The joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur says an initial investigation has turned up no evidence of a claimed mass rape in a village there.

UNAMID said Monday that investigators spent several hours Sunday in the village of Tabit, located 45 kilometers (28 miles) southwest of El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur. The Sudanese military previously denied the mission access to the village.

The mission said it intends to conduct further investigations. Allegations first surfaced earlier this month of a mass rape of 200 women in Tabit.

Darfur has been gripped by violence since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination. Locals previously have complained that pro-government militias used rape as a means to terrorize women and intimidate rebels.