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.
Haitian-Chilean national Rodolphe Jaar pleaded guilty before a US judge on Friday to three counts relating to his role in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was killed at his home in July 2021, court documents showed.
Jaar is one of 11 defendants in the case, including businessmen accused of helping to obtain vehicles and firearms from Florida and former Colombian soldiers accused of gunning down Moise in his bedroom.
According to the US Department of Justice, Jaar had been charged with helping get arms to the Colombians who also lived in a home he controlled and helping them while they were in hiding from Haitian authorities.
He was arrested in January 2022 in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Jaar’s sentencing, which could face life imprisonment, was set for June 2 in Miami, according to court documents.
Moise’s murder left a political vacuum in the Caribbean nation and emboldened powerful gangs that now effectively control large parts of the country and whose turf wars are fueling a humanitarian crisis that has displaced at least 160,000 people.
Jaar’s lawyer declined to comment.
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