Tribal clashes pose fresh headache in Sudan

Saturday July 23 2022

Sudan’s Hausa people protest in El-Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state on July 19, 2022, demanding justice for those killed in a deadly land dispute with a rival ethnic group in the country's south. PHOTO | AFP


The military junta in Sudan has assured the public of security preparedness after a wave of tribal clashes, raising a new challenge for the country seeking to establish the first transitional government since the October coup.

Since last week, clashes pitying the Hausa and Berti ethnic groups have flared in the country. On Friday, they erupted in Al-Rusairis, Qaisan and Wad Al-Mahi Blue Nile state, resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries as thousands of residents fled the southeastern parts of Sudan. These groups were fighting over farming rights on the land they occupy.

This week on Tuesday, Lt-Gen Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein, Chief of Staff of the Sudanese Army, assured the public the security apparatus was intact and that the armed forces were pursuing the clashes to calm them.

But those clashes worried the public and some analysts of the political situation, fearing that the spread of the violence could derail the transitional programme further.

This is because the Blue Nile state has remained immune from the recent violent clashes that have hit Sudan since the army took power by force in October 25 last year, toppling the transitional government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. At least 133 people have been killed in protests that have looked at times to be synchronised as civilian movements demanded the departure of the army from civilian authorities.

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The tribal violence that erupted in the Sudanese Blue Nile region, has claimed 79 lives in one week, official figures showed. It spread to other regions such as Kassala region in the east of the country, about 1,000 kilometres from the Blue Nile.

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