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Rebels in Darfur accuse paramilitaries of arson

November 27 - 2018 FEINA
A fire in a forest (file photo)
A fire in a forest (file photo)

The Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdelwahid claimed that the Rapid Support Forces destroyed agricultural fields in Jebel Marra, following reports of clashes between the rebel forces and Sudan’s paramilitary forces.

The SLM-AW has accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of burning crops in a number of villages in south-eastern Jebel Marra: around Feina, Kadineer and other areas. The rebels claim that the crops were destroyed “in order to starve the residents by using hunger as a weapon” after the recent fighting around Feina, Fujo, Kadineer, and Hillet Ateem.

The movement also said in a statement yesterday that the RSF has denied civilians access to markets in neighbouring villages which are under the control of the government, where people go to purchase their essential goods.

Mohamed El Nayer, SLM-AW spokesman: “[RSF], show the courage and honour of the war by confronting the Sudan Liberation Movement in the field instead of punishing unarmed civilians, burning and looting their property, while they have nothing to do with the war and fighting in Jebel Marra.

“We condemn these criminal acts and send a clear message to the United Nations, the Security Council, regional and international organisations and all those concerned with the defence of human rights to urgently act to stop these crimes against civilians and open an international investigation, uncover and hold accountable all the planners, instigators and perpetrators.”

On Sunday, the SLM-AW claimed the killing of 18 RSF troops in an attack led by government forces in the area of Feina.

Renewed fighting

On November 13, two children were killed and another was wounded in shelling by government forces stationed in Deribat area in the Jebel Marra area in South Darfur. The situation in the Deribat area was described as tense as previously civilians were reportedly killed by government troops and dozens were injured in an attack by the RSF, that same week.

Early November, the commander of the RSF, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan (also known as Hemeti), vowed to eliminate the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel Wahid Nur in Jebel Marra in three months. El Nur then accused the government of exploiting the declaration of a cease-fire for humanitarian reasons after the recent landslides in Jebel Marra.

In Radio Dabanga’s ongoing reporting on the renewed heavy clashes in Darfur’s Jebel Marra, the SLM-AW was the only armed movement reported to be involved in the fighting. In August a United Nations panel of independent experts on Sudan reported that the clashes, after nearly a year-long lull, have resulted in a “significant number of casualties on both sides and among civilians.”

The fighting in Jebel Marra has forced thousands to flee, with many taking refuge in caves and valleys with no access to food, water or proper shelter, the Panel of Experts confirmed. “The situation has been uniformly characterised as a dire humanitarian situation,” it said.

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