Toby Harward, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Regional Director in Darfur, stated on Tuesday that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is “very worried” about the increase of violence in Sudan’s Darfur area.
“Tension continues to grow in the Jebel Moon region of Darfur,” Harward said in a statement, “and violent events have occurred in other regions of West Darfur in the previous few days, including El Geneina on December 5.”
He went on to say that approximately 10,000 people escaped the wave of sectarian violence in West Darfur’s Jebel Moon region, with more than 2,000 of them seeking asylum in neighboring Chad, predominantly women, and children.
In a press release, the governor of West Darfur state said that at least 48 people had been murdered in tribal confrontations between Arab and African tribes in the Karinak area.
“The events began with a fight in the Karinak area market, east of El Geneina, the state capital, on Saturday evening, and the situation expanded, and six people were killed,” he said in a statement to AFP.
“On Sunday, Arab groups stormed the city of Karenak’s districts and battled with government forces, killing more than 40 people,” he said, adding that the Central Doctors Committee has confirmed the deaths of 48 individuals.
“Initial reports suggest the killing of at least 43 people, the burning and looting of 46 villages, and the injuring of an unknown number of others due to the ongoing conflict,” according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
According to UN estimates, the war began when a group of African minorities took up weapons against the administration of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, saying that the area had been politically and economically disadvantaged.