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Children killed in bombardment on Jebel Marra, Darfur

January 26 - 2016 GOLO / TAWILA
People who fled their villages in northern Jebel Marra arrive at Rwanda camp in Tawila locality, North Darfur, 22 January 2016 (RD correspondent)
People who fled their villages in northern Jebel Marra arrive at Rwanda camp in Tawila locality, North Darfur, 22 January 2016 (RD correspondent)

Three children were killed and five others were wounded following aerial bombardments on villages in Darfur’s western Jebel Marra on Monday morning. The area of Golo, in the upper part of Central Darfur, has been under attack by the Sudanese Air Force since Saturday.

Kusum, four kilometres south of Golo, was bombed at approximately 9 am, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. Two girls, aged 12 and 14 years and the daughters of Yousif Mohamed Abdallah, were killed. Five civilians sustained injuries.

One barrel bomb reportedly hit the mountain where people were hiding and caused a rockfall, killing a 4-month-old baby who happened to be on the back of her mother.

The Air Force continued to bomb the area of Jo Kosti, five kilometres northeast of Golo, and an open area northwest of Golo without causing any casualties, a witness said. The crude barrel bombs lack accuracy because they are dropped by rolling them out of the aircraft’s cargo hatch.

Other witnesses reported hearing air raids and shellfire echoing from southern Jebel Marra, towards Sabun El Fagur, and from the northern side of an area called Kakor.

Newly displaced

On Monday, families who have been displaced from Jebel Marra arrived in Tawila locality, North Darfur. Militiamen had cut off the road to Tawila, but the people managed to arrive with the help of police, several military forces, and peacekeepers of Unamid.

“A force from the Unamid joined them and managed to transfer about 435 families to Tawila,” an activist in the area informed Radio Dabanga. “But a great number of displaced families still live out in the open in the locality.”

He said that Unamid has set up shelter for the families, while Doctors Without Borders (MCF) has handed blankets to them.

Appeal to international community

The Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association has condemned the government’s continuous military offensive against the armed rebels, which started on 15 January, that is “responsible for the attacks on innocent citizens and their displacement by indiscriminate aerial bombardments and shelling”.

Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the association, told Radio Dabanga that the situation in Jebel Marra is “very scary from the humanitarian side”: “Thousands of women, children, and elderly fleeing to camps have only managed to reach three camps in Tawila locality, and Nierteti and Hamidiya in Central Darfur.”

Omda Ahmed Ateem, the Coordinator of the North Darfur camps for displaced people, also condemned the ongoing bombardments in Jebel Marra. “What is happening now is a continuation of the process of ethnic cleansing the Sudanese government has initiated since the year 2003.

“The UN Security Council needs to hold an emergency session to approve to protect civilians and send troops for their protection, achieve security, and allow the humanitarian organisations to return to the Darfur region immediately.”

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