At least 173 people died in the tragic toll of tribal clashes that broke out in the province of West Darfur last week. On May 22, 9 people were victims of the clashes in the village of Kreinik, while on May 24 a real massacre took place, with the death of 164 people.
According to local testimonies collected by the press, the violence would have been conducted once again by the Arab Janjaweed militia, while the Sudanese army would not have intervened in any way to defend civilians, leading to the flight of over 20,000 people after the houses of the village were largely burned and razed to the ground.
The village of Kreinik, located about 80 km east of the city of Geneina, was allegedly attacked by Janjaweed militias following a dispute between nomads of Arab ethnicity and members of the local African community of Massalit, in the context of frequent disputes that arise regarding the control of land and water sources.
The Janjaweed militias, supported by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the orders of General Dagalo – vice president of Sudan’s Sovereign Transitional Council – are sadly known in the Darfur region for the violence committed since the time of dictator Omar al-Bashir, who had instigated their role and action against ethnic Africans.
Last week’s violence is said to have begun after two Janjaweed militiamen were killed during clashes with the local Massalit population over control of certain plots of land, leading to a reaction by Arab militias who burst into the village of Kreinik on board all-terrain vehicles armed with machine guns and on horseback, opening fire on the population and setting homes on fire.
The fighting then spread to the town of Genenina, where the local hospital was attacked, allegedly in an attempt by Janjaweed to capture some wounded who escaped the Kreinik village massacre.
The governor of Darfur, Minni Minawi, accused the militia of the Rapid Support Forces of having supported the Janjaweed in conducting the attack and at the same time accused the army of not having intervened in defense of the population, leaving the area shortly before the attack.