'Many dead' after ethnic clashes in Sudan

Clashes in Darfur between Arab nomads and south Sudan’s army along the country’s volatile north-south border left dozens dead and more wounded, Sudanese officials said.

Clashes in Darfur between Arab nomads and south Sudan’s army along the country’s volatile north-south border left dozens dead and more wounded, Sudanese officials said.

The violence comes amid rising tensions between Arab nomads in the area and a growing contingent of soldiers from the neighbouring southern province, officials said.

The area is particularly tense as much of Sudan’s north-south border has yet to be demarcated ahead of next year’s crucial referendum when southerners will vote on whether to secede from the Arab dominated north.

Abdullah Massar, a presidential adviser from the Arab tribe involved in the clashes, said local tribal officials reported more than 50 Arab nomads were killed in the fighting with soldiers from the southern Sudan’s People Liberation Army.

The fighting began on Thursday and was still going on yesterday, he said.

Mr Massar blamed a group of southern army troops that he called a “militia”. He said southern soldiers were mobilising along the border areas and venturing into south Darfur, harassing the local nomads from the Rezeigat tribe in the Balbala area.

“The soldiers attacked a local’s house and a water well deep in southern Darfur,” he said. “The number of people killed is huge. This is an army with modern weapons against nomads who graze their cattle in the area.”

South Sudan military officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

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