Tribal trouble in Sudan

Referendum boils tensions between historical tribes in Abyei, a border region between the north and south.

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    As Sudan approaches referendum day, land disputes between the Dinka Ngok and Misseryia tribes in the north disrupt peaceful relations in Abyei, a sensitive boundary area between the north and south.

    The tribal tensions stem from a historical dispute over land; the Dinka have settled in villages long ago and created infrastructure but the Misseryia Arabs drive their cattle onto the land every year.

    Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from Abyei, says this is the first winter in memorable time when the Misseryia Arabs have not crossed the Dinka tribe's land.

    Still, the Dinka tribe is considering a separation from their Arab neighbours by joining the south after the referendum.

    For years, the two tribes maintained a relatively peaceful coexistence during Sudan's civil war.

    The potential division of Sudan, however, has disrupted the social harmony and any trust between the two tribes has dissipated.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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