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Sovereign Council fires Post Sudan Governor, declares state of emergency over tribal violence

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Picture showing the burning houses in the Nuba neighbourhood in Port Sudan on 21 August 2019 (ST photo)
August 25, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Sovereign Council on Sunday sacked the Red Sea governor and the head of the intelligence service and declared the state of emergency in the state, in the wake of resumption of intercommunal violence that led to the killing of over 16 people.

For more than a week, the capital of the Red Sea state, Port Sudan, has been witnessing bloody confrontations between the Nuba and Beni Amer tribes in connection with past intercommunal conflicts between the two tribes.

As a result of the continuation of the clashes, on Saturday security forces were dispatched from Khartoum to Port Sudan after accusations that the regular forces there were sidelining one of the parties to the conflict.

The decision intervened after the failure of a delegation from the Sovereign Council that visited the area to end the clashes despite their attempt to reconcile the parties.

In a statement released on Sunday, a spokesman for the Sovereign Council al-Taher Abu-Hajja said that the Council held a meeting to discuss the events that occurred in Port Sudan and decided to "relieve the Governor in charge and to appoint another one who will be tasked with putting an end to the insecurity and tribal violence and the imposition of the rule of law."

The spokesman further pointed out to the use of firearms for the first time in the conflict, adding that this development reveals external and internal interventions fuelling the conflict and seeking to transfer it to other areas.

Also, he announced a decision to declare the state of emergency in the state and the establishment of a fact-finding commission as well as to raise the level of readiness of the security services "to monitor any meetings to feed the conflict."

Reports from the area did not mention the cause that triggered the resumption of the hostilities between the two communities as the Nuba and Beni Amer have separate neighbourhoods and there are no apparent reasons for the dispute.

Both the Beni Amer and the Nuba of South Kordofan work at the port and the transportation of goods and merchandises.

Last June, the local government set up a commission of investigation into similar incidents between the two tribes, following what they signed a reconciliation agreement.

The Sovereign Council pledged to deal firmly with the military and security services once it is proven that it took the side of one of the parties.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese police press centre said on Sunday that 16 people were killed and several people were injured during the events of Port Sudan.

He said that the troops sent were made up of five officers and 85 soldiers to bring the number of the force deployed on the ground there to 300 police officers and 30 vehicles.

Sudan still has no government since last April after the fall of the al-Bashir’s regime. The newly appointed Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok is expected to finalize consultations this week and announced his cabinet by the end of the week.

(ST)

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