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More than 500 displaced reach North Darfur camp today

January 7 - 2015 ZAMZAM CAMP
RSF troops in East Jebel Marra, 2 January 2015 (Sudan Armed Forces)
RSF troops in East Jebel Marra, 2 January 2015 (Sudan Armed Forces)

Zamzam camp for the displaced near El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, received more than 500 newly displaced today. They came on foot, fleeing the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a large government militia, who began a major offensive against villages in East Jebel Marra and Tawila locality on Friday.

“More than 100 families reached Zamzam camp today,” a camp elder informed Dabanga Sudan. “They are in a very bad condition, as they fled with nothing more than their clothes. They spent several nights in the open, suffering from the bracing cold.”

He said that the newcomers who managed to reach Zamzam, Abu Shouk, and El Salam camps during the past few days are in dire need of water, food, and shelter. “Others sought refuge on the outskirts of El Fasher. Some of them managed to take their livestock with them.”

He appealed to relief organisations, the UN, and Unamid to intervene and provide assistance to the newly displaced, “especially the children and the elderly”.

On 1 January, large groups of RSF militiamen, supported by the Sudanese Air Force, recaptured an important rebel stronghold in the area of Fanga, about 30 km northwest of Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur’s Tawila locality. The area used to be part of East Jebel Marra, and is popularly still known as such.

Offensive

The RSF militia troops started to pillage villages in the area on 31 December, and continued raiding other villages and destroying water resources on a much wider scale the following two days. They were again backed by Sudanese fighter jets.

People from the area told Dabanga that the attacks were “taking the shape of a scorched earth policy”.

“They are removing the entire population of East Jebel Marra, Tawila locality, and parts of Kutum, Kabkabiya, and Saraf Umra localities in North Darfur,” one of them said. “This is one of the fiercest attacks and largest incidence of organised robbery in the recent history of Darfur.”

Thousands of villagers have fled northward, in the direction of El Fasher and the surrounding camps, others sought refuge in the nearby mountain range and valleys. Multiple sources informed Dabanga Sudan on Monday that about 20,000 are stranded in the mountains, “without any access to water, food, or shelter to protect them from the cold at night”. “They cannot leave their hiding places because the militia forces are surrounding the area.”


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