Parts of Sudan's Darfur region have seen an alarming rise in violence with high civilian casualties, the acting head of Darfur's peacekeeping mission said on Monday, as efforts to implement a peace deal between the government and some rebels hit deadlock.
"We are witnessing an increasing number of security-related incidents in North Darfur, including armed clashes between members of different communities with high civilian casualties," Aichatou Mindaoudou said.
She was speaking at the opening of the second meeting of the international Joint Commission, set up under a peace deal between the government and an alliance of rebel splinter factions, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM).
She called the trend in violence in the vast western region an "alarming development".
Mindaoudou did not refer to specific incidents but the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Sunday said it plans further "assessment" of reported violence in North Darfur state's Hashaba.
The United States says 70 civilians died there between September 25 and 27 in fighting and aerial bombardments between rebels and Sudanese government forces.
Hashaba is in Kutum district, which has been the scene of unrest since early August when a district chief was shot dead during a carjacking attempt.