Four raped by new settlers in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra
Two women and two girls were raped in two separate incidents in East Jebel Marra today, allegedly by new settlers.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga from El Aradeib El Ashara, a listener reported that “the newcomers who settled in the abandoned villages in the area assault displaced people returning from the camps to cultivate their lands.
“Many of these settlers are militiamen, backed by the Sudanese government,” she explained.
“This afternoon, a group of seven settlers riding on camels ambushed three girls, aged 17, 14, and 12, in the area of El Aradeib El Ashara. They seized them at gunpoint, and raped them alternately for about two hours.”
The girls arrived with their families from Zamzam camp to work on their fields near their original villages, which they fled during the attacks by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) earlier this year.
She added that another group raped a woman (22) in the area of Jin Nag, south of Dolma, this afternoon.
Militiamen and migrants
Thousands of new settlers have reportedly occupied abandoned villages in East Jebel Marra during the last few months.
The newcomers were identified by local pastoralists as members of Arab militias and migrants from Chad, Mali and Niger. Several witnesses told Radio Dabanga that they have spotted RSF troops roaming around to protect the new inhabitants.
Since early January, the Sudanese Air Force and ground forces, most of them RSF paramilitaries, attacked villages in East Jebel Marra and neighbouring Tawila locality during the second “dry season campaign” launched by the Sudanese government to “crush the insurgency in Darfur”.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan announced in February that some 41,000 people were forced to flee conflict in Darfur since the beginning of the year.
Radio Dabanga reported on 28 May that about 120 villages were abandoned in East Jebel Marra, and Tawila locality in North Darfur. Most of the inhabitants sought refuge in the camps for the displaced in North Darfur.
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