The death toll from days of tribal fighting in southern Sudan has risen to at least 220, making this one of the deadliest episodes of ethnic violence in recent years.

Fighting in Blue Nile province, which borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, reignited this month over a land dispute. It pits the Hausa people, who have origins across West Africa, against the Berta community.

The tensions escalated on Wednesday and Thursday in the town of Wad al-Mahi on the border with Ethiopia. The unrest added to the woes of a country mired in civil conflict and political chaos.

Fath Arrahman Bakheit, director general of the Blue Nile health ministry, said hat officials have counted at least 220 dead. He said the figure could be much higher because medical teams have not been able to reach the epicentre of the fighting.

Bakheit said the first humanitarian and medical convoy reached Wad al-Mahi late Saturday to assess the situation, including counting the “huge number of bodies” and the dozens of wounded.

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