Heavy fighting in Sudan's Darfur, tribes say
11 November 2013, 11:31
Khartoum - Arab tribal militias fired rockets, artillery and
heavy machine guns during battle across a wide swath of Sudan's South Darfur on
Sunday, sources on both sides said.
They said they could not yet give a casualty count, but
tribal unrest which worsened this year in Darfur has already killed hundreds.
"The fighting spread over a wide area and both sides
are using heavy, heavy weapons," said a source from the Taisha tribe.
The rival Salamat tribe said fighting continued into Sunday
"It spread from around Rahad el Berdi up to near
Nyala," said a Salamat source, who like his Taisha counterpart asked not
to be named.
Both sides said a land dispute sparked the battle.
Rahad el Berdi is more than 100km southwest of Sudan's
second-largest city Nyala.
"During the fighting there were some groups, not part
of the battle, that were looting villages. I saw it myself," said the
The Salamat source confirmed the looting, saying it had
"never happened before".
The Salamat have been fighting off-and-on with the Misseriya
tribe, a Taisha ally, in southwest Darfur since April.
More than 20 people died on 27 October when the Misseriya
and Salamat clashed near Mukjar town, northwest of Rahad el Berdi, the United
Inter-ethnic fighting involving Arab groups has been the
main cause of violence in Sudan's far-west Darfur region this year.
Cash-starved Khartoum can no longer control its former Arab
tribal allies, whom it had earlier armed against a rebellion in the region,
analysts say, and competition for resources has intensified.