DUBAI: The UN envoy for Sudan, Volker Peretz, welcomed the decision of the Sudanese Security and Defense Council to declare a state of emergency to contain the recent events in El Geneina, West Darfur state, and urged government security forces to prevent further violence and restore order in the interest of all civilians.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Peretz stressed that government security forces must be seen as working in the interest of peace and the protection of civilians, noting the need for full compliance with international human rights standards, regardless of tribal or ethnic affiliations.
The statement called on all parties to stop the fighting immediately, and called on the government to ensure the safe access of humanitarian organizations to provide services to those affected, and stressed the need to hold those responsible for violence accountable.
The death toll from tribal violence in Sudan’s Darfur region climbed to at least 56 as sporadic clashes continued on Tuesday, the UN said.
The violence poses a challenge to efforts by Sudan’s transitional government to end decades-long rebellions in areas like Darfur, where conflict often falls along ethnic lines.
The latest clashes grew out of a shooting on Saturday that killed two people from the Masalit tribe in a camp for displaced people in Genena, the capital of West Darfur province, according to the UN humanitarian affairs agency. Two others from the Masalit tribe were wounded in that shooting, it said.
Fighting ensued between the Rizeigat and the Masalit tribes, with both mobilizing armed men. Gunfire could still be heard in Genena late Monday, the U.N. said. Authorities have declared a state of emergency in West Darfur.
The Sudanese doctors’ committee in West Darfur, said that at least 132 people were wounded in the clashes, with some of them needing to be evacuated to the capital, Khartoum, for more advanced medical care. It also said that medical workers were facing difficulties in transporting the wounded due to the presence of armed groups.