Skip to main content

Sudan: Clashes in Darfur leave seven people dead

Witnesses say violence pitted Arab herders against farmers from the Daju minority, but it was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting
The Darfur conflict erupted in 2003 between ethnic minority rebels and the Khartoum government, killing 300,000 people and displacing 2.5 million, according to the UN (File pic/AFP)

Violent clashes between Arab and non-Arab groups have left at least seven dead and more than a dozen wounded in Sudan's Darfur region, the country's state media reported on Saturday.

The clashes erupted on Wednesday, 20km from the South Darfur state capital Nyala, but the casualty numbers only emerged this weekend.

According to witnesses, the violence pitted Arab herders against farmers from the Daju minority and other non-Arab ethnic groups. It was not clear what sparked the clashes.

Another Sudanese media outlet put the number of dead as high as 12, but this has not been officially confirmed.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


"A group of herders riding camels and vehicles attacked the village of Amuri on Friday, leaving the site burnt and four people killed," the official SUNA news agency said, adding that two people were killed between Wednesday and Thursday.

According to local media sources, as many as nine villages may have been burnt down and their residents displaced.

At least 20 people were treated at Nyala hospital for bullet wounds, a medical source told AFP. Security forces were dispatched to the area to contain the violence.

According to Doctors Without Borders, violence in the Darfur region has been on the rise in the last two years.

Earlier this year, at least 168 were killed during an attack on Kreinik in West Darfur, with violence reaching the state capital resulting in 87,000 people being displaced.

Ethnic divisions

Ethnic clashes have been a frequent occurrence in Darfur. The base region, almost the size of France, has been riven by civil strife since a bitter civil war erupted in 2003 that resulted in a conflict between minority rebels and the Arab-dominated government then led by President Omar al-Bashir. 

Sudan: Survivors recount horrific details of West Darfur violence
Read More »

Clashes in Darfur often take on an ethnic dimension as the region's Arab tribes are largely pastoralists while many of the region's settled farmers are drawn from minority groups.

A peace deal was signed in 2020, but since a military coup in October 2021, Darfur has seen violence spike again, with hundreds killed in fighting between herders and farmers.

The conflict that erupted in 2003 saw 300,000 people killed and 2.5 million displaced, according to UN figures.

Although large-scale fighting has now abated across much of Darfur, the region remains awash with weapons and deadly clashes often erupt over access to pasture or water.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.