150 Killed in Sudan Clan Battle near Oil Field

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A battle between rival Sudanese clans near an oil-drilling site killed 150 people and wounded 100 more, state-linked media reported on Thursday.

The fighting in West Kordofan state between two sub-groups of the Misseriya tribe “continued all day because of a land dispute near the oil field,” said Mohammed Omer Al-Ansari, a tribal leader.

He was quoted by the Sudanese Media Centre, which is close to the security apparatus.

The report did not say on which day the battle occurred, but it comes about one month after the same groups, the Zurug and Awlad Amran clans of the Misseriya, clashed in that area.

A tribal source said in early June that at least 41 people died when the two sides fought with Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

The combat broke out as each group claimed ownership of a plot of land where drilling for oil is under way, a witness to the earlier fighting said.

Inter-communal clashes, particularly in the Darfur region adjacent to West Kordofan, have worsened over the past two years as Sudan’s economy weakened.

Death tolls can run into the dozens, but the number of casualties reported from the latest battle is relatively large.

Sudan’s government armed the Misseriya and other groups during the country’s 22-year civil war which ended in 2005 and led to South Sudan’s separation.

The militia were re-activated to fight a rebellion which began three years ago in Kordofan, according to the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based independent research project.

SMC reported that Misseriya leaders were to meet and sign a peace deal after the latest fighting.

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