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Ongoing clashes between RSF, rebels in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

May 25 - 2018 KOBO
Rapid Support Forces (RSF) during training (file photo)
Rapid Support Forces (RSF) during training (file photo)

The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) claimed to have killed 14 Sudanese paramilitary troops when they repelled two attacks in Darfur’s Jebel Marra.

The attacks on Thursday resulted in the death of 14 members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and wounding 28 others, the armed movement claimed. Waleed Mohamed Abakar, the military spokesman told Radio Dabanga that the RSF attack took place in the area of Kobo in southern Jebel Marra. “We fought back and forced the troops to retreat to Kara and Kass.”

He added that the rebels also repelled an attack in Turti and Nugud in western Jebel Marra.

Three civilians were reportedly wounded as the pro-government troops shelled Saboun El Fagur on Thursday. Fighting then continued in the areas of Saboun El Fagur, Kobo, Kuru, Jarku and Kor in Jebel Marra.

Earlier this week fierce battles raged between the rebels and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Kobo, where again, the SLM-AW claimed to have repulsed the attacks on its bases. The Sudanese Air Force bombed areas in Jebel Marra on Tuesday, according to the movement.

Growing displacement

Responding to the renewed clashes, the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association reported that a large number of residents in Jebel Marra villages have been affected by the clashes and fled their homes.

Spokesman Hussein Abushrati told Radio Dabanga that a large number of residents has been displaced by the recent fighting. “The association calls upon Unamid to go to Jebel Marra and investigate the deteriorating humanitarian conditions, and the lack of basic commodities – for which the government is responsible.”

On Saturday the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (Unamid) Joint Special Representative (JSR) Jeremiah Mamabolo expressed his concerns about the recent clashes between Sudanese government forces and SLM-AW fighters in Jebel Marra.

“We particularly regret the new displacements and the burning of villages such as Gobbo, Kawara, Kimingtong in South Darfur as well as other villages in the Rokoro locality in Central Darfur,” he added in his briefing to the press.

Military offensive

This year in March, government forces, consisting mainly of paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, attacked rebel sites in East Jebel Marra in South Darfur. In April, areas in north-western Jebel Marra were targeted. At least 13 villages burned to the ground. Tens of thousands of people reportedly fled their homes. The US Department of State expressed its serious concerns about the renewed violence. This month, again thousands of villagers were newly displaced by fighting in the southern part of Jebel Marra in Kass in South Darfur.

According to the UN and partners, 82,000 people were newly displaced across Darfur during the first seven months of 2016, when a similar military offensive against the holdout rebels in the mountainous region shook its grounds. Up to an additional 117,000 people were also reportedly displaced, but the UN and partners were unable to verify these figures owing to a lack of access to the relevant locations.

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