43 people were killed and 16 villages burned down after a "dispute over camel looting" sparked violent clashes.

Darfur has remained awash with weapons and violence often erupts over land, access to agriculture or water.
Darfur has remained awash with weapons and violence often erupts over land, access to agriculture or water. (AFP)

At least 43 people have been killed in days of fighting between herders in Sudan's western Darfur region, with more than 1,000 homes set on fire.

Omar Abdelkarim, Sudan's humanitarian aid commissioner in West Darfur state, said on Thursday the violence broke out on November 17 between armed Arab herders in the rugged Jebel Moon mountains close to the border with Chad. 

"The clashes left more than 43 people dead on both sides," he said. "Around 16 villages have been completely burned down".

West Darfur governor Khamis Abdallah said the violence was sparked by "a dispute over camel looting", and that "military reinforcements have been sent to the area and the situation has stabilised".

Some people have fled west seeking safety across the border to Chad, he added.

Violence over land, access to agriculture or water.

Darfur was ravaged by a civil war which erupted in 2003, that pitted ethnic minority rebels complaining of discrimination against the Arab-dominated government of Omar al Bashir.

More than 300,000 people died and 2.5 million were displaced, according to the United Nations.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face charges of genocide in Darfur, was ousted and jailed in April 2019 following mass protests against his three-decade rule.

While the main conflict in Darfur has subsided, with a peace deal struck with key rebel groups last year, the arid region has remained awash with weapons and violence often erupts over land, access to agriculture or water. 

READ MORE: Death toll of tribal clashes rises in Sudan's Darfur region

Coup aftermath 

A UN peacekeeping mission wound up in Darfur last year.

The latest clashes come against a backdrop of political turbulence, as Sudan reels from the aftermath of a military coup last month that drew wide international condemnation and sparked mass protests.

On October 25, top general Abdel Fattah al Burhan overthrew the country's post-Bashir transitional government and detained the civilian leadership.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was freed from effective house arrest and reinstated, after signing a deal with Burhan that was viewed by critics as "whitewashing" the coup.

READ MORE: Sudan military, PM Hamdok sign deal on democratic transition

Source: AFP