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Darfur: ‘No time to flee bombers’ in Jebel Marra

February 21 - 2016 JEBEL MARRA
A burnt village in Darfur (file photo)
A burnt village in Darfur (file photo)

A basic school was destroyed in an air raid on Tireinay village in Jebel Marra on Thursday. Health assistants found 361 severely malnourished children among the people hiding near the mountain peak.

The Sudanese Air Force has reportedly changed its attack strategy: the Antonovs now hit targets directly, instead of circling above the area as before. People no longer have the time any more to seek shelter.

Multiple sources, who visited the village, 20 kilometres southeast of Golo, told Radio Dabanga that the bombing destroyed the school’s eight classrooms. “Four rooms built of bricks, and another four of straw,” one of them said. “It was the only school at this height on Mount Marra”.

Three other barrel bombs hit the village mosque. 15 homes also burned to the ground.

“While before, the Antonovs would circle a target three to five times before dropping the bombs, they now approach a target and drop their bombs immediately. The people no longer have time to run for cover.”

On Saturday, the area of Fouli, ten kilometres southwest of Golo, was also bombed, the sources said. As the area lies high in the mountain, they could not report on the extent of the losses.

Surprise bombing

The sources remarked that the aerial bombardments have changed in recent days.

“While before, the Antonovs would circle a target three to five times before dropping the bombs, they now approach a target and drop their bombs immediately. The people no longer have time to run for cover.”

After more than a month of daily air raids, Jebel Marra was not bombed today. Observers on the ground say that they only saw smoke rising from distant parts of the mountain.

The situation of the people who fled high into the mountain is dire. Two days ago, a team of health assistants visited the area of Jokosti, about 12 kilometres east of Golo, where thousands are hiding. The team found 361 severely malnourished children, one of the sources reported.


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