More tribal clashes in Sudanese city; death toll at 25

The tribal violence poses a significant challenge to efforts of Sudan’s authorities to stabilize the country. In the past three days, clashes in Port Sudan killed 25 people and wounded dozens. (AFP/File)
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Updated 13 August 2020

More tribal clashes in Sudanese city; death toll at 25

  • Fighting erupted this week between Beni Amer tribe and the displaced Nuba tribe

CAIRO, Juba: Tribal clashes that have gripped a Sudanese port city over the past three days have killed at least 25 people and wounded scores, a doctors’ association said on Wednesday.

The fighting in Port Sudan in the eastern province of Red Sea erupted earlier this week between the Beni Amer tribe and the displaced Nuba tribe. It was not the first time the two tribes clashed in Port Sudan or elsewhere in the county.

The clashes prompted local authorities on Tuesday to impose a round-the-clock curfew across the city. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Wednesday that troops have been deployed to Port Sudan to help contain the fighting.

He urged political parties in eastern Sudan to cooperate with local authorities to “protect security and social peace.”

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee said the clashes continued until late on Tuesday. The death toll climbed to 25, after 13 people were initially reported killed on Tuesday, it said. At least 87 others were wounded.

The committee is part of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association that spearheaded nationwide protests against longtime leader Omar Bashir. The military ousted Bashir amid the protests in April last year.

Local media reported that several houses and shops were set on fire amid the violence in Port Sudan.

The tensions between the two tribes date back to May 2019 in the eastern city of Qadarif, mainly over water and other resources. The clashes flared up in August last year in Port Sudan, when at least three dozen people from both sides were killed. They also clashed in January in the port city, when nine people were killed.

The tribal violence poses a significant challenge to efforts of Sudan’s transitional authorities to stabilize the country amid a fragile transition to democracy.


Lebanon finds four bodies after deadly sea crossing

Updated 21 September 2020

Lebanon finds four bodies after deadly sea crossing

  • UN peacekeepers retrieved one body and rescued 36 people from a boat in trouble in international waters off the Lebanese coast
  • Families of the survivors said the boat had been adrift without food or water for around a week
BEIRUT: Lebanon has retrieved the bodies of four people including a child after they tried to flee the crisis-hit country by sea on an overloaded dinghy, the civil defense said Monday.
A week ago, UN peacekeepers retrieved one body and rescued 36 people from a boat in trouble in international waters off the Lebanese coast.
Families of the survivors said the boat had been adrift without food or water for around a week, during which time several passengers had died or jumped overboard to find help.
The bodies are presumed to be from the same ill-fated crossing.
Since Friday, “we have retrieved four bodies — belonging to two Lebanese, one of whom was a child, a young Indian man and a Syrian man,” Samir Yazbek, the head of the civil defense’s sea rescue unit, told AFP.
The bodies were found in four separate locations off the north and south coasts of the country, and the search was ongoing, he added.
The UN refugee agency said last week that 25 Syrians, eight Lebanese and three people of other nationalities had been rescued from the boat.
It is unclear how many men, women and children originally clambered aboard the dinghy, and therefore how many are still missing.
On Saturday, the navy said it would step up its searches within and outside Lebanon’s territorial waters to find any other victims.
Relatives of those who went missing from the impoverished north Lebanese city of Tripoli say the people smuggler involved in the crossing has dropped off the radar since the tragedy.
They have filed three legal complaints against the man, who they say is a well-known figure in the community.
A military source on Saturday said a person acting as an intermediary between passengers and the boat owner had been arrested.
In recent weeks, dozens of Lebanese and Syrians have tried to make the perilous sea journey from Lebanon to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, authorities on both sides say.
The Republic of Cyprus, a European Union member, lies just 160 kilometers (100 miles) away.
Lebanon is in the throes of its worst economic crisis in decades, compounded since February by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It is also reeling from a monster blast at Beirut’s port last month that killed more than 190 people, ravaged large parts of the capital and reignited public anger against the political class.