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Ex-rebels chase away militants near North Darfur camp

November 13 - 2017 KABKABIYA
The Sortony site in North Darfur where mainly the  displaced people from Jebel Marra sought refuge in the first half of 2016 (Marc Prost/WFP)
The Sortony site in North Darfur where mainly the displaced people from Jebel Marra sought refuge in the first half of 2016 (Marc Prost/WFP)

A clash broke out between former rebel fighters and a group of militants, east of camp Sortony in Kabkabiya, on Saturday.

Residents of the Sortony site, adjacent to the base of the AU-UN peacekeeping mission (Unamid) reported to Radio Dabanga that the fighting was caused by a group of militants, riding horses and donkeys, who beat displaced people on the farms of Teo, two kilometres east of the camp.

The attackers forced the displaced farmers to leave. Unamid peacekeeping soldiers were unable to confront the attackers, “on the grounds that there were not enough troops to move”, the mission replied to the victims who reported the case.

One of the camp residents said that the people then requested El Sadig El Fakka to come to their aid. He is the leader of a breakaway rebel group which signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government.

El Fakka's troops moved to the area southwest of Sortony on Saturday afternoon and clashed with the militant group, forcing them to leave the farms. One former rebel was wounded and another went missing during the fighting. There are no details yet about the other party.

Sortony, adjacent to the base of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (Unamid), is a site where people displaced from the mountainous Jebel Marra in Darfur in early 2016 have sought refuge. Increased hostilities between the Sudanese army, assisted by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur have forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes to other areas in Darfur, including Sortony.

According to the UN, the number of displaced living in Sortony decreased to 21,500 people who are registered and currently reside at the site.


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