Conflict & Justice

Darfur: Tribal fighting leaves over 130 dead


Soldiers man a Sudanese army checkpoint outside the abandoned village of Hashaba, south of Al-Fasher in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur.


Charles Onians

A battle between tribes in Darfur has left over 130 people dead, according to a leader of the Beni Halba tribe. 

"Fighting was going on until last night and from our side we have 37 dead," said the leader, who wished to remain anonymous, adding that over 100 members of the rival Gimir group were also killed. 

A land dispute is believed to be at the center of the clashes, a common cause of violence in Sudan since rebels staged an uprising in 2003. 

"This is our land and those people are living on it," the tribal leader said. 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed the Sudan government's Humanitarian Aid Commission's finding that there is "new inter-tribal fighting between the Gimir and Beni Halba tribes over land ownership" in South Darfur.

The news comes as over 60 miners were killed in a gold mine collapse in the Jebel Amir area this week, where fighting between two tribes has also broken out over access to the mine, Al Jazeera reported

It was closed last winter after several people died in the violence; it has since been reopened. 

From January to February 2013 alone, over 500 people were killed in tribal clashes in western Sudan's Darfur region, according to Arab News

"The number of martyrs from January 6 until Feb. 23 is 510, including women and children. Another 865 were wounded," Adam Shiekha, a member of the Beni Hussein tribe, told Arab News.