilitary group led by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, and a local militia led by Khamis Abdullah Abakar, the governor of West Darfur and former rebel leader.

According to medical sources in West Darfur, they have been inundated by casualties.

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Mobile networks fell down across West Darfur just before the Kreinik raid on Sunday, a common occurrence before a big assault by the Janjaweed, who were mostly assimilated into the RSF.

People reported seeing jets flying low over the city before roughly 150 RSF pickup vehicles and other unidentified automobiles arrived with militants.

Hub Eddin Wadi, an assistant pharmacist at Kreinik hospital, claimed there was a lack of medical personnel to care for the large number of injured and deceased.

“I expect the death toll to climb,” he continued, “since there are many wounded persons who are still bleeding and many of them [have] the bullets… still within them.” “There aren’t enough medical personnel here to care for them.”

Wadi blamed the abuse on the RSF. “They have eliminated the town off the Earth – more than 90% of the houses have been burnt down,” he explained. “They even slaughtered the animals that individuals brought [with] them to guard them around the hospital.”

The pharmacist, who lost six relatives in the conflict, including his uncle and two cousins, claimed that the Arab RSF militia stormed the hospital where he worked and slaughtered 15 individuals who had fled their houses to seek safety from the war.

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Thousands of people seeking refuge, he added, were now waiting in the sun without shade outside the army headquarters. An eyewitness who requested anonymity told the Guardian that troops attacked families burying family members slain in Sunday’s raid at a cemetery in al-Jamarick, west of the city, on Monday.

Volker Perthes, the United Nations Special Representative, denounced the weekend’s violence and demanded an inquiry.

More than 37,000 people fled to Chad from the town of Adikong last month when militias assaulted and murdered five people. A similar incident two weeks prior killed 17 individuals in the Jabal Moon region. Several eyewitnesses informed the Guardian that they suspected Janjaweed fighters were responsible.

Kreinik is mostly populated by the Masalit, the largest ethnic group in West Darfur, many of whom rejected the 2020 peace deal reached in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, between the government and rebel forces primarily from the north of Darfur. Only the Sudanese coalition troops commanded by Abakar have any support among the Masalit population.

Darfur’s war, which began in 2003, pitted rebels from non-Arab ethnic minority against the Arab-dominated administration of then-President Omar al-Bashir.
Bashir’s regime released the dreaded Janjaweed, who were mostly recruited from Arab herder tribes and were responsible for violent attacks, looting, and rampant rape.

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Before the conflict died down, the UN estimates that 300,000 people were murdered and 2.5 million were displaced. It left behind a state rife with weaponry and conflicts.

Bashir, who was deposed in April 2019 following major protests, is still wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for his role in the Darfur crisis.

Since October, scores of people have been killed and hundreds of houses have been burned down in Darfur, reflecting a broader security breakdown following last year’s military coup led by the army chief, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, which stalled the transition to full civilian rule after Bashir was deposed.

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