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Central Darfur governor claims ‘security’ in Jebel Marra

June 5 - 2018 ZALINGEI
Fighters of the rebel SLM led by Abdelwahid El Nur (file photo)
Fighters of the rebel SLM led by Abdelwahid El Nur (file photo)

The government of Central Darfur has claimed that the security situation in the state is stable, and denied any clashes between the Sudanese forces and armed rebels in Jebel Marra. Rebel reports have claimed otherwise.

The governor of Central Darfur, Mohamed Ahmed Jad Elsid denied the existence of military operations in the Jebel Marra part of the state – which includes Rokoro locality – on Monday. The reports about continued clashes in the mountainous area are “tendentious”, he said.

Elsid renewed his government’s commitment to the unilateral ceasefire, at the same time saying that security organs have been in pursuit of members of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) in order to impose the state authority, to secure the farming season and also the voluntary return of displaced people and refugees to their areas of origin.

The Sudanese government and three armed groups including Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), SLM - Minni Minawi and SLM-Transitional Council have all declared a unilateral cessation of hostilities in Darfur. Both sides have not agreed on a joint ceasefire. The SLM-AW has not declared any ceasefire.

Governor Elsid underlined the security situation is completely stable. He pointed to certain testimonies of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) and the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy in Khartoum, who recently visited Jebel Marra. Unamid has established a new temporary base in Golo in Central Darfur, to enhance the protection of civilians in the Jebel Marra.

Contradicting reports

Starting March, Radio Dabanga received reports from Central Darfur concerning a resumption of fighting between the government’s forces and Abdelwahid El Nur’s rebel troops. Clashes were reported by residents in the area and the SLM-AW.

Also the peacekeeping mission in Darfur has reported skirmishes in Jebel Marra. In May the Unamid Joint Special Representative (JSR) Jeremiah Mamabolo expressed his concerns about the clashes between Sudanese government forces and SLM-AW fighters. “We particularly regret the new displacements and the burning of villages such as Gobbo, Kawara, Kimingtong in South Darfur as well as other villages in the Rokoro locality in Central Darfur.”

Most of the reported clashes have taken place in southern Jebel Marra or Kass locality in South Darfur. As reported by Radio Dabanga mid-May, thousands of civilians had reportedly been displaced from villages in southern Jebel Marra as fighting broke out between government forces, allied militias and armed rebels in the area of Kass.

(Source: Sudan Tribune, Radio Dabanga)

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