Jan 24, 2021 17:55 UTC
  • Violence in Sudan’s Darfur killed 250, displaced 100,000: UN

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed alarm over tribal violence in Sudan’s conflict-ridden Darfur region, saying the conflict has killed at least 250 people and displaced more than 100,000 others.

UNHCR spokesman, Boris Cheshirkov, whose remarks were published Sunday, said that about 3,500 Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children, have fled into neighboring Chad.

“These refugees – the majority of them women and children – have been hosted in four very remote locations that lack basic services or public infrastructure, where they have been sheltering under trees,” Cheshirkov said in Geneva on Friday.

“Due to the COVID-19 situation, Chadian local authorities are directing the new arrivals to a transit site, where they will undergo quarantine before being relocated to an existing refugee camp, away from the border,” he added.

He also said that the UN agency is rushing supplies to the area to respond to their needs, as well as mobilizing resources as part of an inter-agency response.

Before the latest influx, there were more than 350,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, according to the agency.

The violence in West Darfur reportedly started as a local dispute on January 15 between the Massalit tribe and Arab nomads in the state capital El Geneina, before quickly morphing into broader fighting involving armed militias in the area.

State Governor Mohamed Abdalla al-Douma said at least 100 people were killed, more than 130 others were injured and up to 50,000 people were forced to flee areas in and around the Kerindig camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Sudanese authorities imposed a state-wide curfew in West Darfur, while the Khartoum government dispatched a "high-profile" delegation to help contain the situation.

Separate clashes on January 18 in South Darfur between members of the Fallata ethnic group and the Arab Rizeigat tribe also claimed the lives of at least 55 people and wounded 37 others.