Panafrican News Agency

Dozens killed in militia attack in West Darfur

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - At least 48 people were killed and scores injured on Saturday when a group militias attacked Al-Genaina city, capital of Genaina State, West Darfur.

The attack targeted Kerainding camp for displaced persons, the state-run Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported. The Sudanese government has imposed a curfew on area.

SUNA did not state the cause of the attack but media reports indicate that the violence involved the Massalit tribe and Arab nomads and descended into fighting involving armed militias in the area.

The Doctors Union in West Darfur State said on Sunday that its preliminary count indicated that the bloody incident, which started on Saturday morning, left 48 people dead and 97 injured.

Union said its medical cadre had been making great efforts to treat the injured amid difficulty of movement and shortage of medical and health cadres.

It called for securing of health facilities and provision of transport, escorted by regular soldiers, to help paramedics of the public and private health institutions reach the injured who are stranded at the area of the attack.

The Union also called for medical supplies to hospitals and appealed to its members to be ready to come to work whenever a safe means of transport is provided, saying “this is the sacred duty that we are committed to carry out”.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) in a press release on Sunday urged the Transitional Government, the government of West Darfur State and the military and security forces to protect civilians from attacks by "the unruly armed groups which have been freely moving and terrorizing civilians since the collapse of the former regime".

The SPA stressed that the continuation of these attacks would constitute "a real threat to peace and social security as well as the humanitarian situation" in the Darfur region before the  complete exit of UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

It said such a situation would not give a good account of the Transitional Government's security plan set to replace the peacekeepers.

The statement said that the declaration of state of emergency and curfew across the West Darfur State was not enough unless it was followed by measures of controlling the armed groups.

There should also be enforcement of law and urgent legal procedures to control the proliferation of arms, in addition to preventing the use of weapons of the military and security forces against civilians.

The SPA said such incidents confirm that proliferation of weapons in all parts of Sudan, and in Darfur region in particular, was one of the main reasons for the deterioration of security and continued attacks against civilians.

UNAMID’s mandate ended on 31 December 2020.

According to the UN, as of 1 January 2021, UNAMID’s troops and police personnel will focus on providing security for the Mission’s drawdown activities, personnel and assets. 

UNAMID will have a period of six months to undertake the drawdown, which will be conducted in a phased manner, it said.

This will involve repatriating troops, their vehicles and other equipment, separation of international and national staff as well as a sequential closure of the Mission’s team sites and offices and handing them over to designated entities in line with United Nations rules.

With UNAMID ceasing all its mandate-related activities, which have been centred on supporting the peace process, protection of civilians, including facilitation of delivery of humanitarian assistance and supporting the mediation of intercommunal conflicts, the Government of Sudan will fully assume its primary role for addressing all the issues in these areas. 

-0- PANA MA/AR 17Jan2021