♦ This week’s news in brief ♦

A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan’s highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan

A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan's highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan


♦ Aid to growing number of Jebel Marra displaced in North Darfur

15 February – 2016 JEBEL MARRA / NIERTETI /  TAWILA Eleven people were killed and five others wounded in aerial bombardments in Darfur's Jebel Marra from Thursday to Saturday. “The people were sleeping already at 11 pm on Friday when an Antonov of the Sudanese Air Force dropped its barrel bombs at Buri, south of Guldo,” a villager told Radio Dabanga on Sunday. The bombs destroyed six houses, a school, and a mosque. In the vicinity of Golo, in Rokoro locality, the Sudanese Air Force dropped about 36 barrel bombs from Thursday until Saturday, multiple witnesses reported. They doubted whether there were casualties, as all the residents of villages around Golo “already fled to the foothills and mountain caves”.

They told Radio Dabanga that the Air Force did not stop one day or night since the beginning of the military offensive against the holdout armed rebels in Jebel Marra on 15 January. A listener in Nierteti, Central Darfur, said on Friday that he witnessed dozens of trucks and vehicles carrying Sudanese soldiers and militiamen coming from Zalingei and Kass, on their way to western Jebel Marra. “The aerial bombardments have continued, too.” The Sudanese Air Force has reportedly destroyed at least 20 villages by barrel bombs in the area of Golo in Jebel Marra since the start of the offensive on rebel strongholds.

The thousands of displaced who have managed to flee the aerial bombardments in Jebel Marra arrived in Tur, in the west of the mountains, and Nierteti in Central Darfur, on Monday. On the roads, many are forced to pay ‘tolls’ to armed men on the way to the camps. Starting February, Radio Dabanga has received multiple reports of militiamen demanding tolls on the roads in Tawila.

According to the United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA), the UN and partners have distributed food relief and other humanitarian aid to 38,000 civilians in three locations in North Darfur. Tis includes 21,690 people in Sortoni, 14,000 in Tawila and 1,186 in Kabkabiya. More people are on their way to the Unamid team site in Sortoni, according to the displaced people there. The UN and partners have not yet been able to verify the numbers and needs of thousands of displaced in Tur and Nierteti. The UN calls for a cessation of hostilities and is urging all parties to the conflict to allow international humanitarian workers to reach displaced people in Central Darfur, said Marta Ruedas, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, on Monday.


♦ Clashes in Libya: Sudan, Darfur rebels exchange accusations

February 12 – 2016 KUFRA / KHARTOUM The Sudanese Foreign Ministry claimed that armed rebel groups from Darfur have attacked the Libyan town Kufra and accused unnamed entities of supporting these fighters. Rebel leaders have strongly denied the accusations. “The Sudanese Foreign Ministry condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on Kufra city by the so-called Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)," said Ali El Sadig in a press statement on Thursday. He condemned “those who stand behind these groups and provide them with with money and weapons to threaten peace and security (in Sudan) and to serve (their) interests and personal ambitions”.

Kufra is near the Sudan-Libya border. Sudan has claimed that rebels from Darfur are currently based in the lawless Libya, where competing governments failed to form a national unity. On 4 February, the Sudanese army said that Libya's army killed more than 20 SLM fighters outside Kufra. 10 were killed in the same area the next day, according to the army. The Mayor in Kufra confirmed to Reuters that a local armed Libyan faction attacked an oasis 150 km north-west of Kufra on 5 February, killing 10 Sudanese fighters and capturing four others.

JEM spokesman Jibril Adam Bilal and the leader of the SLM-MM, Minni Arko Minawi, denied the accusations in an interview with Radio Dabanga on Thursday. “They are meant to create a rift between the people of Darfur and the Libyan people… The government is trying to justify its interference in neighbouring countries,” Minawi said, accusing the Sudanese government of “financing terrorism” in Libya and neighbouring countries. The Foreign Ministry has denied Minawi's allegations.

The Foreign Ministry stated on Thursday that it continues to support to the stability and security of Libya, and declared Sudan's readiness to return the Sudanese-Chadian-Libyan joint forces to play their role in protecting the borders of the three countries. On 19 January, the head of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services said it would deploy troops to the western borders with Libya to prevent infiltration of Islamic State fighters and combat cross-border crimes.

Other highlights from Dabanga Sudan:

Dutch Ambassador denies disagreeing with Radio Dabanga

February 16 – 2016 KHARTOUM Following objections by the Sudanese government made to the Dutch government, for allowing Radio Dabanga to run its radio station in the Netherlands, the Dutch Embassy has refuted reports that its delegation…

Fellata, Salamat clash in Buram, South Darfur

February 15 – 2016 BURAM On Sunday, clashes broke out between Fellata and Salamat in the area of Nadhif in South Darfur’s Buram locality. A so far unknown number of tribesmen from both sides were killed and wounded. Fellata Chief…

Aid agencies unable to assist newly displaced in West Darfur

February 14 – 2016 KHARTOUM / EL GENEINA International aid organisations have been unable to access, assess needs, or assist an estimated 5,000 people from Mouli and surrounding villages who fled to the West Darfur capital of El Geneina…

Six women raped in Darfur's Shangil Tobaya

February 12 – 2016 SHANGIL TOBAYA Six women, including a girl, have been raped in three separate events in the vicinity of Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur. The attackers sparked panic among the villagers when they raided the market. Witnesses told Radio…

US ambassador to UN criticise Security Council over silence on Darfur

February 11 – 2016 NEW YORK On Wednesday, Samantha Power, ambassador of US Mission to the UN urges the Council to make public its report on the role of gold and natural resources in the Darfur conflict, on the day the mandate of the UN Panel of Experts…

TB spreading fast in eastern Sudan’s Toker

February 11 – 2016 TOKER People living in Eshet, near Toker in Red Sea state, suffer from a fast spreading outbreak of tuberculosis. “The people in the area are weakened by poverty, and there are no health facilities available miles around here,” a resident of Eshet…

Sudan Foreign Ministry summons US diplomat over draft resolution

February 11 – 2016 KHARTOUM On Wednesday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry summoned the US chargé d’affaires in Khartoum on Washington’s draft UN Security Council resolution adding restrictions on gold mining to the…

Sudanese in Libya ‘subject to attacks, forced labour’

February 10 – 2016 TRIPOLI The Sudanese residing in Libya are “suffering severely” from the deteriorating security situation. “We are constantly subjected to indiscriminate killings, threats, detentions, kidnappings, robberies, and forced labour,” a Sudanese national…


This digest is an excerpt from the weekly Darfur & Sudan News Update. Subscribe to the newsletter here