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At least 43 die in Darfur violence

Clashes in a refugee camp in Sudan's restive Darfur region have left six people dead, UN-African Union peacekeepers said, days after violence elsewhere in the area claimed the lives of at least 37 people.

The spokesman for the UNAMID mission, Chris Cycmanick, said the fighting took place in the Hamidia refugee camp in West Darfur late on Friday night and continued intermittently through to Saturday morning.

According to witnesses in the camp, the clashes between different groups in the camp left six people dead, Cycmanick said. Thirty-three people were wounded. It was not immediately clear what sparked the violence.

Ibrahim al-Helw, a spokesman for a Darfur rebel group in the area, blamed government-allied gunmen for the fighting. He said 10 people were killed and 29 wounded.

The clashes come less than two weeks after the UN Security Council called for the demilitarisation of the camps in Darfur, which serve as a temporary home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

The UN appeal was spurred by similar violence in another refugee camp between that left five people dead. Humanitarian workers were barred from the camps for two weeks after the clashes.

Fighting in Darfur began with a 2003 rebellion by groups who accused the government of neglecting the vast desert region. The conflict has left up to 300,000 people dead and forced 2.7 million to flee their homes - many to camps in Sudan's vast western region, according to UN figures.

UN officials remain concerned about the presence of weapons and armed groups inside the camps.

While violence has tapered off in recent years, there have been growing signs of unrest in Darfur since President Omar al-Bashir won another five-year term in April elections. The international criminal court in The Hague has charged al-Bashir with war crimes and genocide for the conflict in Darfur.

Fighting between the government and disparate rebel groups has at times been fuelled by attempts to revive peace talks, although negotiations have stalled because of a lack of trust.

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