KHARTOUM: Clashes between members of two Sudanese tribes in an eastern town have left seven people dead and 22 wounded over the past two days, a local official told AFP Sunday.
The violence erupted on Saturday between members of the Nuba and Bani Amer tribes in the town of Gadaref, said Mohieddine Ahmed, governor of Gadaref province.
“It all started when a woman from the Nuba tribe and a water vendor from the Bani Amer tribe quarrelled over the price of water” on Saturday, Ahmed said.
“The verbal dispute ended with the vendor killing the woman, which triggered anger among her tribe members.” Members of the two groups then set fire to homes and shops belonging to each other’s kin, Ahmed added.
“In the ensuing clashes seven people have been killed and 22 wounded,” Ahmed said, adding that the two groups have clashed in the past. The wounded included seven policemen, he said, as officers sought to separate the groups with tear gas and by firing shots in the air. Ahmed said the fighting that erupted on Saturday continued until Sunday morning.
Tribal clashes are often reported in several regions of Sudan, especially in the war-torn western Darfur provinces.
Sudan’s army rulers and protesters are to hold fresh talks over handing power to a civilian administration on Monday, a spokesman for the protest movement told AFP.
On Saturday, the Alliance for Freedom and Change — an umbrella for the protest movement — said the generals had invited it for a new round of talks after several days of deadlock.
“The meeting was planned for today but it has now been postponed to Monday,” alliance spokesman Rashid Al-Sayed said.
Sayed did not explain why the talks were postponed, but sources in the alliance said that more time was needed for consultations within the leadership.
The latest planned round of talks come as thousands of protesters remain camped outside army headquarters in central Khartoum. They say they are determined to force the ruling military council to cede power — just as they pushed the military into deposing veteran President Omar Al-Bashir on April 11.
The army generals and protesters are at loggerheads over who will sit on a new ruling body that would replace the existing military council.
The generals have proposed that the new council be military led, while the protest leaders want a majority civilian body.
Late last month, the alliance — which brings together protest organizers, opposition parties and rebel groups — handed the generals its proposals for a civilian-led transitional government.
But the generals have pointed to what they call “many reservations” over the alliance’s roadmap.
They have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of sharia law, which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir’s rule but is anathema to secular groups like the Sudanese Communist Party and some rebel factions in the alliance.
“We want to hold the talks quickly and sort out all these points in 72 hours,” the alliance said on Saturday.
Sudan, an ethnically diverse country, has been rocked by nationwide protests since December.
Thousands of protesters still remain camped outside the military headquarters in central Khartoum, calling on the army generals who deposed Bashir to hand power over to civilians.