June 29, 2010 / 8:04 PM / 9 years ago

Arab tribes sign peace deal in Sudan's Darfur

KHARTOUM, June 29 (Reuters) - Two rival Arab tribes have signed a peace deal in Sudan’s Darfur region, peacekeepers said on Tuesday, raising hopes for an end to fighting that has killed more than 200 people since March.

Leaders from the Misseriya and Rizeigat groups signed a reconciliation deal in the West Darfur town of Zalingei on Monday, said Darfur’s U.N./African Union UNAMID mission in a statement.

The two groups have been caught in a cycle of revenge attacks since the killing of two members of the Misseriya group early in March.

UNAMID said hundreds of people had been forced to flee the fighting which one U.N. source has said may also have been based on an underlying struggle for control of fertile grazing land.

The deal came after weeks of meetings between the two groups and officials from the peacekeepers and local government.

Longstanding feuds between tribes have complicated the remote region’s separate seven-year conflict that surged in 2003 when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against Sudan’s government, accusing it of neglecting the region.

Sudan’s mobilised militias to crush the revolt, recruiting members of Arab tribes in the region, although rebel groups have also had some level of Arab support.

Reporting by Andrew Heavens

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