Written by William Lucht
October 24, 2022
In Sudan’s Blue Nile State, ethnic clashes have hit a new death toll with 150 killed including elderly, women, and children. Clashes reportedly broke out last week over land disputes between the Hausa people and other rivals. Fighting has centered around the “Wad al-Mahi area near Roseires, 500km (310 miles) south of the capital Khartoum.”
The Blue Nile has been shaken by continuing escalations in combat between ethnic minorities who receive little attention or support from the current ruling military regime. This lack of support has been criticized by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The region is home to dozens of different ethnic groups, and differences between tribal groups have continued to escalate into armed conflict. Fighting in July between the Hausa and Berta people centered on land disputes. Hausa members stated that individuals with heavy weapons had been harassing them but stopped shy of directly blaming any specific group.
The OCHA has cited conflicts in this region have displaced tens of thousands, and the most recent conflict has added an additional 1,200 displaced. Conflict in the southeastern part of Sudan seems to be spreading to nearby regions. OCHA has stated that nearby West Kordofan has suffered from killings resulting in 19 dead and dozens wounded due to armed conflict last week. Fighting conducted by the “Misseriya and Nuba ethnic groups erupted amid a land dispute near the town of Al Lagowa.” In the midst of the fighting, the West Kordofan governor visited the town but had to evacuate due to incoming artillery fire from surrounding mountain peaks.
Southeast Sudan has been plagued by violence in this most recent decade. This region has suffered continued and spreading conflict since the coup last year which ended a short lived democratic transitionary period. Many experts cite the increased level of violence to a power vacuum. Additionally, Sudan’s security has further been injured by compounding energy shortages caused, in part, by the war in Ukraine.
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