Darfur rebels accused Sudan’s army of killing at least two civilians during a raid on a refugee camp, the latest violence to hit the camps during a suspension of a faltering peace process for Ramadan.
An army spokesman said the force did not immediately have any information about the report.
However, one resident in Zalingei in the western region confirmed there had been clashes in the camps surrounding the town and that two people had been killed, although she could not say whether government forces were involved.
Ibrahim el-Helwu, a commander in the rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), blamed the Khartoum government. “The government sent in armed troops to the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp in Zalingei and they killed some civilians,” he told Reuters.
“Some of the camps were burned too,” he said. “We are asking the joint UN-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeeping force to stop this — no armed men should be allowed to enter IDP camps.”
UNAMID was not immediately available for comment.
Zalingei is the home town of rebel SLA leader Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur who has refused to attend the peace talks in Qatar. Zalingei’s camps have traditionally supported Nur and rejected the peace process.
The other main rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), pulled out of the negotiations earlier this year, citing continued government attacks on their troops.
The talks have been suspended for Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, which begins in mid-August.
Zalingei town borders Jabel Marra, a mountainous area which is the main rebel stronghold in Darfur.
“There was some fighting in the camps and some houses burned but I’m not sure who was involved,” resident Hajja el-Senoussi told Reuters by telephone from Zalingei town, adding she had reports of two people killed.
The SLA’s Helwu said that up to six people were reported dead.
Earlier this week one Darfuri was injured in the region’s second largest and most volatile Kalma camp in South Darfur state as refugees who support the peace talks clashed with those who oppose them, UNAMID said in a statement.