Representatives of the Beni Amer and Nuba tribes in Sudan’s Red Sea state signed a reconciliation deal under pressure from the country’s top military commander after clashes that triggered a state of emergency and left at least 16 dead.
Sudan is embarking on a three-year transition after the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir and faces challenges including insecurity in several regions and an economic crisis.
Clashes broke out in Port Sudan, used by South Sudan to export oil, shortly after the signing of a power-sharing deal between Sudan’s military and civilian groups.
Beni Amer and Nuba tribes have clashed in the past.
Sunday’s deal was signed after General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, a member of Sudan’s new Sovereign Council, threatened to expel both sides from the country if they refused to commit to reconciliation.
“If you don’t agree, I swear to Almighty God we will deport both (sides),” Dagalo, also known by his nickname Hemedti, said at Port Sudan, eliciting loud applause from locals and army and government officials.
“We need a radical solution. Its cause is the existence of outlaws and weapons. Everybody should be accountable, no one is above law.”
Hemedti, also head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, asked both sides to surrender illegal weapons” and vowed to work on solving the lack of water and electricity in the state.
After tribal representatives signed the deal, Hemedti apologised for his tough language.
“We are in a new era of real change,” he said. “We need to move towards citizenship and the rule of law and peaceful coexistence.”