The security situation in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur state worsened since the 15th of January 2021 after the fighting erupted among the Arab and Massalit Tribes. Initial reports indicate that many houses are totally burnt and thousands of IDPs fled the Krinding camps while the main road from Krinding to El Geneina town remains blocked.
The inter-tribal clashes subsided since then with security reinforcement in Krinding and El Geneina town and some reports shows that the clashes between the two groups is expanded to Abuzar camps and Jabal areas. As of 17th of January 2021, more than 140 (100 Masalit and 40 Arab tribesmen) were killed and over 150 injured, however these figures remain to be cross-checked. A significant number of people are reportedly missing and casualty figures are expected to be higher. Reports from the field shows that health facilities are overwhelmed with large number of seriously injured people while the facilities have limited medical supplies and health workers to attend the victims.
According to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in west Darfur, up to 50,000 people living in camps and surrounding villages were affected and displaced to El Geneina town. This includes 32,000 people from the three in Krinding camps (Krinding, Krinding and Sultan House), about 8000 people from areas neighboring the Krinding camps (Dareelselam, Darelnaeem, Bab Aljinan) and about 10,000 people from surrounding villages. The displaced families are sheltering in schools and ministry buildings (Alimam Alkasim School, Alzahraa School, Salah Aldin School and Algadima School). The displaced persons are expected to be in urgent need of life-saving assistance, including Health, Protection, NFI, food and other assistance.
As an immediate measure, the Wali (Governor) issued two decrees on 16 January, a curfew across all West Darfur and authorization for the police to use force to restore law and order. According to UNDSS, additional security forces have been deployed to El Geneina Town, Krinding and Jabal areas. A high-level delegation from Khartoum, led by the Prime Minister joined by all Walies of Darfur states, is expected to arrive in El Geneina during this week.
This incident comes a year after violence in December 2019-January 2020 in El Geneina that led to the displacement of about 32,000 IDPs to El Geneina from IDPs camps and surrounding villages. July 2020 saw another wave of inter-communal violence in Masterei that forced 40,000 people to flee and seek shelter in El Geneina. Evidence from the previous conflict show that heightened risks of GBV including sexual violence for women and girls are expected especially against women and girls collecting firewood and grass whole armed militias are present around the villages.