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Unamid team visits war-torn Central Darfur

January 21 - 2016 EL FASHER
UN peacekeepers in Abu Shouk camp, North Darfur (Unamid)
UN peacekeepers in Abu Shouk camp, North Darfur (Unamid)

An integrated team from Unamid has visited Nierteti in Central Darfur, to assess the situation in war-torn Jebel Marra.

According to a press statement by the UN peacekeeping mission today, the team visited the area on Tuesday “to get a first-hand update of the situation in Jebel Marra following the ongoing fighting between government forces and armed movements’ and to support local authorities and communities in addressing the needs of affected civilians”.

The team met with the commissioner of Nierteti locality, commanders of the Sudan Armed Forces and the police, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and the omda of El Istiraha camp for the displaced.

They also met leaders of the displaced in the camp who expressed their concerns regarding the volatile security situation and requested increased humanitarian support for new arrivals at the camp. Furthermore, the team observed that most shops and commercial businesses in Nierteti town remained closed.

A Sheikh told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that during the meeting, they demanded more protection from Unamid and a 24-hour patrol around the camp. “Pro-government militiamen” opened fire in one of the camps on Monday afternoon and robbed the phone of a displaced man, and the gunmen reportedly linger near the camp.

Heavy fighting

The Mission has also received reports of heavy fighting in Fanga Suk, 40 kilometres southwest of the Unamid team site in Tawila, North Darfur. The fighting, which took place on 17 January, allegedly resulted in an undetermined number of casualties on both sides.

Gunfire

Unamid personnel from the Mission’s team site in Sortoni, North Darfur, reported sporadic gunfire and bombings near Barbis and Bulleh villages, some 8.5 kilometres northeast of the team site. An exchange of fire between unknown armed groups in Tui village was also reported by the team site personnel. Tui is located 7 kilometres southeast of the Unamid base in Sortoni.

Displacement

The Mission is following up on reports of widespread displacement of civilians to areas such as Kabkabiya, North Darfur, where some 373 people from Korgo village are reported to have arrived after fleeing attacks by unidentified armed men.

“Unamid is continuing to monitor the situation and work collaboratively with all stakeholders to effectively discharge its protection of civilians mandate by reinforcing the presence of peacekeepers in the immediate vicinity of affected areas,” the statement concludes.

The joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission was deployed to Darfur in 2007 to protect civilians and secure humanitarian aid deliveries.


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