Three people were killed and several injured Monday when gunmen travelling by camel and pick-up truck attacked a new camp in Sudan's Darfur for people displaced by the latest escalation in the region's war, sources said.
The assailants used rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns in the attack on the camp in the North Darfur town of Sortoni, where thousands of people had taken refuge from fresh fighting between government troops and the rebel Sudan Liberation Army led by Abdulwahid Nur.
Residents of the camp said the gunmen launched two attacks — one in the afternoon, followed by a bigger assault in the evening.
The first onslaught took place when the gunmen tried to take back cattle allegedly stolen by people from the camp, an official, who declined to be named, said.
“There was an exchange of fire between the gunmen and people from the camp. Some people have been killed in this attack,” he said, without giving details of casualties.
A resident from the camp told AFP by telephone that three people had been killed and 11 wounded in the attack.
“The casualties are from two families residing in the camp,” he said.
The second attack came at around 6:30 pm (1530 GMT) and continued into the night, he said, adding: “I can hear the shooting.”
Monday’s attacks come less than a fortnight after a similar attack on the Kalma camp in South Darfur, where militiamen on camels wounded six people.
The attacks come as international mediators working to resolve the more than decade-long conflict described the situation in Darfur, which voted last month in a referendum on its status, was “stable”.
Almost 98 percent of voters in Darfur opted to maintain the region as five separate states instead of uniting it into a single entity, according to results released by the central government in Khartoum.
The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when rebels from ethnic minorities mounted an insurgency against the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir, complaining of economic and political marginalisation.
Renewed clashes between government troops and Abdulwahid Nur’s forces in the Jebel Marra mountains have forced at least 100,000 people from their homes since mid-January.
About 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million people have been displaced since the war began, according to UN figures.
Bashir is wanted for alleged war crimes over the conflict.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
While we have your attention...
An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.
Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.
Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.
Towns near Fukushima are now being plagued by hordes of rampaging radioactive wild boars. Where are Asterix and Obelix when you need them?