2020 Darfur attacks

The 2020 Darfur attacks were three mass shootings that occurred in July 2020 in Darfur, Sudan. Sudan's leadership and the joint United Nations and African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) have connected the massacres to land conflicts relating to farming rights, typically between non-Arab tribal farmers, such as the Masalit people, and Arab Bedouin tribes,[1] whom the government believes to be the attackers.[2]

2020 Darfur attacks
Part of the War in Darfur
Map of Darfur 2011.png
Location of Darfur (light green) and the rest of Sudan (pale yellow)
LocationDarfur, Sudan
Date12–26 July 2020
Attack type
Mass shootings
MotiveLand conflicts relating to farming rights


Since 2003, a civil war has been taking place in Darfur, in the west of Sudan. During the violence, various ethnic groups were driven out of their land. Other people moved in and took over the land; in the 2010s, the original landowners returned and contested ownership.[3]

According to reports by Radio Dabanga:[4]

"The Unregistered Lands Act of 1970 entitled the government to use force in safeguarding land and encouraging the accumulation of land by a minority of rich investors (local or foreign), causing the alienation of agro-pastoralists from their traditional homelands and denying any formal legitimacy or juridical status to traditional property rights."[5]

Farming in the region largely ceased during the conflict, and in early 2020 the Sudanese government intervened to return land to its original owners.[6][7][3][5]


12 July: Kutum, North DarfurEdit

On 12 July 2020, at least 9 people were killed and 20 injured in an armed attack on protesters carried out by unidentified armed militiamen riding motorbikes, camels and horses in the Fata Borno area of the Kutum locality, in North Darfur. The government, in reaction, decided to impose a state of emergency throughout the state. The witnesses further stated that the militias used light and heavy weapons and looted the town's market, after the withdrawal of the police forces.[8]

24 July: Aboudos, South DarfurEdit

On 24 July 2020, gunmen stormed the village of Aboudos in South Darfur, Sudan, according to local tribal leaders.[9][6] The attack left at least 20 people dead and another 22 were injured.[7] The victims included children, according to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He connected the violence to farmers in the area returning to their fields, and pledged to send troops to Darfur to "protect citizens and the farming season".[10] These troops would be spread across all of the Darfur region, and consist of both police and military units.[10]

25–26 July: Masteri, West DarfurEdit

On 25 and 26 July 2020, another massacre occurred in West Darfur involving around 500 gunmen who attacked Masteri near Beida, a Masalit community, killing more than 60 people.[6] Masteri is a border village with Chad.[11] The United Nations (UN) said that another 60 people were injured in the attack, and that the attackers also looted and burned down villages.[12] A UN statement said it was "one of the latest of a series of security incidents reported over the last week", saying other communities in the region had been destroyed[6] and reporting at least seven deadly attacks in West Darfur since 19 July.[11] The UN have suggested the conflict relates to disputes over land ownership: after displacement in Darfur in the early 2000s, groups took over abandoned land. In recent years, persecuted groups have attempted to return to their land. No group has claimed the attacks.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sudan deploys security forces after 120 dead, injured in attack in Darfur". Middle East Monitor. 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  2. ^ Soudan : le gouvernement envoie l'armée au Darfour en proie à une flambée de violences [Sudan: the government sends the Army to Darfur after an eruption of violences] (in French), France TV info, 29 July 2020, Khartoum veut stopper les milices arabes proches de l'ancien président Omar el-Béchir qui terrorisent les populations dans l'ouest du pays [Cartum wants to stop the arab militias aligned with the old president Omar el Bechir who are terrorizing the West of the country.
  3. ^ a b c "Sudan to send more troops to Darfur after attacks". BBC News. 27 July 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  4. ^ "About us Radio Dabanga". www.dabangasudan.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Unamid conference addresses land ownership in Darfur". Radio Dabanga. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "Sudan sending troops to Darfur after 60 killed". 27 July 2020. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ a b "Gunmen kill at least 22 villagers in South Darfur, locals say". Reuters. 25 July 2020.
  8. ^ UN condemns deadly violence in Sudan's North Darfur
  9. ^ "Attackers kill at least 20 in Sudan's Darfur, says tribal chief". Al Jazeera English. 25 July 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Sudan to deploy troops to Darfur after killings: PM Hamdok". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Dozens killed in renewed violence in Sudan's Darfur: UN". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  12. ^ Deutsche Welle (www.dw.com). "More than 60 killed in fresh attacks in Sudan's Darfur region | DW | 27.07.2020". DW.COM.