Renewed clashes in Sudan's Darfur region leave at least 11 dead

Violence adds to a year in which the UN says nearly 1,000 were killed in ethnic or tribal violence

A family outside their makeshift shelter in the Kalma camp for internally displaced people, in Darfur. Reuters
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Ethnic clashes in Sudan's troubled region of Darfur have killed at least 11 people, including an 11-year-old boy, and left nearly two dozen others wounded.

The boy was burnt alive when his family home was torched during the violence, which had started on Wednesday, local officials and state media said on Saturday. Two men aged 72 and 75 were among the other people killed.

The violence began in an area near the South Darfur state capital Nyala.

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

Another person was killed when the fighting spread to nearby villages, where homes were "partially burnt" and stores looted, added the news agency, quoting a government statement.

A doctor at Nyala hospital told AFP that the number of bodies received there had reached 11.

Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Co-ordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, was quoted as saying the death toll was "likely to be much higher as the fighting is still ongoing".

Sudan's military ruler Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan. Violence has significantly increased in Darfur since the military took over power last year. AFP

Security forces travelling in all-terrain vehicles were dispatched to the area to contain the violence, SUNA said.

Ethnic clashes frequently break out in Darfur, a vast region that was devastated by a civil war in the 2000s that pitted ethnic rebels against the government of former dictator Omar Al Bashir.

The civil war led to the deaths of 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million others, UN figures show.

Violence has significantly increased in Darfur since the military took over power 14 months ago, upending the country's democratic transition and creating a security vacuum.

The unrest in Darfur, like elsewhere in Sudan, is invariably over land, water and pastures.

The conflict in Darfur, neighbouring Kordofan and southern regions has claimed nearly 900 lives and forced about 300,000 people to flee their homes this year, according to a UN report released earlier this month.

Updated: December 25, 2022, 9:24 AM