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Militiamen plunder, burn 13 villages in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

April 23 - 2018 JEBEL MARRA
People fleeing their villages in northern Jebel Marra, April 21, 2018 (RD)
People fleeing their villages in northern Jebel Marra, April 21, 2018 (RD)

At least 30,000 people fled their homes during attacks by large groups of militiamen on 13 villages in northern Jebel Marra on Thursday and Friday.

The villagers fled towards Rokoro, according to statements of the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) on Friday and Saturday.

After plundering the villages, the attackers set the houses on fire. The newly displaced are in dire need of aid, the SLM-AW stated.

On Sunday, the rebel movement reported fierce fighting between its combatants and government forces in the area of Jaldo in northern Jebel Marra.

The SLM-AW strongly denied the claims by Sudan’s Arab Baath Party, which said in a statement on Saturday that the militiamen burned the villages in retaliation, after some members of the SLM-AW killed camel herders and stole a number of camels from Tawa village on Wednesday.

In its statement, the Arab Baath Party has called on humanitarian organisations to provide relief to the victims and to rebuild their villages.

Offensives

During the dry seasons (roughly between January-and May) in the past years, government forces have made various attempts to eliminate the SLM-AW bases in the Jebel Marra region.

In March this year, rebel sites in East Jebel Marra were attacked. The fighting caused an estimated 50,000 people to flee their villages in the area.

Last year, the attacks focused on northwest Jebel Marra. According to an RSF spokesman in February 2017, Darfur became free of armed movements, suspects, and outlaws, except for a small [SLM-AW] group stationed at the top of Jebel Marra”.

In 2016, more than 80,000 people were displaced by a major military offensive against the holdout rebels in the mountainous region of the Jebel Marra.


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