Anti-election campaign scares population of South Kordofan
The Commissioner of Rashad locality in South Kordofan has accused anti-election campaigners of terrifying the population. The election, scheduled to take place between 13 and 15 April, has been postponed in seven of the war-torn region’s electoral districts for security reasons.
Thousands of newly displaced from El Abbasiya Tagali are living in the open along El Abbasiya road leading to Um Rawaba in the north. The majority of the people who fled fighting in Habila more than a week ago, reportedly returned to their homes.
The Commissioner of Rashad locality told correspondents in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, on Tuesday that the residents of Abu Karshola panicked and left the town in a hurry, after the distribution of a statement calling for a boycott of the election.
According to the statement, signed by the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance, rebel forces will attack the polling stations in Abu Karshola. The people were advised to take precautions.
Multiple sources confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the town witnessed a mass exodus since the distribution of the statement on Monday.
They said that the travel buses’ stations were overcrowded on Tuesday morning. The majority of the people left for El Rahad in West Kordofan. They were forced to spend the night in the open as the authorities prohibited the buses to enter the town at night, to avoid panic among the residents.
The National Election Commission announced on Tuesday that the election in seven of the 24 South Kordofan constituencies is postponed until the security situation has improved.
‘In the open’
Owing to the fighting between government troops and rebel forces in El Abbasiya locality more than three weeks ago, some 13,000 villagers fled Kalinda, Julia, Jokaya, El Damra, El Jabeilat, Fashoda, El Sanadra, Goferi, and Mendirayat El Dumur.
“The newly displaced are surviving in cottages and under trees along the El Abbasiya-Um Rawaba road,” multiple sources reported to Radio Dabanga.
They said that there are 470 secondary school students among them, who missed their final exams mid-March.
According to the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), 98 percent of the about 13,000 people who fled Habila on 28 March, have returned to their homes.
The people fled a major battle between government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in the area, and took refuge in several towns in Delling, Habila, and El Goz localities.
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society and the Mubadiroun organisation visited Habila to assess the needs of the returnees, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest weekly bulletin.
According to the assessment findings, more than 300 homes were torched, affecting some 2,240 people. An additional 5,500 people reportedly lost all their food supplies and livestock, which were either stolen, burned, or destroyed.
The Sudanese government has sent 10.8 tonnes of food to Habila, but the affected people have yet to receive emergency shelter and household supplies. The Red Crescent sent medical teams to the town. The main water source in Habila has been polluted by animals and nine of the town’s 20 hand pumps require rehabilitation, the bulletin reads.
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