Note: This op-ed originally appeared in Sudan Tribune and was written by Dr. Suliman Baldo, Senior Advisor to the Enough Project.
New Year’s Day spelled death and despair for the people of West Darfur. Following the intensification of clashes between elements from Arab and non-Arab Massalit ethnic groups during the two previous days, thousands of inhabitants of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, and of the IDP camps in the vicinity fled the fighting. Many crossed into neighboring Chad in search of safety, while thousands of others joined their extended families throughout Darfur.
In an escalation of indiscriminate killings, the two sides reported at least 70 people killed and scores more injured. According to the Massalit chieftain, armed uniformed fighters motivated by tribal considerations raided Kerending camp, torched the houses, and killed some fifty displaced people, forcing survivors to flee. Gunfire prevented emergency workers from rescuing the wounded or collecting the dead. Fearful for their own safety, workers in humanitarian agencies were evacuated on Tuesday. Doctors at the hospital were allegedly threatened as they tried to treat the wounded from both sides. The sudden fighting left thousands of people stranded across Darfur as they were forced to interrupt their travel to El Geneina…
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