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Militiamen kidnap and rob North Darfuris, thousands flee homes

January 23 - 2015 KABKABIYA / EL FASHER
An armoured column of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in North Darfur (archive photo)
An armoured column of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in North Darfur (archive photo)

Pro-government militiamen committed two robberies and an abduction in Kabkabiya locality, North Darfur, during the past three days. The United Nations' humanitarian office made a conservative estimation that 75,000 people have been displaced by fighting since the beginning of this month.

On Tuesday, five militia members took the internally displaced Adam Isahag Kujur from south-west Sigeir area to an unknown destination. They demanded a ransom of SDG40,000 ($6,643) for his release, when they contacted Kujur's family on Thursday, a witness explained. He demanded human rights organisations to intervene and release the kidnapped Kujur.

Just before sunset on Wednesday, a group of government-backed militiamen, riding on camels, attacked Sabaq El Khail camp, where they robbed 58 goats and sheep. They have headed out to the north.

The same witness reported that militiamen have also hijacked a vehicle on Wednesday, west of Kabkabiya town, which is located about 138 km west of state capital El Fasher. “The vehicle was rented by El Masar Charitable Organisation, that works for the development of nomadic groups. Militiamen intercepted them, dropped off the driver at gunpoint, and took to vehicle to an unknown destination.”

Humanitarians verify 20,700 new refugees

Sudan's military offensive against the armed movements in East Jebel Marra and Tawila locality, adjacent to Kabkabiya, started on 30 December 2014. The Sudanese paramilitary forces launched widespread attacks on villages in the area, accompanied by heavy air raids. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) yesterday announced that humanitarians verified about 20,700 people in North Darfur, who have fled their homes as a result of the fighting.

“The actual number of newly displaced people might be higher as aid agencies are unable to access parts of the Jebel Marra region due to access constraints and ongoing fighting in the area,” the public statement read. The office estimates that nearly 55,000 other people are also displaced.

In 2014, about 457,000 people were newly displaced in Darfur, of whom 316,000 are still displaced, while the rest returned to their areas of origin, OCHA added.

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