UN sends mission to North Darfur, militia raids go unreported

The UN will send a mission to Tawila locality, North Darfur, later this week, to verify reports of displacement by fighting. The local police refused to file complaints by victims of militia raids in East Jebel Marra.

The United Nations will send a mission to Tawila locality, North Darfur, later this week, to verify reports of displacement because of the government's military operations against rebel groups. Victims of a raid by paramilitary forces in East Jebel Marra reported that the police has refused to file their complaints.

The UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that it has received reports of significant civilian displacement in the North Darfur and South Darfur states. The office also revealed receiving “unverified” reports of direct attacks on civilian villages in that area”.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters on Thursday that “an inter-agency mission to Tawila in North Darfur is planned later this week to verify displacement figures and assess needs”. He added that the UN reiterates its call on all parties to the conflict in Darfur to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, and to ensure safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organisations.

Robberies by militia troops

Residents of Tawila and Abu Zerega in East Jebel Marra told Radio Dabanga how the local police and court rejected to file their reports of an attack by militiamen, by referring them to the army garrison.

“The police was instructed not to deal with any crime reports related to East Jebel Marra.”

Members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have robbed the villagers of their belongings and torcheid their houses, most likely in the mayhem resulting from the current military operation against rebel movements in East Jebel Marra. Deputy-Governor of North Darfur Mohammed Adam El Nahla has acknowledged that some outlaws committed acts of robbery of the property and livestock of citizens of the mentioned areas.

“We went to all the police stations in El Fasher, including the Southern department and the headquarters of the city police,” one of the affected said. “But the state police told us they were instructed not to accept the reporting of any crimes related to the citizens of those areas [Tawila, Abu Zerega, and East Jebel Marra].”

The victims then went to the Darfur crimes court, which in turn asked them to go to El Fasher's army garrison, and file their complaints to the garrison's commander. “At this time, we realised that there is no justice or equality and that the RSF stand above the law.”

Merchants in Kutum town, North Darfur, were surprised to find the locks of five shops broken by bullets, and the goods inside missing, a listener told Radio Dabanga on Thursday morning. The shops were robbed in the previous night. The victims tracked down the traces of the robbers. “The trace ended at the military garrison located near the market.”

The merchants stressed that although they pay for the garrison's troops to protect the market, it was robbed.

Also on Wednesday, Birdik, 50 km north of Kutum, came under attack by a large group of pro-government militiamen. They opened fire and killed ten villagers, and left after pillaging the houses.