Fourteen people have been killed during clashes in a camp for displaced in Sudan's conflict-hit region of Darfur, the official news agency SUNA has reported. The clashes occurred on Saturday in South Darfur's camp Kalma, one of the biggest facilities housing thousands of people displaced by the war in the region.
"Fourteen people have been killed in clashes inside camp Kalma the day before yesterday," South Darfur's acting governor General Hashim Khalid said on Monday, quoted by SUNA. He did not say what triggered the violence or reveal details about the groups that clashed, but said the camp has "lot of weapons and groups that disturb the state's security".
He said camp Kalma also had many rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) group, one of the groups fighting with Khartoum's forces for years in the region. The conflict in Darfur erupted in 2003 when black ethnic rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated government of now ousted president Omar al-Bashir, accusing it of marginalising the region economically and politically.
Khartoum cracked down on rebels and since then insurgent groups have fragmented, with fighting punctuated by periods of relative calm. Sudan restricts international media access to Darfur, an area about the size of France, so it is not possible to independently verify the details of fighting there.
In recent years the level of violence has significantly dropped across Darfur, with Khartoum insisting the conflict has ended in the region. The United Nations says about 3,00,000 people have been killed in Darfur since 2003 and another 2.5 million people displaced.
Tens of thousands of people continue to live in sprawling camps like Kalma. Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and genocide charges in Darfur. He denies the charges.
(With inputs from agencies.)