Tribal fighting in Sudan’s restive Darfur region has left at least 24 people dead and triggered a localized state of emergency, state media said Monday.
Violence broke out late last week between two Arab tribes, the Misseriya and Awlad Rashed, in localities near Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur state.
It started as a dispute over the theft of a motorcycle before morphing into wider fighting, a Misseriya tribal leader told AFP.
“The clashes killed more than 24 people and wounded others,” the official state-run SUNA news agency reported.
“Homes were burned and looted and the situation remains out of control even after the arrival of government forces,” an Awlad Rashed tribal leader told AFP.
Local authorities attempted to persuade the two sides to end hostilities but efforts have so far failed, according to SUNA.
Authorities have since Sunday declared “a month-long state of emergency” and banned assembly and gatherings in Central Darfur state, it added.
Tribal clashes often occur in Sudan’s western Darfur region which was ravaged by a bitter civil war that erupted in 2003.
That conflict pitted ethnic minority rebels who complained of discrimination against the Arab-dominated government of then-president Omar al-Bashir.
Some 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced in the conflict, according to the United Nations.
While the main conflict has subsided over the years, violence occasionally flares over access to scarce water and land.
The latest bout of violence comes as Sudan grapples with the economically crippling aftermath of a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in October last year.
The military power grab upended a transition to civilian rule launched after the 2019 ouster of Bashir, who ruled for three decades.
Some 829 people have been killed and 265,273 people displaced in inter-communal across Sudan since the beginning of 2022, according to the UN.