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At least 125 dead as rival groups clash in Sudan’s West Darfur, medical group says

Clashes between rival groups have so far claimed at least 125 lives and left 208 others injured in the volatile west Darfur region of Sudan, according to the Western Darfur State Doctors Committee.

The violence has continued in El Geneina city, the capital of West Darfur state, for a sixth day in a row, the medical group said.

“This is by far the biggest wave of violence in Darfur (since the 2020 peace agreement was reached,)” a doctor working in West Darfur told CNN.

Videos posted from El Geneina on Monday and Tuesday showed fires burning in the town.

“People were displaced from the conflict villages, they ran carrying nothing but their clothes on, many of them are here near the hospital I work in with no food, no money, nothing at all,” the doctor said.

“Displaced people are saying that their houses have been burnt and that the shooting was random. We saw injuries from rifles, grenades and even snipers, injuries are mostly compound fractures but I have seen also injuries in the heads.”

The doctor stressed that doctors in the area are in severe shortage of medical materials. “We need bandages, syringes, anti-biotics, sanitizing materials, medical plasters and gauzes. Our X-ray machine isn’t working now so we are sending injured people to another center to be scanned.”

The doctor said that in his hospital there are only about 25 doctors working to treat the injured people, plus nurses and the Red Crescent volunteers.

“Our hospital was attacked yesterday but thankfully the security managed to keep them away. Our hospital protection team is quite small — there are only 5 military vehicles. And to be honest with you our security plan is: ‘May god protect us.'”

An aid worker familiar with the situation told CNN the security forces had been slow to intervene.

On Monday, the Sudanese government declared a state of emergency in the area, but clashes have continued.

The doctor said they would like to urge the government to intervene before the situation gets out of their hands. “There is a deadly slowness from the central government and they need to issue urgent orders to stop this. I call upon the international community to send urgent medical aids to the hospitals to be able to server the injured people”

UN peacekeepers were withdrawn from the region last year after a peace agreement between warring groups – known as the Juba Peace Agreement – was reached last October. But an aid official contacted by CNN said that unrest had continued because “Arab tribes would have to abide by the rule of law and recognize land rights agreed in the peace deal which they appear unwilling to do.”

Darfur had previously seen a major armed conflict that began in 2003, which the UN says left 300,000 people dead and displaced more than 2.7 million.

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