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About 15,000 displaced after attacks on villages in Tawila, North Darfur

January 1 - 2015 TAWILA LOCALITY
Newly displaced at a Nyala camp in South Darfur, 1 March 2014 (sudanreeves org)
Newly displaced at a Nyala camp in South Darfur, 1 March 2014 (sudanreeves org)

At least six people were killed, three abducted, and five others went missing in militia attacks on 13 villages in Tawila locality, North Darfur, popularly known as East Jebel Marra, on Wednesday and today. Some 15,000 people sought refuge in the three Tawila camps for the displaced.

Fleeing villagers reported to Radio Dabanga that a large group of government-backed militiamen, in 15 vehicles and others on camelback, attacked the villages of Marra Fata, Masala, Bensour, Hajar, Kalma, Umsiyal, and Nemra, located west of Tawila town, on Wednesday. They said that the attacks were led by the well-known militia leader, Badur Abu Kineish.

“Most people managed to flee the villages, but Ahmed Ibrahim Siraj and Adam Omar Adam were killed.  Mohamed Musa Mohamedein was wounded, and three men, among them Mohamed Yahya Mohamed, Sheikh of Sendogu village, were abducted”, one of them said.

The villager reported that the attackers ravaged and plundered the villages. “They took about 600 head of cattle,” he said. “Marra Fata, Masala, Bensour, Hajar, Kalma, and Nemra were torched.”  

“This morning, about 11 am”, others told Radio Dabanga, “the same militia raided the villages of Marar, Hashaba, Kolo, Bara Kou, Sembal, and Hillet Hassan.”

“Hussein Adam Bashir, Anwar Mohamed Abdallah, and two children were killed, and others were wounded. Five people went missing, among them one woman.”

“The only reasons behind the raids seem to be pillaging, and the cleansing of the population in the area.”

One of them related how the villagers fled “in all directions”. “We did not have the time to take our belongings and livestock with us. They left with only the clothes they were wearing. Some took their horses, and others just ran as fast as they could.”

All sources stressed that they do not understand why these villages were attacked. “The only reasons behind the raids seem to be pillaging, and the cleansing of the population in the area.”

Omda Mukhtar Bosh, coordinator of the three Tawila camps for the displaced, reported that about 15,000 newly displaced arrived at the camps from the area west of Tawila town at Wednesday night, and today.

“Some of the fleeing villagers, most of them women and children, reached the Rwanda, Dali, and Argo camps on horseback. Most of them, however, arrived on foot. They were extremely scared.”

The coordinator appealed via Radio Dabanga the North Darfur state authorities and relief organisations to provide water, food, medicines, cover, and shelter “as soon as possible”.


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