CAIRO (AP) — Two days of tribal violence in western Sudan’s long-settled Darfur region killed at least 5 people, tribal leaders and a rights group said on Friday.
Violence between African Masalit tribesmen and Arab herdsmen in west Darfur erupted on Thursday after two gunmen fatally shot a merchant in a remote area, leaders of both groups said.
In a statement, Masalit tribesmen accused Arab militias of being behind the killing. The killing sparked a series of targeted attacks that killed at least four other people, the tribal leaders and rights group said.
Five victims were later identified by the Darfur Bar Association, a Sudanese rights group focused on human rights in the western province. The group urged both sides to de-escalate tensions.
The violence comes as quarrelsome bipartisan talks continue in Khartoum over how the African country will institute civilian rule after 17 months of military rule.
Sudan has descended into chaos after a military coup led by the country’s top general, Abdel-Fattah Burhan, ousted a Western-backed government in October 2021, turning the short-lived transition to democracy on its head.
But last December, the country’s ruling military and various pro-democracy forces signed a tentative agreement in which they pledged to resume the transition.
Last week, signatories to the December accord pledged to begin forming a new civilian-led interim government on April 11. However, many important political forces in the country remain opposed to the agreement.
Since the military takeover, Sudan has also seen a surge in inter-tribal violence in the west and south of the country.
Analysts see the violence and growing insecurity in Sudan’s remote regions as a result of the power vacuum created by the military takeover.