Khartoum – Renewed ethnic clashes in Sudan’s southern Blue Nile state have killed 18 people, a government aid agency said on Friday, despite a ceasefire agreement between rival groups following deadly violence weeks ago.
“The region has been witnessing renewed clashes between the Hausa (people) and Blue Nile communities,” Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission said in a statement.
“Eighteen deaths have been recorded so far and 23 wounded,” it said, adding that thousands had fled.
The violence flared on Thursday afternoon “without any clear reasons and despite sincere efforts by the government to stop hostilities”, official news agency SUNA said earlier Friday.
The fighting was centred around East Ganis village and the town of Roseires, SUNA added, quoting a statement from Blue Nile security services.
“The situation is very bad now – fires and gunfire everywhere,” Hussein Moussa, a resident of a village east of Roseires, told AFP.
In July, fighting in the region pitted the Hausa people against rival groups including the Barta, leaving at least 105 people dead and dozens wounded.
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Those clashes erupted after Hausa members requested the creation of a “civil authority” that rival groups saw as a means of gaining access to land.
The violence displaced some 31 000 people, many of whom sought refuge in schools turned into displacement camps.
The clashes also triggered angry protests across Sudan, with the Hausa people demanding justice for those killed.
Other demonstrations called for “unity” and an “end to tribalism” in the impoverished northeast African nation.
In late July, senior leaders from rival groups agreed to cease hostilities.
The latest violence comes as Sudan reels from deepening political unrest and a spiralling economic crisis since last year’s military coup, led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The military power grab upended a transition to civilian rule launched after the 2019 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir, who ruled for three decades.
The country has since been rocked by near-weekly protests and a violent crackdown that has killed more than 100 people, according to pro-democracy medics.
In July, Burhan pledged in a televised address to step aside and make way for Sudanese factions to agree on a civilian government.