Khartoum, Feb 5 (EFE).- Fresh tribal clashes have left at least 37 people dead in a disputed South Sudanese region, a local official said on Monday.
The armed clashes occurred in the oil-rich area of Abyei, a western administrative region disputed between Sudan and South Sudan for years.
The violence unfolded over the weekend when armed men from the state of Warrap launched an attack on several counties of Abyei, regional Information Minister Bolis Koch said in a statement.
He added that the clashes left 19 dead and 18 wounded on Saturday, while another 18 people, including four women and three children, lost their lives on Sunday.
Moreover, around 1,000 head of cattle belonging to local farmers were stolen during the attacks.
Koch condemned the “terrorist attacks” and the “heinous killing” of “innocent civilians,” noting that the assailants have also set fire to local markets and residential areas.
The attacks came a week after another ethnic clash left 54 dead, including two UN peacekeepers in the region
Violent clashes between the Twic tribe from the Wrap state and the Ngok tribe from the city of Anit escalated in 2021 after they clashed over the ownership of a local market in southern Abyei, leading the tribes to form their own militia groups.
Ethnic violence between rival tribes is common in Abyei, an oil-rich region that has been disputed between Sudan and South Sudan since the latter gained independence in 2011.
Efforts to resolve the longstanding dispute between Juba and Khartoum over Abyei have been unsuccessful in recent years, with the region remaining under the administration of the South Sudanese government. EFE