More than 60 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack launched by gunmen in a village in Sudan’s West Darfur province on Saturday. The government responded by deploying security forces to protect civilians and secure the agricultural season.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok confirmed that Khartoum intends to send security forces to the disturbed region of Darfur “to protect civilians and the agricultural season”.
A statement by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Khartoum said that the attack “is part of a series of incidents that took place last week and translated into burning villages and houses and vandalising markets and stores” in West Darfur.
According to the UN, about 500 armed men attacked Mestiri village, 48 kilometres from Al-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, on Saturday, killing more than 60 people, the majority of them from the Masalit tribe, and injuring 60 others.
A large number of houses in the north, south and east of the village were looted and burned, and half of the local market was destroyed.
More recently, attacks have targeted African tribal farmers, who are in conflict with Arab Bedouin tribes over ownership of agricultural land.
The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that around 30 villages in Al-Geneina were affected.
“According to reports from humanitarian organisations, a number of incidents occurred in Al-Geneina locality, which affected about thirty villages,” OCHA said.
On 21 and 23 July, a number of people fled their homes to the city of Al-Geneina to reside in public buildings such as schools.
A statement issued by the PM’s said: “Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok affirmed the government’s keenness to enhance security stability.”
“A joint force has been created in Darfur provinces to protect citizens and secure the agricultural season.”