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Children starve high in Darfur's Jebel Marra

February 5 - 2016 JEBEL MARRA / NIERTETI / TUR
Children in Darfur (Michael Kamber/NYT)
Children in Darfur (Michael Kamber/NYT)

Eleven children reportedly died of malnutrition while taking shelter in one of the highest peaks in Jebel Marra, at the end of January. Three women died at childbirth. Returning militiamen spark fear among residents in western Jebel Marra.

A medical assistant who said he managed to visit the area with activists, told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that the children and women died in Balbal area between 19 and 27 January. “We found about 5,000 civilians who have fled their villages because of the aerial bombardments in Jebel Marra.”

He said that the people had arrived in a bad humanitarian situation, and that they now live out in the cold without food or cover. “161 children from one to two years old suffer from severe malnutrition. Eleven children in this age group died.”

The group appealed to aid organisations to quickly intervene to rescue the displaced people in the mountains.

Returning militiamen

The spread of large numbers of militia members, returning from the battle zone in Jebel Marra, sparked panic among the citizens of Nierteti and Tur in the west of the Jebel Marra. Markets were closed out of precaution on Thursday.

A resident in Nierteti told this station that large numbers of militia members, some moving in vehicles while others riding camels, horses and motorcycles, entered the market area and opened fire into the air. “Residents escaped and shop owners closed their stalls.”

Meanwhile in Tur, militiamen sparked fear among the residents. A listener from the town reported that people fled their homes and took refuge in the camp for displaced people, where more than 800 families from Jebel Marra have taken shelter, in fear of attacks by the militiamen.

In addition, the road that connects Tur to Kass has remained closed.

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