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UN Sudan Mission Reports Violence, Displacement in North Darfur

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan said there were signs of violence and population displacement amid reports of clashes between government forces and armed groups in North Darfur state.

Unamid, as the UN-African Union force is known, sent a team Nov. 6 to verify reports of violence in areas southwest of al-Fasher, the regional capital. It found Sigili village “completely deserted, with apparent signs of an abrupt departure,” Unamid said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday. Housing and property had been destroyed and dead animals and ammunition were found across the village, it said.

The UN said on Sept. 9 it’s concerned about a resumption of violence in North Darfur following several shootings and the attempted assassination of a local official.

Insurgents in Darfur took up arms in 2003, accusing President Umar al-Bashir’s government of neglecting the region. The conflict has led to the deaths of as many as 300,000 people, mainly due to illness and starvation, and forced about 2.7 million to flee their homes, according to UN estimates. The Sudanese government has put the death toll at about 10,000.

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