Hundreds dead in new wave of Darfur violence


Violence in West Darfur, Sudan

from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan Bureau
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – MORE than 200 people have died, thousands displaced, hundreds of homes burned and property looted during new attacks by armed Arab assailants on civilians in West Darfur since April.

The United Nations (UN) reported that the latest attack on civilians in the town of Kulbus and neighboring villages, between June 6 and 11, left at least 125 people dead.

Those killed include five children, over 100 injured and 33 000 displaced.

Most of the victims are reported to be from the non-Arab Gimir community. The attackers reportedly burned homes and farms and looted livestock.

The violence in Kulbus follows the patterns of attacks on civilians by heavily armed Arab militia between April 22 and 24 in the town of Kerenik.

At least 165 people were killed, 98 000 displaced and significant civilian infrastructure destroyed in Kulbus.

These attacks also followed a dispute between individuals related to a livestock rustling incident.

“The last two months have shown all too starkly the devastating dividends of withdrawing peacekeepers and ignoring the ongoing need to protect civilians in Darfur,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“It’s hard not to feel like the international community, which watched Darfur with eagle eyes for years, has completely abandoned these victims of ethnic cleansing.”

Darfur is among the most hostile region to be a peacekeeper.

At least 295 peacekeepers have been killed in the region since deployment in in 2007.

This is the second worst toll after the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, where 325 personnel have been killed since establishment in 1978.

– CAJ News