Unamid calls on rebel factions in Darfur to stop fighting

The joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) reported today that two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) started fighting two weeks ago.

A Unamid patrol in South Darfur in 2014 (Albert González Farran / Unamid)

The joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) urged the two warring groups of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) to stop fighting in Jebel Marra. Thousands of people fled their villages.

Fighting between the two factions broke out on June 11 in the area of Wegi, 10 kilometers north-east of Unamid’s temporary operating base in Golo, Central Darfur. Both sides reportedly suffered an unknown number of casualties.

Thousands of people living in Wegi, Ila, Fara, Katiro and Daya villages were forced to flee their homes.

On June 12, a Unamid team conducted a verification mission to Wegi and confirmed the fighting. Witnesses informed Unamid that earlier that day, rebel fighters raped a woman and her four daughters in Tairo village.

In a statement today, Unamid’s Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo stated he deeply regrets that “these clashes are happening at a time when the transitional government, the armed movements, political parties and all Sudanese are engaged in negotiations in Juba in order to bring such unjustified suffering to an end”.

“It is a pity that those who had carried arms in order to defend the hopes and aspiration of the people of Darfur have become the very cause of their suffering,” he said.

“I urge the commanders of these two factions to heed the appeal of the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, who called on all warring parties in Sudan ‘to lay down arms, silence guns and unite in the collective effort to create a more peaceful world’.

“I therefore call upon the two warring factions to immediately stop fighting and resort to peaceful means in resolving their differences. Violence can only aggravate animosity and it comes at a great cost to women, children and other innocent civilians. Suffice it to say that 80 per cent of those displaced by this wave of fighting are women and children,” Mamabolo concluded.

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