0220 GMT December 01, 2022
The officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the clashes erupted on Wednesday and that sporadic fighting continues. Government troops were deployed to the area to try to de-escalate the conflict. The dead include women and children, the two officials said, AP reported.
Blue Nile has been shaken by ethnic violence over the past months. Tribal clashes that erupted in July killed 149 people by early October, and last week, renewed clashes killed another 13 people, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA.
The July fighting involved the Hausa, a tribe with origins across West Africa, and the Berta people, following a land dispute. On Thursday, a group representing the Hausa said they have been under attack by individuals armed with heavy weapons over the past two days, but did not blame any specific tribe or group for the attack.
A Hausa group issued a statement calling for de-escalation and a stop to ″the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Hausa.″ The tribe has long been marginalized within Sudanese society, with July’s violence sparking a string of Hausa protests across the country. The Blue Nile is home to dozens of different ethnic groups, with hate speech and racism often inflaming decades-long tribal tensions.
OCHA had no confirmation of the latest surge in casualties but said the violence has displaced at least 1,200 people since last week. According to the U.N. agency, the villages surrounding the city of Ar Rusyaris have been at the epicenter of the violence.
Later Thursday, a grassroots pro-democracy group in Sudan known as the Resistance Committees blamed the country’s military rulers for what it said was a lack of security in the Blue Nile, accusing them of not protecting ethnic groups in the province.