21 February 2013

Sudan: 20 Die in Fresh Clashes Between Abbala and Beni Hussein, North Darfur

Photo: Tim McKulka/UN Photo
Victims of ethnic violence receiving treatment at a hospital in Akobo, Sudan (file photo).

Al-Sref Beni Hussein — At least 20 members of the Beni Hussein tribe were killed and some 33 were injured following fresh clashes against Abbala men in Aji-Heir, located 10km west of Al-Sref Beni Hussein city in North Darfur.

Hussein Haroun, commissioner of Al-Sref Beni Hussein locality, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that fighting erupted between both tribes on Thursday but was unable to confirm how many casualties the Abbala suffered.

He suggested the hostilities erupted this time because of water and grazing rights for the tribes' sheep, considering Aji-Heir is rich in water resources.

The commissioner is urging the warring sides to respect the ceasefire agreement signed by their leaders on 17 January in Saraf Omra and not go again to war, noting there are many ongoing efforts to appease the situation.

Harroun stressed the situation in Al-Sref Beni Hussein city remains critical, as the town in under siege and the roads remain blocked.

A witness in Birka Saira, one of the towns affected by the first wave of the tribal clashes, appealed for the government's immediate intervention.

He said the government should carry out its primary task, which is protecting civilians and stopping the war.

Fighting firstly erupted on 5 January between the Arab Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes over control of gold mines in Jebel 'Amer, Al-Sref Beni Hussein locality.

Later that month, the UN stated the hostilities led to the biggest forced displacement in Darfur in years, estimating that about 100.000 people fled their homes.

Local leaders estimated that hundreds died and over 150 villages were burned as a result of the fighting.

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