Sudan’s Central Darfur state has declared a state of emergency after gunmen opened fire on mediators tasked with settling an inter-communal dispute, killing 24 people.

After an emergency meeting of the state security committee on Sunday night, Central Darfur Governor Saad Adam Babiker issued an order declaring a state of emergency in all parts of Central Darfur for a period of one month. 

The decision came after gunmen attacked a reconciliation committee sent to mediate a dispute between the rival Wadi Saleh and Bendasi communities. 

According to locals, the mediators were accused of favoring one side, sparking anger from the other side. The governor said the attack in Wed al-Mahi locality killed at least 24 people and left 41 others wounded. 

In the order, Babiker stressed the need to preserve the security of the state and the safety of citizens. It banned all forms of gatherings in the two localities. 

Last week, the governor of Blue Nile state, Ahmed Al Omda Badi, issued an emergency order also banning all public gatherings, events and unlicensed activities. 

Badi acted after communal clashes that killed more than 200 people. The order prohibits blocking public roads, encroaching on public and private property, and circulating content that calls for discrimination among citizens on an ethnic basis, among other activities.  

Inter-communal conflicts have been on the rise in Sudan since the military coup in October 2021. 

Pro-democracy protesters have kept up demands for the military to step aside and establish a civilian-led transitional government in the country. 

Mediation efforts by the U.N. and African Union have yet to bear fruit. 

 

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