Tribal clashes kill 64 in Sudan's Darfur: police

AFP , Thursday 30 May 2013

At least 64 people killed in clashes between Arab tribes in Darfur region over access to pasture

Renewed fighting between two rival Arab tribes in Sudan's Darfur region over access to pasture has killed 64 people, police said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Dozens more were wounded in the fighting between the Beni Halba and Gemir tribes, South Darfur police said.

Abkar Altom of the Gemir said: "It's the fifth attack on our tribe by the Beni Halba since March." He said the attacks had killed 94 of his fellow tribesmen and seen 1,200 homes burned.

But a leader of the rival tribe said: "The Beni Halba are only defending their land." As drought has wracked the region, disputes between rival tribes over access to water and pasture have multiplied.

In April, the United Nations said 50,000 people from southwestern Darfur had fled to neighbouring Chad because of fighting between two other feuding Arab tribes -- the Misseriya and the Salamat.

The United Nations estimates that in Darfur as a whole 300,000 people have fled fighting in the first five months of this year, more than the total number of people displaced in the past two years.

A total of 1.4 million people were already living in camps in Darfur after fleeing their homes during an uprising that broke out among the region's ethnic minorities against the Arab-dominated regime in Khartoum in 2003.

While the worst of the violence has long passed, rebel-government battles continue, along with fighting between rival rebel factions, tribal disputes, kidnappings and carjackings.

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