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Rebels accuse Sudan of preparing war

May 19 - 2017 KUTUM / NIERTETI
The AUPSC delegation to Darfur on 16 May 2017 (Amin Ismael/Unamid)
The AUPSC delegation to Darfur on 16 May 2017 (Amin Ismael/Unamid)

The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) has accused the Government of Sudan of preparing a full-scale war against the armed movements in North Darfur. The visiting African Union ambassadors reported that insecurity in Jebel Marra prevent displaced people of returning home.

Spokesman Mohamad Hassan Haroun said this week that the government deployed about 150 vehicles carrying militiamen an loaded with heavy weapons to Wadi Maghrib, Donki Baashim (Kutum locality), Hawsh, Wakhaiem and Majour. “This is in conjunction with the ceasefire our movement has declared.”

On Monday more than 500 vehicles arrived from North, South and East Darfur, Haroun claimed in a statement shared with Sudanese media. These transport “new settlers to the lands which originally belong to tribes, as part of the policies for demographic change in the province”.

Militiamen have occupied water sources in Donki Baashim, Hawsh, Wakhaiem and Majour, the spokesman said. “They evacuated villagers from their homes and started to build villages for the settlement of new people.”

AU: 'Insecurity in Jebel Marra'

Haroun called on the the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) delegation which currently visits North Darfur and the AU-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid). The visiting delegation acknowledged on Thursday that the situation in Darfur has improved, however, it underscored that security challenges in Jebel Marra area prevent the return of displaced civilians to their homes.

“The situation in Jebel Marra continues to be a source of concern but the situation in the North Darfur state has improved significantly,” said Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the AU, Mull Katende. “Displaced people of Nierteti camp have expressed fear of killing once they return to their villages. We know that there are clashes and their areas should be rehabilitated and to protect them.”

The delegation will present a report to its council on the security situation in Darfur, ahead of the extension of the mandate of Unamid next June by the UN Security Council. Sources informed Radio Dabanga that the AUPSC ambassadors were warned to not discuss certain subjects during their visit, or talk to Radio Dabanga and other media, on pain of immediate arrest.

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