Foreign settlers continue to torch Darfur villages

More witnesses report foreign settlers torching villages in Darfur, to take plots in the deserted areas, and making it impossible for displaced people to return.

More witnesses have reported newcomers from African countries torching abandoned villages in Darfur, to settle and take plots in the deserted areas.

New settlers, “mostly foreign Arabs from Chad, Mali and Niger”, burned the entire village of Dolma, only leaving four houses standing, on Wednesday at 8pm. A witness in East Jebel Marra told Radio Dabanga that the settlers occupied Wadi Marra, Tayarat and Tabeldiyat villages in the area this week.

People in East Jebel Marra have appealed to the state government in North Darfur, and the new governor, to immediately take action to solve this problem.

On 19 June, Radio Dabanga reported that up to ten thousand settlers have taken plots in deserted areas in East Jebel Marra. The newcomers were identified by local pastoralists as members of Arab militias and migrants from Chad, Mali and Niger.

The Sudanese government said it considers a policy of voluntary resettlement of the displaced by shutting down their camps. The occupation of their home areas by foreigners does not guarantee for a safe return, displaced farmers told Radio Dabanga in a radio report.