6 killed by armed tribesmen in Darfur
DARFUR - An attack by armed tribesmen near a makeshift camp for displaced people in Sudan's conflict-hit Darfur region killed six civilians, including two children, a resident and a UN official said Tuesday.
A peacekeeper from the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur was also wounded in the Monday attack near the makeshift camp in Sortoni in North Darfur where tens of thousands of people have taken refuge from an upsurge in fighting this year between the army and ethnic minority rebels.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, "condemns the reported shooting and killing of six civilians, including two children, by armed local tribes in Sortoni," a statement said.
A resident of the makeshift camp told AFP that gunmen riding camels and pick-up trucks had launched two attacks with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the attack followed a "reported rise in tensions between displaced people and armed tribesmen over cattle raiding".
Cattle rustling is a frequent source of conflict in Darfur. Last month, as many as 20 people were killed in clashes between two rival Arab tribes in East Darfur that were sparked by the theft of livestock.
Darfur has been gripped by conflict since 2003, when ethnic minority rebels rose up against President Omar al-Bashir, complaining that his Arab-dominated government was marginalising the region.
Bashir launched a brutal counter-insurgency and at least 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict, the United Nations says. Another 2.5 million people have fled their homes.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges related to Darfur, which he denies.
Since 2003, parts of Darfur have been further destabilised by conflicts between the region's myriad of ethnic and tribal groups, as well as rising criminality.