Deadly tribal clashes flare anew in Sudan gold mine area
KHARTOUM - Deadly battles have erupted again in Sudan's Darfur between two Arab tribes which began fighting in January over control of gold mining, sources from both sides said on Thursday.
A leader of the Beni Hussein tribe said the rival Rezeigat group attacked outside El Sireaf town in the Jebel Amir region of North Darfur state on Wednesday.
"They conducted massacres using heavy weapons and military vehicles," he said, claiming dozens from his group had died.
The tribal leader declined to be named. A second Beni Hussein resident of the area also said there were dozens of dead.
"We killed a number of them. I don't have figures," said a Rezeigat source.
"Some people tried to steal our camels and we defended our animals," he said.
Fighting began in January after a Rezeigat leader, who is an officer in Sudan's Border Guard force, apparently laid claim to a gold-rich area of Beni Hussein territory in Jebel Amir, the rights group Amnesty International said earlier.
About 100,000 people were displaced or severely affected by the fighting, a major contributor to the estimated 300,000 people displaced throughout Darfur this year, mainly from tribal violence sparked by competition for land, water and mineral rights, the UN says.
Rebel-government clashes also contributed to the displacement, which is more than in the last two years combined, the UN says.
There were already 1.4 million people uprooted in Sudan's far-west region where rebels began an insurrection 10 years ago.