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Sudan: Renewed fighting kills seven in Blue Nile state

September 2 - 2022 ED DAMAZIN
Displaced people in Blue Nile state, 2016 (Radio Tamazuj)
Displaced people in Blue Nile state, 2016 (Radio Tamazuj)

Sudanese authorities said at least seven people have been killed and 23 others injured after renewed clashes in Blue Nile state on Thursday, about a month after similar violence left more than 100 dead.

According to a Reuters summary of a statement distributed by Blue Nile state Security Committee, the latest episode of violence remains under investigation and neither the groups involved nor the exact location of the incident were stated. The statement also announced the imposition of a curfew in the state capital Ed Damazin and in neighbouring Roseires from 20:00 to 5:00, and prohibited public gatherings.

According to an activist interviewed by Sudan Tribune, the violence began when three vehicle loads of people from the Hausa ethnic group tried to occupy several public buildings and homes abandoned during July’s deadly clashes. Five people were seriously injured and transferred to the Ed Damazin Military Hospital.

Echos of July's violence

In July, fighting erupted between opposing Hausa and Berta ethnic groups in the northern part of Blue Nile state. More than 100 were killed, and thousands of people fled to Ed Damazin.

The fighting was triggered by a dispute over land. Berta leaders accused the Hausa of sparking the conflict by trying to lay claim to their agricultural and ancestral land. Yet Hausa members said the violence broke out after a Berta leader refused their demand to let a “civil authority to supervise access to land”.

The El Roseires Resistance Committees however also pointed to the hostility between supporters of the SPLM-N Agar and those who support the faction of Abdelaziz El Hilu in neighbouring South Kordofan. In a press statement at the time, they described the violence as “a spill-over of a conflict between the two SPLM-N factions in and accused the authorities of neglecting their duties because they ignored warning signs and chose not to act even after the first attacks.

Eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that the violence has led to the displacement of a large number of people, many of whom fled to Ed Damazin.


 


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