Clashes between members of Massalit and Arab communities since Saturday in El Geneina city have displaced thousands in the latest outbreak of violence since January.

Internally displaced people sit together at Attash camp in south Darfur, Sudan, March 21, 2021.
Internally displaced people sit together at Attash camp in south Darfur, Sudan, March 21, 2021. (Reuters)

Days of inter-communal clashes in Sudan's West Darfur have left at least 132 people dead, the troubled region's governor said.

"According to medical reports, the number of dead is now 132," Mohamed Abdallah Douma, the governor of the region bordering Chad, told a press conference in Khartoum on Thursday.

Members of the Massalit and Arab communities have fought since Saturday in and around the state capital El Geneina, trading gun and heavy weapons fire.

Sudan's government has declared a state of emergency in the region. 

"The situation is now relatively stable," Douma said, adding that there was "looting" but "no more fighting."

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

Thousands flee latest violence  

Sudan is in the midst of a rocky transition following the toppling of long-time president Omar al Bashir in April 2019, following mass protests against his rule.

The transitional government has pushed to build peace with rebel groups in Sudan's main conflict zones, including Darfur, where UN peacekeepers were recently withdrawn.

Thousands have fled the latest outbreak of violence, some escaping into Chad, according to the United Nations.

The clashes have seen a power station destroyed, an ambulance attacked and a rocket-propelled grenade hitting the key Sultan Tajeldin Hospital.

It is the latest outbreak of violence between the communities since January, when over 100,000 people fled their homes, according to the UN.

READ MORE: Sudan, rebel group sign deal on future peace talks

Civil war of 2000s

The vast Darfur region was previously ravaged by a civil war that erupted in 2003, leaving around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the UN.

It flared when ethnic minority rebels rose up against Bashir's Arab-dominated government.

Khartoum responded by unleashing Arab-dominated militia known as the Janjaweed, recruited from among the region's nomadic tribes.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide during the Darfur conflict.

Source: AFP