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Sudan: 16 dead in ethnic clashes, curfew imposed

Sudan: 16 dead in ethnic clashes, curfew imposed
Demonstrators flee from water cannon being fired by a riot control   -  
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At least 16 people have been killed in clashes between ethnic Hausa and Nuba groups, Sudan's Suna news agency reported Tuesday, prompting the governor to declare a curfew in White Nile state, which borders South Sudan.

The state, which stretches from Khartoum to the southern border, has so far been spared the recent war between the two rival generals who have been in charge since their 2021 putsch, which has left hundreds dead, mainly in the capital and in Darfur.

This ethnic violence is not related to the power struggle in Sudan.

Conflicts between communities regularly erupt in Sudan over access to water and land, vital for farmers and herders - often from rival ethnic groups - while a large number of weapons are in circulation after decades of civil war.

"Ethnic clashes that broke out Monday in Kosti," the capital of White Nile, "between the Hausa and Nuba, escalated again on Tuesday, killing 16 people on both sides," the official Suna news agency said.

There were also "many injuries and houses burned," it said.

The events prompted the governor to declare a "curfew from 20:00 to 05:00" local time (18:00-03:00 GMT), the agency added.

Already in October, a conflict between the Hausa and rival clans had left more than 200 dead in the Blue Nile state, bordering Ethiopia.

The Hausa have long claimed to be discriminated against by an ancestral law that prohibits them from owning land as recent arrivals, which they dispute.

Since the 2021 coup, inter-ethnic and inter-tribal conflicts have increased due to the security vacuum created by the coup, experts say.

The issue of access to land is very sensitive in Sudan, where agriculture and livestock account for 43% of jobs and 30% of GDP.

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