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18 die, 54 injure after tribal clash in Sudan

By News Desk, with agency report

Eighteen people have been killed and 54 injured during tribal clashes in the Sudanese city of El Geneinea in a renewal of bloodshed following a major flare-up of violence earlier this year.

The incident was the latest in the troubled region since the signing of a peace agreement late last year and the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers.

In January, at least 129 people were killed and military reinforcements were brought into El Geneina, capital of West Darfur state. However, local sources said that they have since largely withdrawn.

Confirming the development, the West Darfur Doctors Committee, through a statement on Monday, said that the most recent clashes began between members of the Masalit and Arab tribes on Saturday and escalated on Sunday and Monday morning throughout the city.

Also, residents of the city alleged that there were the use of heavy weaponry and rocket-propelled grenades, with pictures and videos from residents showing plumes of smoke rising from the city’s neighbourhoods.

In October, the transitional Sudanese government signed a peace agreement with some of the rebel groups that had fought ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

However, attacks by members of Arab tribes Bashir had armed to fight the rebels have been escalating, and tribal clashes have increased in the heavily armed region.

International peacekeepers began withdrawing at the start of the year, and the Sudanese government said that a new joint peacekeeping force mandated under the agreement would be able to protect civilians. But many in Darfur argued that they feel less safe.

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