Tribal conflict in Blue Nile

HUDO Centre No. H.K/UA/03/022
2nd August 2022


On 15th July 2022, a devastating confrontation between Funj tribes and Hawsa tribe has exploded in Blue Nile State resulted in hundreds of deaths, injuries and displacement of thousands of Hawsa tribe people. There was also destruction of property in form of burning and looting. This happened with lack of intervention from government/ security forces. The conflict predate back to 3 rd April 2021, when people from Hawsa tribe in Blue Nile State conducted a conference in Damazin town where they nominated Amir (prince) for Hawsa in Blue Nile State. In May 2022 the request was rejected officially by the chief community leader of Blue Nile (Chief Mac) basing on the community administration law in Blue Nile which has no such grade in its hierarchy. This act triggered the conflict between Hawsa and Funj tribes. On 13th July 2022, two soldiers; Mr. Hafiz Ibrahim (from Barta/Funj) and Mr. Eltayeb Ali (from Kadalu/ Funj) were killed in Um-Darfa and their dead bodies were mutilated. The dead bodies were collected by police but no further investigation was done. On 14th July 2022 night, Mr. Mujahid Abduelaal (also from Funj) and originally from Geisan town was killed in Ganees/ Roseries by unknown people. On 15th July 2022, his tribesmen in Geisan reacted by attacking traders from Hawsa tribe, killed sixteen (16) of them and burnt their shops. The same day and following day (15th and 16th July 2022) Hawsa tribesmen in Roseries attacked people of Funj tribe in the neighbourhood with guns (shooting at them). After this incident, the youth from Funj tribe attacked and broke through the police armory (weapon store) and seized the available weapons (guns) that used by them. On 17th July 2022, the conflict spread to the northern part of Damazin town. All this happened with no intervention from the security organs and government in Blue Nile. The fighting went on up to late hours of 17th July 2022 when Sudan Armed Force (SAF) deployed soldiers and a night curfew imposed. According to Humanitarian Assistant Commission (HAC) in Blue Nile State; up to 19th July 2022, one hundred and nineteen (119) people were killed, two hundred and ninety one (291) were injured and about thirty thousand (30,000) were displaced in Blue Nile State. HUDO Centre The people from Hawsa tribe were the most affected/ victimized in terms of deaths, injuries and displacement. An activist in Blue Nile informed HUDO Centre that, “the failure of government security agencies to intervene timely and the absence of rule of law led to this tragedy and chaos, that there were many indicators about the situation turning into violence”. Currently, the situation is calm however full of tension and many Hawsa people from surrounding villages have moved into the IDPs locations (schools) in Damazin seeking protection and safety while many other people from different tribes are departing out of Blue Nile State fearing the fragile security situation. HUDO Centre is very concerned about the situation of civilians in Blue Nile State and calls upon:
· Sudan government to urgently solve the tribal conflict and the insecurity in Blue Nile State.
· Sudan government to ensure that there is rule of law, safety of people and their property.
· The security committee in Blue Nile State should be held to account.
· Sudan government to disarm people with unlicensed firearms HUDO Centre More information Blue Nile State is one of the warring states in Sudan. As a result of Juba peace agreement, since 2021 the state governor of Blue Nile is from Sudan People Liberation Movement –North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar faction. Funj tribe consists of many indigenous groups/ tribes like Barta, Ragareek, Maban, Dowala, Kadalu Gomuz Hamaj and others. The confrontation between Funj and Hawsa triggered by the rejection of Hawsa’s request to have Amir by the chief Mac of Blue Nile tribes (Mac/ Elfateh Yousif Adlan) and ongoing case was filed by Sheikh/ Karar (representing Mac/ Adlan) against the Hawsa nominated Amir. Since then, the following happened;
· Hawsa held demonstration marches within the two big cities of Blue Nile State (Damazin and Roseries which was considered as provoking by Funj.
· On 28thJune 2022, there was a conference held in Damazin attended by people from different tribes (apart from Hawsa) and parts in Blue Nile, in which a coalition dubbed Black Sultanate components was established. In this conference, more than ten (10) recommendations were made by the participants and submitted to the Blue Nile government. Among these recommendations, they had requested that, people of Hawsa tribe should be chased out of Blue Nile State and their Sudanese Nationality (National Number) should be revoked. People of Hawsa tribe considered this to be unacceptable violation of their rights.
· The social media was also used to intensify the conflict between the two groups by circulating hatred speeches (incitement) and messages towards each other. The schools in Damazin town that hosting the displaced people are: Al-Khansaa, Al-Zahraa, Al-Nahda for boys, Al-Nahda for girls, Rofeida commercial school, Damazin central, Al[1]Riyad and Gowat Al-Shaab/ SAF school. The affected rights: Right to life and safety; rule of law
· Articles (44 &48)Sudan Transition Constitutional Document 2019
· Articles (6& 26)International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights together with articles (3 &7) in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights