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Dozens killed in clashes near Sudan's north-south border

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - Fifty-five members of a Darfuri tribe have been killed and at least 85 have been wounded in a clash with soldiers from Southern Sudan's army, the BBC has said, quoting a tribal spokesmen.

The fighting broke out on Friday between troops and members of the Rezeigat tribe when the tribe had been looking for new pastures for its cattle near the country's volatile north-south border, Mohammed Issa Aliou was quoted by the British broadcaster as saying.

According to BBC, Southern Sudan accused the northern government of attacking and reported a new assault on Sunday, saying its troops had been forced to retreat.

The violence comes as the country awaits final results from its historic elections, the first multi-party polls in 24 years seen as a key part of the peace process for the divided country.

The elections were part of the 2005 north-south peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war, which left thousands of people dead.

The area where the clash has occurred is particularly tense as much of Sudan's north-south border has yet to be demarcated.

Next year, southerners will vote in a crucial referendum on whether to secede from the Arab dominated north.

Russia has been maintaining a peacekeeping contingent in the war-torn country since April 2006 as part of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

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