Ongoing Clashes in Southeast Sudan:
- On Wednesday, October 19, and Thursday, October 20, tribal fighting over land disputes in Sudan’s Blue Nile province invoked over 220 fatalities.
- This death toll may be much higher as medical teams could not reach the core areas of fighting.
- The dispute occurred between the Hausa tribe and the Berta people. The Sudanese Hausa tribe is a part of a larger Hausa ethnic group, with roots in West Africa.
- On October 21, Sudanese authorities declared a state of emergency in the Blue Nile province.
- That same day, the Blue Nile region governor designated a fact-finding committee to investigate tribal clashes in the region.
- The Sudanese Armed Forces announced similar measures.
- On October 24, the Sudanese Humanitarian Emergencies Committee met to identify measures to guarantee shelter, medicine, and treatment for the affected people of the conflict.
- In an effort to “address the regrettable security events,” the Sudanese ruling military sacked the commander of the Blue Nile region, naming Major General Rabei Abdalla Adam as replacement.
- Official estimates indicate that 211,000 individuals have been displaced as a result of tribal violence and other attacks across the country just this year.
- Due to the continued fighting, many houses have been burned down, causing a large portion of the massive number of internally displaced individuals.
What Invoked the Clashes?
- The Hausa people have been living in the Blue Nile region since the early 19th century.
- However, because of the tribe’s broader geographical roots in West Africa, other local tribes often view the Sudanese Hausa people as outsiders.
- Tensions between the Hausa tribe and other groups date back to the 1990s, when many local tribes in the Blue Nile region believed that the central government favored the Hausa over other local tribes.
- In January, the current tension between Hausa and other tribes commenced as the Hausa celebrated their independence as an emirate, asserting their right to be recognized as traditional custodians of some land in Blue Nile state.
- In May, the Hausa tribe requested inclusion in the Blue Nile’s regional administration.
- The head of the Blue Nile’s tribal administration refuted this request: “The [area] belongs to the tribes of the Blue Nile, and you are our guest. How can you demand to be part of the native administration?”
- On July 15, Sudan’s authorities declared a nighttime curfew in Wad el-Mahi and deployed soldiers on the ground in an attempt to dampen the fighting.