Aid groups warn of rise in Darfur violence, dozens killed

Internally displaced Sudanese women carry water from a tap within the Kalma camp for IDPs in Darfur
Internally displaced Sudanese women carry water from a tap near their makeshift shelter within the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, Sudan, April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Dozens of people have been killed in violence this week in three separate areas of Sudan's West Darfur region and thousands of people have fled the violence, local medics said.

The West Darfur Doctors Committee said in statements on Wednesday and Thursday that attacks in the Kreinik area killed 88 and wounded 84, while renewed violence in the Jebel Moon area killed 25 and wounded four. Meanwhile, violence in the Sarba locality killed eight and wounded six.

"They have created a wave of displacement from the outskirts into the town, with a humanitarian situation that can be described at the very least as catastrophic," the committee said in a statement late on Wednesday, referring to Kreinik.

One resident said a camp of displaced people had been flattened and thousands of people had sought refuge in government buildings.

"The area is completely destroyed," the resident said.

Analysts say a peace deal signed by some rebel groups in October 2020 was one cause of unrest as local groups jostled for power. A joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission stopped patrolling in January.

Humanitarian groups said there had been a rise in conflict across the wider Darfur region recently.

The Coordinating Committee for Refugee and Displacement Camps, a local NGO, said on Wednesday there was renewed violence in the Jebel Moon area, where aid workers reported 43 people killed and 10,000 displaced in violence last month.

The Zamzam refugee camp was being encircled by militias on Wednesday and the Donki Shata area of North Darfur was also attacked, the committee said on Wednesday.

The early-2000s conflict in Darfur between rebel groups on one side and government forces and allied militias on the other has caused an estimated 300,000 deaths. About 2.5 million people live in displacement camps across Darfur, according to U.N. refugee agency UNHCR.

The Coordinating Committee and Darfur residents complain that the militias continue to carry out attacks on villages and camps.

Some 430,000 people have been displaced over the past year, a four-fold increase over 2020, aid groups say.

"National authorities and the international community must urgently deal with the bloody reality of this spiralling violence," Will Carter of the Norwegian Refugee Council said in a statement on Wednesday.

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Khalid Abdelaziz; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Alex Richardson

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