Over 60 people were reported killed and some 60 more injured in an armed attack in the Sudanese region of Darfur, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Sunday.
According to the body’s Sudan office the attack happened on Saturday in the village of Masteri, near the border with Chad and some 48 kilometres south from the West Darfur capital El Geneina.
“Tensions remain high in West Darfur, following the rapid increase in recent weeks in the number and frequency of security incidents,” UN OCHA Sudan said in a tweet.
According to a situation report by the office, the attack was “one of the latest of a series of security incidents reported over the last week that left several villages and houses burned, markets and shops looted, and infrastructure damaged.”
On July 20 the government of West Darfur imposed a lockdown in El Geneina and nearby Beida region which will be in place until further notice, the report said.
In 2003, a conflict broke out in the western Darfur region between the government of President Omar al-Bashir and sections of the population demanding greater political participation.
Government forces and the allied Arab Janjaweed militia acted brutally against the local population and an estimated 300,000 people were killed in the crackdown.
Al-Bashir, who last year was overthrown by the military after 30 years in power, is sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in connection with the conflict for crimes against humanity, among other things.
The new interim government is currently negotiating with several rebel groups from Darfur and other troubled regions in the country to achieve long-term peace.