Sudan triggers state of emergency in east over tribal clashes

Sudanese police say at least 16 people had been killed and forces had been dispatched to contain the fighting

Afp August 26, 2019
A Sudanese protester runs past a mural during a demonstration near army headquarters in the capital Khartoum back in April. PHOTO: AFP

KHARTOUM: Sudan activated a state of emergency Sunday in an eastern state and ordered a probe into deadly tribal violence that has rocked the region for days, authorities said.

Clashes have raged since Wednesday between the tribes of Bani Amer and Nuba in Port Sudan, the capital of the Red Sea state.

Sudanese police said that at least 16 people had been killed and forces had been dispatched to contain the fighting.

It was not clear what triggered the clashes.

"The sovereign council decided to relieve the governor of the Red Sea and the head of its security apparatus (from their duties)," the country's transitional ruling body said in a statement.

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It also "ordered the activation of a state of emergency (in the Red Sea state) and the formation of an investigating committee".

It said authorities had "detected for the first time the use of firearms in the fighting, which reveals the presence of internal and external interferences to fuel the conflict".

Tribal clashes are often reported in several regions of Sudan, especially in the war-torn western region of Darfur.

Ethnically diverse Sudan was rocked by months of nationwide protests that ousted longtime leader Omar al-Bashir in April and which this month ushered in the beginnings of a transition to civilian rule.

The country is currently led by a civilian-majority body which is to oversee a three-year transitional period and pave the way for elections.

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