KHARTOUM: Dozens of families were on Saturday fleeing violence in Sudan’s Blue Nile State, where ongoing clashes between two tribes have killed at least 31 people, local officials said.
At least 39 others have been wounded and 16 shops torched since the violence broke out on Monday over a land dispute between the Berti and Hawsa tribes.
“We need more troops to control the situation,” local official Adel Agar from the city of Al-Roseires told AFP on Saturday.
He also called for mediators to de-escalate tensions that have resulted in many “dead and wounded.” He did not give a detailed toll.
Blue Nile Gov. Ahmed Al-Omda issued an order on Friday prohibiting any gatherings or marches for one month. Soldiers were also deployed and a night curfew was imposed on Saturday. Clashes resumed Saturday after a brief lull, close to the state capital Al-Damazin on Saturday, witnesses said.
Blue Nile Gov. Ahmed Al-Omda issued an order on Friday prohibiting any gatherings or marches for one month. Soldiers were also deployed and a night curfew was imposed on Saturday.
“We heard gunshots,” resident Fatima Hamad said 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 that “dozens of families” crossed the bridge into the city to flee the unrest.
An urgent appeal for blood donations was launched by hospitals for the treatment of casualties from the unrest, according to medical sources.
A medical source from Al-Roseires Hospital said the facility had “run out of first aid equipment.”
“Additional personnel” are needed, the source said, adding that the number of injured people is “rising.”
The violence broke out after the Berti tribe rejected a Hawsa request to create a “civil authority to supervise access to land,” said a prominent Hawsa member.
But a senior member of the Bertis said the tribe was responding to a “violation” of its lands by the Hawsas.
The Qissan region and Blue Nile state more generally have long seen unrest, with southern guerrillas a thorn in the side of Sudan’s former strongman president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the army in 2019 following street pressure.
Experts say last year’s coup, led by army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, created a security vacuum that has fostered a resurgence in tribal violence, in a country where deadly clashes regularly erupt over land, livestock, access to water and grazing.