Khartoum: Clashes that erupted over pasture between farmers and herders in Sudan’s western region of Darfur left three civilians dead on Sunday, a doctors committee linked to the country’s protest movement said.
“Three citizens were killed this morning in Shengel Tobay, in North Darfur state, and another was wounded,” the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said in a statement.
Such deadly violence over grazing land, which was one of the root causes of a deadly war that erupted in 2003, had been relatively rare in Darfur recently.
The latest incident marred the first day of the Eid Al Adha Muslim feast and it was Sudan’s first since months of protests brought down longtime ruler Omar Al Bashir and created an opportunity for civilian rule.
The deadly conflict that broke out more than 15 years ago in Sudan saw ethnic African rebels take up arms against Bashir’s regime, which they accused of marginalising the remote region.
Khartoum armed Arab pastoralists to quash the rebellion, leading to massacres against the population that earned Bashir and others international warrants on charges of genocide.
While the fighting has subsided in Darfur, tensions over pasture remain and those responsible for the war’s darkest hours have not been brought to justice.
“The former regime fuelled the conflict and contributed to deepening the crisis by not helping to provide sustainable solutions, and not holding perpetrators accountable,” the doctors committee said.
Bashir was ousted in April after 30 years in power and a temporary power-sharing agreement was reached a week ago by the country’s generals and protest leaders.
The document that will serve as Sudan’s de facto interim constitution, however, does not mention the fate of Al Bashir and others wanted by the International Criminal Court over massacres in Darfur.
A key figure in Sudan’s transitional authority and widely tipped as the country’s new strongman was once a top leader of an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed and responsible for some of the Darfur conflict’s worst atrocities.