Sudan’s ruling army has dismissed its commander after at least 220 people were killed in two days of violent inter-tribal fighting last week in South Blue Nile state, the military said Monday.
Fighting in the Blue Nile, which borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, began earlier this month between Hausa and Bertha tribes from across West Africa. rekindled over land disputes. Tensions rose in the town of Wad el-Mahi on the border with Ethiopia on Wednesday and Thursday.
The violence occurred before one-year anniversary of a military coup in Sudan. This coup upended the country’s short-lived transition to democracy. Sudan’s pro-democracy groups have also sparked criticism of the powerful military, including accusing the ruling general of failing to protect ethnic groups in the state. Colonel Nabil Abdallah said Maj. Gen. Rabey Abdallah Adam was appointed commander of the Blue Nile. General Ramzi Babakar, was dismissed over the weekend.
The appointment is part of the military’s efforts to “address the regrettable security incident,” a spokesman said. The military has also set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the clashes, Abdallah said.
Blue Nile State Health Director General Fas Allaman Bakhait said on Sunday the death toll, including dozens of women and children, was revealed late Saturday after the first humanitarian and medical convoy arrived in Mahi. He said that he became Local authorities announced a curfew in the city and sent security forces to the area to forestall the disturbance.