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Sudanese Troops Arrest 37 in Darfur Camp

Women with children walk near a soldier of Darfur's joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force outside the UNAMID team site in Khor Abeche, 83 km (52 miles) northeast on Nyala (south Darfur), 10 Jan 2011

The U.N. and African Union mission in Darfur says Sudanese troops have arrested 37 people after conducting a search in a refugee camp.

UNAMID said Sunday's raid violated an agreement between the mission and Sudan's government, requiring notification prior to any action in the camps.

The mission said it was informed about the action almost three hours after government forces cordoned off the Zam Zam camp, located near El Fasher, the North Darfur capital.

The UNAMID chief, Ibrahim Gambari, dispatched teams of civilian, police and military personnel to the camp to protect the safety and rights of the camp residents who have been displaced by the region's fighting.

The mission says the teams reported that despite a "tense" atmosphere, "no shots were fired." The teams said there was no violence or destruction of property.

Sudan says, in addition to the arrest of 37 people, ten vehicles were impounded. The government also reported the seizure of three assault rifle magazines, ammunition, suspected stolen goods and illegal substances.

The UNAMID has been working since 2008 in the strife-torn Sudanese region, where nearly seven years of fighting between the government, its militia supporters, and rebel groups have killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million people from their homes.