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Protests, gunfire at Darfur displaced camp

2014-09-09 10:32

Khartoum - Tensions have escalated at a camp for displaced people in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, peacekeepers said on Monday after demonstrations and gunfire.

Kalma camp, in South Darfur, is one of many communities housing more than two million people displaced by 11 years of conflict in Sudan's western region.

About 400 displaced people gathered on Friday in an anti-government protest, the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), said in a statement.

"In the course of events shots were fired resulting in casualties to the demonstrators. The exact number of casualties is unknown at the moment. Unamid calls on government authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident," the mission said.

It expressed concern "about escalating tensions at the camp".

Activists said that between one and four people were killed after police intervened against protesters at the weekend.

Inter-communal fighting

"Until now there is the presence of police and security personnel around the camp," one activist said on Monday. He declined to be named.

Police had initially entered Kalma in pursuit of "outlaws" who fled from the state capital Nyala, the Sudanese Media Centre, which is close to the state security apparatus, reported.

In February, more than 20 people were wounded, eight of them by gunshots, when Sudanese police allegedly opened fire on demonstrators at a camp for displaced near Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur.

Darfur's displaced camps, particularly Kalma, are highly politicised.

Thousands of people uprooted by militia arson and looting fled to Kalma early this year, as violence in Darfur rose to its worst levels in a decade.

Government-linked forces, rebel offensives, criminality and inter-communal fighting all contributed to this year's surge of violence, Unamid has said.