Peacekeepers who were granted access by the Sudanese authority to a village where 13 people were reportedly killed by a militia found it deserted, with houses burned and animals dead in the street, UNAMID said on Thursday.
An African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur statement said a civilian-military team arrived at Sigili village on Tuesday after an earlier convoy had been stopped by Sudanese government forces.
“The team found Sigili village completely deserted, with apparent signs of an abrupt departure. It also noticed several signs of destruction of housing and property, killed animals, and burnt houses,” UNAMID spokeswoman Aicha Elbasri said in the statement.
“Ammunition was also found in different sites across the village.”
Sigili is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state which has seen an upsurge in violence.
Militia attacked the village and killed 13 people last Friday, a local source who cannot be identified for security reasons earlier told AFP, calling the incident a tribal clash.
U.S. based watchdog Human Rights Watch, which said it spoke to witnesses, also reported 13 killed.
“I urge the government of Sudan to swiftly conduct its planned investigation into (the) Sigili incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” UNAMID's acting chief, Aichatou Mindaoudou, said in the statement.
UNAMID said its team also tried for a second time to reach the Abu Delek area, about 60 kilometres southeast of El Fasher, after reports of clashes between government forces and “armed groups”.
“The verification team was stopped by members of the Popular Defence Forces, who insisted on searching the nine-vehicle convoy. After lengthy discussion, the team decided to turn back to El Fasher and postpone the mission to Abu Delek,” Elbasri said.
The PDF militia are a mainstay of Sudan's military force.
Elbasri said UNAMID came under heavy gunfire from an unidentified armed group when it earlier tried to reach Abu Delek, on October 25.
“Sudan has repeatedly blocked UNAMID from visiting various locales in Darfur, seriously undermining the mission's ability to carry out its mandate to protect civilians and investigate human rights abuses,” Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
The U.N. Security Council on July 31 expressed “deep concern at increased restrictions and bureaucratic impediments placed by the government of Sudan upon UNAMID movement and operations, particularly to areas of recent conflict”.