Thousands of foreign settlers take plots in eastern Jebel Marra

According to reports from villagers, up to ten thousand newcomers have taken plots in the deserted areas of East Jebel Marra. They originate from Chad, Mali and Niger.

A settlement programme has started in eastern Jebel Marra in Tawila locality. According to several reports from villagers, up to ten thousand newcomers have taken plots in deserted areas. The newcomers were identified by local pastoralists as members of Arab militias and migrants from Chad, Mali and Niger. Several eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that they have spotted the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) roaming around to protect the new inhabitants.

More than hundred thousand people from eastern Jebel Marra, mainly Fur, have abandoned their homes after government bombardments and Rapid Support Forces attacked their places.

Witnesses narrated their recent visit to specific areas were they saw how their land has been occupied by foreigners, The specific areas mentioned are Dali, Masalit, Sharafa, Tangarara, Nimeira, Dolma, Um Guji, Hilat Adoma, Ar Ashu and Hemeida. The newcomers brought their livestock with them including, cows, sheep and goats.

The Sudanese government, while negotiating the exit of Unamid's peacekeepers in Darfur, told the UN last week, that it will close the camps for the displaced to encourage people to return to their home villages. The policy of resettlement contradicts the guarantees for a safe return, displaced farmers told Radio Dabanga in a radio report.

Most of the population of eastern Jebel Marra sought refuge in the Shangil Tobaya, Tawila, and Zamzam camps for the displaced and in the area of Tabit.

One of the displaced who went to inspect his home area, said that the seized area protected by SRF troops stretches as far north as Mount Shushu and to the south until Shangil Tobaya. In the west the paramilitaries are monitoring the movements of the people up to the village of Mara and in the east to Abuzereiga, lying south of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur.