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Sudan declares emergency in North Darfur state after violence in two towns

Team from AU-UN force sent to Kutum town after reported burning of a police station and cars by unidentified protesters
Conflict started in Darfur in 2003 after mostly non-Arab rebels rose up against the Khartoum government (Unamid)

Sudan has declared a state of emergency in part of the conflict-ridden western region of Darfur after violence and unrest in two towns, state news agency SUNA said.

The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) said it had sent a team to Kutum town in North Darfur state following the reported burning of a police station and cars by unidentified protesters. It gave no further details.

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Protesters demanded on Sunday better security and a civilian state government, a resident told Reuters. 

State governor positions are held in Sudan by military officers despite the toppling of longtime President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Separately, another resident told Reuters an unidentified militia had attacked on Monday another sit-in in Fatabarno, a village in the same area.

No more details were available about the two incidents.

Peaceful sit-ins have sprung up in towns across Darfur and in other parts of Sudan, which also protesting the presence of armed militias.

Widespread atrocities

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 UN estimates.

There has been no serious fighting for years but the conflict remains unresolved as Arab militias are still present and have control over land they seized.

The transition civilian Khartoum government, in power with the military since Bashir's toppling, has vowed to end the conflict and is holding talks with some of the rebel groups that had fought the former president's government in Darfur and elsewhere in the country.