KHARTOUM, Sudan, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A state of emergency was declared in Sudan's North Darfur state after a dramatic increase in ethnic violence, officials said.
The Sudan Tribune said a military ruler has been appointed to restore law and order in al-Waha and Kutum, located about 75 miles northwest of the provincial capital El Fashir. The newspaper said the assassination of al-Waha's district commissioner last month spawned a wave of revenge attacks by Arab tribal militiamen known as Jangaweed who accused members of the African ethnic group al-Zagawa of being behind the attack.
Al-Waha's commissioner was a chieftain of al-Zayidya, an Arab tribal group, the Tribune said Wednesday.
The ethnic violence has displaced 25,000 people and resulted in 21 deaths. Monday's attempted assassination of the Kutum district commissioner resulted in seven deaths and 11 injuries.
Gov. Mohammed Osman Youssef Kibir appointed Brig. Gen Mohammed Kamal Mohammed Nur to "temporarily supervise administrative and executive management of the two localities."
Schools have been closed, a nightly curfew imposed and residents are banned from carrying firearms "unless dictated by necessities."
The Tribune said the current conflict in Darfur started in 2003 when rebels associated with African ethnic groups took up arms against the government, accusing it of marginalizing the region. A counter-insurgency campaign led by government-backed Jangaweed militias resulted in 300,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 2.7 million people, the newspaper said.
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