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Sudan: At least 151 people killed in renewed violence

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Renewed clashes in Sudan’s Blue Nile state have led to the death of at least 151 people and left 86 others injured.

Fighting erupted over recent days despite a peace deal signed in 2020 to end the conflict.

Some of Sudan’s rebel groups in the western Darfur region and in Blue Nile and southern Kordofan had agreed to stop fighting but the tribal conflict has steadily increased.

The fighting is largely driven by unresolved issues of land and citizenship as well as the militarisation of tribal groups.

There were tribal clashes over land disputes in July in Blue Nile state, resulting in 149 people being killed.

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The United Nations said almost 65,000 people were bdisplaced by earlier this month from the conflict.

A U.N. statement on Thursday said that the latest violence was renewed one week ago, on Oct. 13, with fighting involving the Hausa and Hamaj tribes in addition to others in the Wad Almahi area over several days.

Those killed included women and children. Medics say the victims had signs of bullet wounds, burning, and stabbing.

Earlier this week, violence flared up in another southern province, West Kordofan, following a tribal dispute over land.

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The Sudanese military accused the rebel group led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu, who did not sign the agreement in 2020, of exacerbating the conflict.

But al-Hilu’s group in a statement rather blamed the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The U.N. said that at least 36,500 had fled Lagowa, the site of the violence, and that 19 were killed and 34 injured.

“Sustainable peace won’t be possible without a fully functional credible government that prioritises local communities’ needs including security [and] addresses the root causes of conflict,” the U.N.’s special mission said in a tweet commenting on the incidents in both states.

The latest clashes could further destabilise Sudan which has been in political and economic turmoil since the military seized power and disbanded a civilian-led government last year.

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