18 dead in Darfur tribal dispute

2013-04-09 21:02

Khartoum - Up to 18 people were killed during a tribal dispute in Darfur, community leaders said on Tuesday, after donor countries pledged about $1bn to develop Sudan's war-ravaged western region.

Trouble began last week in Darfur's Umm Dukhun district, on the Chad border, when a member of the Misseriya tribe shot a Salamat tribal member, international peacekeepers said.

Musa al-Bashir, a Salamat leader, told AFP a "small difference" between two people escalated into clashes outside Umm Dukhun town.

"Until yesterday the total killed from the Salamat side are 18," he said.

As of Monday, 11 people had died on both sides, said a Misseriya leader based in the South Darfur capital of Nyala, about 250km from the scene of the clashes.

He said he was unable to contact people in Umm Dukhun on Tuesday because of problems with the mobile telephone network.

Darfur's top official, Eltigani Seisi, has said that ethnic violence is now the "major issue" in Darfur, replacing rebel attacks.

At a two-day conference in the Gulf state of Qatar, which ended on Monday, donors pledged to support a six-year strategy for Darfur's development, following a decade of war.

The meeting raised $3.6bn in pledges, including $2.65bn to which Khartoum is committed, said host country Qatar, which contributed $500m.