At least six people were reportedly killed and an unknown number of people wounded in new tribal clashes in Abu Zabad, West Kordofan, caused by a border demarcation conflict. Tribesmen from both sides crowded the town and there was continued shooting in the northern parts of the town until Monday morning.
Sources from Abu Zabad told Radio Dabanga that the incident is an extension of the conflict concerning the demarcation of the border between the Hamar* in En Nehoud and Misseriya in El Sunut, which was frozen by member of the Sovereignty Council Gen Shamseldin El Kabashi in end August.
A group of Misseriya tribesmen set up a signboard in Abu Zabad on Saturday, saying that the town belongs to them. When Hamar wanted to remove the signboard, Misseriya shot at them, killing two people instantly and wounding a third.
The sources added that another group of angry Hamar tribesmen was on its way to remove the sign board, but the director of Abu Zabad locality stopped them and told them that a meeting would be held on the sign board.
Firefights between the two sides continued in the northern parts of Abu Zabad until yesterday morning. Four more people were reportedly killed. Military troops were dispatched from El Fula, the capital of West Kordofan, to contain the situation.
The tensions started last month when the West Kordofan Security Committee and a group of Misseriya people formed unilateral committees to demarcate the borders between the two tribes without notifying the Hamar.
The Hamar then submitted a request to discuss the issue, but the Misseriya refused that and proceeded to draw the newly defined borders. This brought the Hamar to declare an escalation of protests. They also sent a delegation to Khartoum to discuss the problem, which eventually led to the freezing of the demarcation process.
* Previously called Humur on Radio Dabanga’s news website.