Death toll from tribal clashes in Sudan’s south rises to 60

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Death toll from tribal clashes in Sudan’s south rises to 60

Tribal clashes in Sudan’s southern Blue Nile state, on the border with Ethiopia, have killed 60 and wounded 163 people since erupting nearly a week ago, the state’s health minister said.

“Thirteen of the wounded are in a serious condition and will be transferred to hospitals in Khartoum,” Jamal Nasser told AFP by phone from the state capital Al-Damazin.

The clashes, between the Berti and Hawsa tribes, first erupted last Monday.

The violence came after the Berti tribe rejected a Hawsa request to create a “civil authority to supervise access to land”, a prominent Hawsa member had told AFP on condition of anonymity.

But a senior member of the Bertis had said the tribe was responding to a “violation” of its lands by the Hawsas.

Clashes resumed on Saturday after a brief lull, close to the state capital Al-Damazin, witnesses said.

Soldiers were deployed to contain the unrest and a night curfew was imposed by the authorities starting Saturday.

The death toll of 60 revises up a toll of 33 given by authorities on Saturday.

Blue Nile governor Ahmed al-Omda had on Friday issued an order prohibiting any gatherings or marches for one month.

Ahmed Youssef, a resident of the state capital, said “dozens of families” crossed the bridge into the city on Saturday to flee the unrest.

Hospitals had put out urgent calls for blood donations, according to medical sources.

One source at Al-Roseires Hospital had told AFP the facility had “run out of first aid equipment” and that reinforcements were needed as the number of injured people was “rising”.

The UN special representative to Sudan, Volker Perthes, has called on all sides to exercise restraint.

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