27 October 2009

Sudan: Fresh Round of Tribal Clashes in Darfur Claims 10 Lives, African-UN Mission Reports

At least 10 people have been killed in a new round of inter-tribal clashes in Darfur, the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force to the war-scarred region of western Sudan reported today.

The mission, known as UNAMID, said 10 members of the Birgid tribe died after clashing yesterday with Zaghawa tribesmen near Shangil Tobaya, a town about 70 kilometres from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state.

Twelve other Birgids were injured as a result of the clashes and they are being treated either at UNAMID medical facilities or a clinic run by the non-governmental organization (NGO) known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Yesterday's clashes occurred less than a week after two people were killed when Birgids and Zaghawas engaged in fighting, also near Shangil Tobaya.

UNAMID has attributed the recent fighting to disputes over access to water, a particularly precious commodity in Darfur, an arid and landlocked region.

The mission is sending an assessment team to the area tomorrow comprising military officers, police officers and humanitarian, human rights, security, civil affairs and protection officials.

UNAMID has been in place across Darfur since the start of last year to try to quell the fighting and humanitarian suffering that has engulfed the region since 2003. At least 300,000 people are estimated to have died from the conflict and another 2.7 million people remain displaced from their homes.

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