Sudan imposes curfew in eastern city after clashes kill 13
CAIRO (AP) — Sudanese authorities Tuesday imposed a round-the-clock curfew in an eastern port city after tribal clashes earlier this week killed more than a dozen people and wounded more than 40 others.
The fighting in Port Sudan in the Red Sea province erupted earlier this week between the Beni Amer tribe and the displaced Nuba tribe. It wasn’t the first time the two tribes clashed in Port Sudan or elsewhere in the county.
The Sudan Doctors’ Committee said at least seven corpses arrived at hospitals Monday, bringing the death toll to 13 since the clashes began over the weekend. At least 42 others were wounded, many from gunshots, it said.
Red Sea Gov. Abddalla Shinqrai Ohag declared a state of emergency across Port Sudan on Tuesday until further notice.
Security forces earlier this week deployed more troops to the city to help contain the clashes.
The tensions between the two tribes date back to May 2019 in the eastern city of Qadarif, mainly over water and other resources. The clashes flared up in August last year in Port Sudan, when at least three dozen people from both sides were killed. They also clashed in January in the port city and nine people were killed.
The recent Port Sudan clashes came less than three weeks after another bout of violence involving different tribes in West Darfur province killed more than 60 people and forced 2,500 Sudanese into neighboring Chad, according to the United Nations.
The tribal violence and armed attacks in different parts of the country pose a significant challenge to efforts of Sudan’s transitional authorities to stabilize the country amid a fragile transition to democracy more than a year after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April last year.
The transitional government faces mounting challenges, mainly reviving an economy battered by decades-long civil wars and international sanctions.
Ending insurgencies in Sudan’s far-flung provinces is another key priority, partly to slash military spending, which takes up much of the national budget. Rebel groups have for months engaged in talks with the government, but the two sides have yet to cut a peace deal.
An international virtual conference on Sudan, hosted by Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, is expected to address the peace talks between Sudan’s government and rebels, the office of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said.
The conference comes after Western and Arab governments pledged $1.8 billion in aid to Sudan in a similar meeting co-hosted by Germany in June.