Fighting between two tribes in Sudan’s Darfur region has killed 51 people and wounded dozens more, according to Sudan’s state news agency, the first official comment on fresh violence in the western region.
The report in SUNA described the fighting on Saturday as the worst since a ceasefire agreement was reached last month.
The agency said fighting began when a group of armed tribesmen in vehicles and riding camels attacked the El-Sireaf area in North Darfur.
Sudan’s western region of Darfur has been afflicted by violence since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the central government in Khartoum. Fighting also periodically erupts between tribes in the area.
This latest fighting erupted in January between the Bani Hussein and Rizeigat tribes over the mine in Jebel Amer in North Darfur, displacing 100,000 people, according to the United Nations, which reported last month that more than 100 people had been killed to date.
Osman Mohammed Kibir, the governor of North Darfur, told SUNA that the army had now restored order, adding that “criminals” on both sides were to blame for the new violence which tribesmen reported first this weekend.
The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir and some aides to face charges of masterminding war crimes in Darfur. They deny the charges and refuse to recognise the court.
Events in Darfur are hard to verify as Sudan restricts travel by journalists, aid workers and diplomats.