At least 20 people died and 22 others were injured after gunmen from an unidentified militia attacked a village in the Sudanese state of South Darfur, witnesses and a local community leader said on Saturday.
Attackers on horseback and camels opened fire on villagers in the Um Doss area, which is located around 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the state capital Nyala, said a local leader who gave his name as Nimr.
“Militias attacked us and took over our land years ago… and now they want to kick us out of our homes and farms once again. Where is the government and why has it not come to protect us?” one witness said.
The incident follows recent violence by militias in North Darfur which prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency on July 13.
Conflict started in Darfur in 2003 after mostly non-Arab rebels rose up against the Khartoum government. Government forces and mainly Arab militia, which moved to repress the revolt, were accused of widespread atrocities. Some 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, according to U.N. estimates.
Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s ousted leader, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the troubled Darfur region.
Civilian state governors were appointed this week for the first time since Bashir was toppled, a key demand of protesters hoping for more stability.