Witnesses in Sudan’s Blue Nile region say more than 150 people have been killed this week in communal violence triggered by a land dispute.
Blue Nile governor Ahmed al-Omda Badi declared a night curfew in Wed al- Mahi locality, Wednesday, after the renewed communal fighting between the Hausa and local Berti tribes.
According to an eyewitness, the three days of clashes have killed more than 150 people, injured scores of others and displaced thousands.
Speaking to VOA from al-Damazine town early Friday, local activist Abdulatti Ahmed al-Fekki says the fighting continued for a third day, displacing families, including women and children.
Al-Fekki says according to a report from Wed Al Mahi, houses have been burned to the ground and property is being looted. He describes the situation as horrible.
“The preliminary death toll up to this morning is more than 160 and up to this moment, there are uncounted wounded individuals from Madina villages, two and three who are unable to be taken to the hospital. I am quite sure that in such a situation, there will be victims who have yet to be identified,” he said.
VOA could not independently verify the casualty figures.
Inter-communal clashes erupted between tribes in July due to a land dispute.
Al-Fekki says all health facilities in the town of al-Russairis are filled with injured people, and that about two thousand displaced people have gathered in a nearby village.
The Sudanese national government has deployed more troops to the area to de-escalate tensions between the two rival communities.
Al-Fekki said he saw additional troops being sent to the area Friday morning to end the cycle of violence.
“As I speak, I could see some military Land Cruiser pick-ups, full of armed Sudanese Armed Forces, heading to the conflicted area. Apart from this, he adds, I can confirm that there are some forces that went yesterday to the conflict area to contain the clashes,” he said.
The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, Eddie Rowe, expressed concern at the renewed inter-communal fighting in Blue Nile and West Kordofan, appealing for an end to the violence.
At least 1,200 people have been displaced and an unconfirmed 170 people have been killed and 327 have been injured, Rowe said in a statement published Thursday.
Rowe urged all parties in the conflict to enable the free and safe movement of affected people in search of safety and assistance. He said humanitarian organizations in Sudan stand ready to aid people affected by the conflicts.
The international charity organization, Save the Children in Sudan, also expressed deep concern about renewed violence in Blue Nile. “We urge authorities and community leaders to do everything possible to end violence affecting innocent civilians,” it said.