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Darfur rebels, Sudan army battle on three fronts

April 5 - 2016 JEBEL MARRA
Rebels in Darfur (file photo)
Rebels in Darfur (file photo)

The holdout rebels in the Jebel Marra Massif in Darfur claimed to have killed dozens of Sudanese soldiers and paramilitaries in ongoing battles during the past three days. The UN and AU have urged the parties to agree to a ceasefire.

The Sudan Liberation Movement, under the command of Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLM-AW) “killed and wounded 142 government forces and militiamen”, the military spokesman told Radio Dabanga yesterday.

“Government forces and Rapid Support militias attacked our fighters at 7 a.m. On Monday morning with about 60 tanks and vehicles at Riri and Barbara in western Jebel Marra,” Shihabeldin Ahmed Haggar said. “The battle continued until Monday evening.”

The battle resulted in 37 casualties and 27 wounded on the Sudanese government's side, he claimed. Four of their vehicles were destroyed. Haggar said that the rebels lost two fighters and that two others were wounded.

At Bora, south of Guldo, the Sudan Armed Forces and allied militiamen clashed with the SLM-AW on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. “They attacked in about 120 vehicles, and others riding camels and horses. The fierce fighting resulted in the killing of 61 soldiers and militiamen and wounding 17 others. Six vehicles were destroyed.”

Fighting on a battlefield northwest of Jebel Marra has continued until Monday evening, Haggar reported. The army and militiamen are fighting the SLM-AW there in approximately 70 vehicles and two tanks.

More displaced people

On Monday the UN-AU Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Martin Uhomoibhi, urged the warring parties in Jebel Marra to agree to a cessation of hostilities. He stressed that since mid-January 2016, the renewed fighting “has led to reportedly tens of thousands of civilians being displaced from in and around the Jebel Marra area into North, Central and South Darfur.

“Thousands of civilians turned to Unamid to seek refuge and protection, with a majority choosing to settle in close proximity to the Unamid team sites at Sortoni and Tawilla in North Darfur. Approximately 70,000 civilians.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that a variety of estimates from aid organisations and authorities indicate that there could be about 133,000 displaced from Jebel Marra.

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