Sudan security forces disperse protesters in West Darfur

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Sudanese security forces on Sunday dispersed protesters who had gathered outside government buildings, with rebels reportedly claiming four demonstrators were killed, though officials said there were no casualties.

The unrest in West Darfur’s state capital began after a group of people rallied outside the West Darfur government secretariat in Geneina, both government and rebel sources are reported to have said.

“Security services supported by tribal militia opened fire on civilians protesting at the buildings of the secretariat of the West Darfur state government, leading to the deaths of four protesters and wounding others,” the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) said in a statement.

The statement said the crowd was demonstrating “after government militia burned their homes and they became homeless”.

The group gave the names of two of those it said were killed but said the other two were unknown.

A West Darfur government spokesman denied the claims, saying that the security forces dispersed a group of protesters after they burned three cars in front of the buildings, without causing casualties.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the accounts.

Darfur has been mired in violence since 2003 when ethnic rebels – including the SLM – mounted a campaign against the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir, saying they were being marginalised.

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