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Sudanese security forces ensure security in al-Geneina, the capital of the West Darfur state, on April 2, 2016
Security forces have been deployed to an area of Blue Nile state to restore order following the tribal clashesImage: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

Dozens killed in tribal clashes in Sudan

July 16, 2022

A nighttime curfew was ordered in Blue Nile state after days of violence between the Berti and Hausa tribes. The military coup in October is blamed for a security vacuum that has reignited long-standing disputes.


At least 31 people were killed and 39 injured during several days of tribal clashes in the southeastern region of Sudan close to the border with Ethiopia, officials said Saturday.

A statement from Blue Nile state's regional government described how the clashes spread in several towns, with 16 shops set ablaze.

Security forces made several arrests and brought the situation under control, the statement added.

Clashes sparked by killing of farmer

Some residents have blamed the violence, between the Berti and Hausa tribes, on the killing of a farmer earlier this week.

A prominent Hausa member told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity that the Berti tribe had rejected a Hausa request to create a "civil authority to supervise access to land."

But a senior Berti member said the tribe was responding to a "violation" of its lands by the Hausa.

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AFP cited witnesses as saying that clashes had resumed Saturday close to the state capital, Al-Damazin.

"We heard gunshots," resident Fatima Hamad told AFP from the city of Al-Roseires, across the river from Al-Damazin, "and saw smoke rising" from the south.

Al-Damazin resident Ahmed Youssef said "dozens of families" crossed the bridge into the city to flee the violence.

Authorities have declared an overnight curfew in two towns and banned protests for the next month.

Coup created security vacuum

Sudan has seen mass protests and a violent clampdown by authorities since the military removed a transitional government in October.

Until the coup, the country was moving toward democracy following the overthrowal of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Experts say the putsch created a security vacuum that has sparked a resurgence in tribal violence over land, livestock, and access to water and grazing areas.

In April, tribal clashes killed more than 200 people in war-ravaged Darfur.

mm/kb (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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