More than 100 killed and 290 injured in Blue Nile inter-communal clashes

The death toll from recent inter-communal clashes in Sudan’s Blue Nile region has risen to 105 dead and 291 wounded, the African country’s authorities have confirmed.

The Sudanese Ministry of Health said in a message on its Facebook social network account that 105 people have been confirmed dead and 291 injured so far. It has also indicated that 20 of the injured have been transferred out of the region for treatment.

Army chief and president of the Sovereign Transitional Council, Abdelfatá al Burhan, has called on the judicial authorities and security forces to “urgently take all legal measures” against those who “incite racial problems and advocate sedition, which affects social peace, whether through the media, social networks or other methods,” as reported by the Sudanese state news agency, SUNA.

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It has also ordered telecommunications companies to stop operating with SIM cards that are not registered and has indicated that users must identify themselves for the purchase of SIM cards, in order to prevent their irregular use for telecommunications.

Clashes broke out late last week between members of the Berber and Hausa communities, a situation that prompted the regional governor, Ahmed al Omda, to impose a curfew to try to contain the fighting. Al Omda vowed to hold those responsible to account and said the authorities would actively work to restore order and peaceful coexistence in the region.

The Qissan region, and Blue Nile state in general, has been the scene of conflict since 1986. Guerrillas there have been a serious problem for decades for the authorities, both for the deposed dictator Omar al Bashir and for the military junta that now controls the country.

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The October 2021 coup, led by Al Burhan, resulted in the dismissal of the civilian prime minister, Abdullah Hamdok, although international pressure forced an agreement to reinstate him in November, although he resigned in January in protest at the violent crackdown on protests against the military authorities. The security vacuum created by the political crisis has made possible a new upsurge in tribal violence in the area.

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