5 killed in west Sudan tribal violence, rights group says
CAIRO (AP) — Two days of tribal violence in western Sudan’s long-troubled Darfur region killed at least 5 people, tribal leaders and a rights group said Friday.
The violence between African Masalit tribesmen and Arab shepherds in West Darfur erupted Thursday after two armed assailants fatally shot a merchant in a remote area, leaders from both groups said.
In a statement, Masalit tribesmen accused Arab militia of being behind the killing. The slaying sparked a series of targeted attacks that killed at least four more people, the tribal leaders and the rights group both said.
Five victims were later identified by the Darfur Bar Association, a Sudanese legal group focusing on human rights in the western province. The group called on both sides to de-escalate tensions.
The violence comes as wrangling cross-party talks continue in Khartoum over how the African country will usher in a civilian government following 17 months of military rule.
Sudan has been steeped in chaos after a military coup, led by the country’s top Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, removed a Western-backed government in October 2021, upending its short-lived transition to democracy.
But last December the country’s ruling military and various pro-democracy forces signed a preliminary agreement pledging to reinstate the transition.
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Last week, signatories to December’s agreement vowed to begin establishing a new civilian-led transitional government April 11. However, many major political forces in the country remain opposed to the deal.
Since the military takeover, Sudan has also seen a spike in inter-tribal violence in the country’s west and south.
Analysts see the violence and growing insecurity in Sudan’s far-flung regions as a product of the power vacuum caused by the military takeover.