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Sudanese Activists Say Tribal Clashes Killed 37 in Port City

FILE - Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Aug. 21, 2019.

An eastern Sudanese port city remained volatile Tuesday after tribal clashes last week killed at least 37 people, including a child, activists said.

The fighting in Port Sudan, in the Red Sea province, erupted last Thursday between the Bani Amer tribe and the displaced Nuba tribe.

The Sudan Doctors Committee said late Monday at least 17 people of the 37 were killed by gunshots. More than 200 were wounded, including children.

The clashes came just days after the formation of a power-sharing government by the pro-democracy movement and the generals who overthrew the country’s longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan’s new joint military-civilian council on Sunday declared a state of emergency in Port Sudan, deployed troops to the area and sacked the provincial governor and its top security official.

The state-run news agency said 700 troops with 100 vehicles arrived in Port Sudan to enforce security in the city.

Maj. Gen. Bashir al-Mahdi said security in the Red Sea province was stable and that the dispute between the two tribes “is being settled peacefully,” according to the SUNA report.

Activist Thouiba al-Gallad said dozens of houses were burned in the violence in Port Sudan, 825 kilometers (512 miles) east of the capital, Khartoum. The clashes subsided after authorities declared a state of emergency and deployed more troops in the streets on Monday.

“There are lots of weapons,” said al-Gallad, warning that new fighting could flare up anytime.

Rebel groups in the Nuba Mountains and eastern Sudan condemned the violence, saying the clashes were “disgrace to the Sudanese revolution.”

The dispute between the two tribes — mainly over water but also other resources — started in May in the eastern city of al-Qadarif, where seven people were killed, before it flared up again last week in Port Sudan.