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Bombing Jebel Marra 'violates ceasefire': SLM-AW

April 26 - 2017 JEBEL MARRA
Sudan Liberation Movement leader Abdel Wahid El Nur (file photo)
Sudan Liberation Movement leader Abdel Wahid El Nur (file photo)

The holdout rebel group in Darfur's Jebel Marra has condemned the aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Air Force last weekend which led to an unknown number of casualties. “The government had announced an unilateral ceasefire.”

The leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Abdel Wahid El Nur, recounted that the Air Force bombed ten sites in north-west Jebel Marra on Saturday and Sunday with the aim to hit their positions. Sudanese pro-government militias attacked its stronghold in Torantora on Saturday and 17 militiamen were reportedly killed.

After a relative calm for months, the Sudanese air force dropped three barrel bombs on the area of Jawa in the eastern part of Jebel Marra on 6 April. The latest bombing occurred in October, weeks after renewed fighting had broken out between government forces and SLM-AW combatants.

Former United States President Barack Obama ordered the easing of financial sanctions against Sudan because he found the country had reduced military activities in the Darfur region, pledged to maintain a unilateral ceasefire, and improved access for humanitarian organisations.

Last January President Omar Al Bashir announced a ceasefire in Darfur without an agreement with the SLM-AW, which is the only main rebel group to not have announced a similar unilateral ceasefire. The announced cessation of hostilities has also been broken in the conflict zones of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“This government attack on the movement's bases underlines the lack of credibility of the government, which earlier announced a unilateral ceasefire,” said El Nur. “This requires us to move to resist and confront it, until it is changed to establish a legitimate democratic system.”

Camp dismantling

The rebel leader reacted to Khartoum's plans to dismantle the camps for displaced people in Darfur and relocate the populations saying it's “the other face” of the violent marginalisation of Darfuris.

“Armed settlers are preventing the displaced people from returning to their villages and depriving them from getting out of the camps for simple tasks, like to collect straw and firewood, until the camps have become large prisons.” The issue of land has made the situation for displaced people and refugees who want to return to their villages difficult, he said.

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