‘Sudan air raids target displaced, block trade in Jebel Marra’
At least 25 houses were destroyed and five cows were killed in an aerial bombardment of a village southeast of Golo on Monday. The blocked roads in and around Jebel Marra lead to soaring prices of basic commodities in the region.
“The five barrel bombs dropped on Libi village, 14 kilometres southeast of Golo, also caused a woman to miscarry,” a villager told Radio Dabanga. “Relatives carried the heavily bleeding woman on a rope bed more than 30 kilometres to the hospital of Nierteti.
“The Antonov of the Sudanese Air Force also targeted Libi valley,” he added. “Four barrel bombs destroyed all of our crops.”
The villager said that “the places of refuge are now being bombed. Many people fled to places high into the mountains, such as Libi valley. This is a very serious development.”
A resident of Golo reported that the about 120 schools in Jebel Marra closed their doors since 15 January, when the government forces started a major offensive on rebel strongholds in the area, “although the end year exams are on the doorstep”.
He said that members of the government militias are wreaking havoc in the area: “They assault and rob the people, and plunder the abandoned villages.”.
The roads leading to Jebel Marra are still closed, a trader in Tawila in North Darfur complained. “This deprives the people in Kabkabiya, El Fasher, Kass, Nierteti, Malam, and even Nyala of 90 percent of the sorghum, vegetables and fruits cultivated in Jebel Marra.
“The price of a 100kg sack of millet increased from SDG350 ($57) to SDG420 ($69),” he explained.
A resident of Malam in Sharg Jebel Marra locality reported that a 100kg sack of sugar is sold in the area for SDG580 ($95), “while it used to be SDG350. We now pay SDG20 ($3.30) for a litre of cooking oil, and SDG4.50 ($0.75) for a piece of soap”.
He said that the prices started to soar after the authorities closed the roads in the area “to prevent support to the rebels in Jebel Marra”.
The road between South Darfur’s Kass and Jebel Marra is blocked too. “Government forces set up check points on the road, and thoroughly inspect the people on foot, donkeys, or carts on their way to Jebel Marra,” the source told Radio Dabanga.
“The people are not allowed to take more than three pounds of sugar with them up the mountain. Luggage is forbidden, only limited quantities of foodstuffs and petroleum.”
A Nierteti trader called the roads “besieged rather than blocked.
“When the attacks on Jebel Marra commenced on 15 January, the entire grain, vegetable, and fruit trade came to a standstill, which doubles the suffering of the people in the mountain, as they are deprived of their income,” he said.
“The prices of consumer goods coming from Khartoum have doubled,” he noted. “The price of a ratul [450 grammes] of sugar has risen from SDG3 ($0.50) to SDG5 ($0.82), a litre of cooking oil from SDG16 ($2.60) to SDG20 ($3.30), and a pound of tomato sauce from SDG12 ($2) to SDG17 ($3).
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