At least 40 people have been killed and 58 injured in three days of clashes in Sudan’s West Darfur state, the United Nations said Monday.
“Since April 3, 40 people have been killed,” the UN humanitarian coordination office OCHA said in a statement.
It said the clashes pitted Arab groups against the non-Arab Massalit ethnic community in the city of El Geneina, where the situation remained “tense”.
After clashes at the weekend, residents of El Geneina, capital of West Darfur and close to the border with Chad, said gunfire erupted in the city at dawn on Monday, with shells exploding in the suburbs.
Plumes of smoke rose high into the sky as people fled the violence, witnesses reported.
“On Monday, we woke up to the sound of gunfire,” Abdelrahman Ahmed, an eyewitness, told AFP. Clashes “spread to the western suburbs”.
It is unclear what sparked the latest violence.
– Women and children fleeing –
The vast Darfur region was ravaged by a civil war that erupted in 2003, leaving around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the UN.
The conflict has subsided over the years, and the latest in a string of peace deals was agreed in October.
But clashes still erupt, often over land and access to water.
Eyewitnesses said fighting still raged on Monday afternoon, as thick smoke billowed over El Geneina.
“We stayed in our homes, but we’ve been hearing gunfire close by — a shell landed at our neighbour’s home,” said Adam Issa, another resident