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Over 130 dead in Darfur tribal fighting: ethnic leader

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

More than 130 people have been killed in the latest outbreak of tribal fighting in western Sudan's Darfur region, a tribal leader said on Friday.

"Fighting was going on until last night and from our side we have 37 dead," said the leader of the Beni Halba tribe, who claimed that more than 100 members of the rival Gimir group were also killed.

A Gimir official could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Beni Halba leader, who declined to be named, said a land dispute caused the fighting in Edd al-Fursan, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the South Darfur state capital Nyala.

"This is our land and those people are living on it," he said.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), cited the Sudan government's Humanitarian Aid Commission as confirming "new inter-tribal fighting between the Gimir and Beni Halba tribes over land ownership" in South Darfur.

"Seven people from the Gimir tribe were reportedly killed in an attack on 26 April. The fighting is continuing", OCHA said in its weekly humanitarian bulletin issued late on Thursday.

About 2,000 members of the Gimir and Assignor tribes have been displaced, said OCHA, citing government figures.

In April the United Nations said 50,000 people from southwestern Darfur had fled over the border to Chad because of inter-tribal conflict. Clashes had occurred between the Misseriya and Salamat groups.

Competition for resources, from water to gold, is a key driver of conflict in Darfur, where ethnic rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003.

While the worst of the violence has long passed, rebel-government battles continue along with tribal disputes, inter-Arab fighting, kidnappings, carjackings and other crimes.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130503/over-130-dead-darfur-tribal-fighting-ethnic-leader-0