Sudanese civilians protest against United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) exit in Zalenjei, West Darfur, Sudan December 29, 2020. Picture taken December 29, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

KHARTOUM – Governor of Sudan’s West Darfur State Mohamed Abdalla Al Doma on Thursday announced that 132 people were killed in the recent armed clashes in the state’s capital of El Geneina.

“According to the medical reports, so far, the number of the people killed is 132,” Al Doma said at a press conference in Khartoum.

He said the security situation in the city is calm and the armed clashes have ceased, pointing to acts of looting at the outskirts of the city.

He added that the militias which attacked the civilians came from outside the city and from some countries neighboring Darfur.

“These are cross-border militias. Some came from Chad, and some from Libya, but they infiltrated without the knowledge of those countries,” he noted.

The armed clashes broke out on April 3 in El Geneina city between the Al-Massalit and Arab tribes.

On April 5, Sudan’s Security and Defence Council declared a state of emergency in West Darfur state and authorised forces to adopt all necessary measures to end armed clashes.

Sudan’s Darfur region has been mired in a civil war since 2003.

On December 31, 2020, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that ends the mandate of the UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in the region.

The around 16,000 UNAMID soldiers, who have been deployed in Darfur since 2007, are set to complete their exit in July.

Meanwhile, a UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) will deploy during 2021 to support the transitional period in the country.

The transitional government in Sudan is trying to fill in the security gap in Darfur by forming a special force from the security and military institutions and armed groups which signed a peace agreement with the government in October 2020.