The Troika country members condemn the ongoing clashes between the SLM-AW rebels and Sudan’s army and militias in the Jebel Marra region. It “has led to the burning down of villages, causing high numbers of civilian injury and death, and the displacement of nearly 9,000 people.”
Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States released a statement today, saying that the civilian population in Darfur’s Jebel Marra “continues to bear the brunt of this unnecessary violence.
“It is unacceptable that the government of Sudan has repeatedly prevented the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) and humanitarian actors from accessing the areas of conflict and displaced populations. The Troika strongly urges the government of Sudan to immediately provide unfettered access to both Unamid and humanitarian actors.”
The Troika adds that both the inaction of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) and Khartoum in stopping the violence undermines “efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict”.
The SLM-AW has been reluctant to engage in any Darfur and Sudan peace processes, which “obstructs the achievement of sustainable peace in Darfur and unnecessarily prolongs civilian suffering”.
“The international community should consider imposing sanctions against those who continue to act as spoilers.”
Khartoum’s actions in military operations also undermines efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, the Troika said.
“There can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur and the international community should consider imposing sanctions against those who continue to act as spoilers.”
The Troika calls on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease all military engagement and hostilities, allow unfettered humanitarian access, and to meaningfully engage with the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led peace process in order to reach a permanent ceasefire.
Shelter in caves
The statement comes a day after Radio Dabanga published video and photos of of people who have been newly displaced in Jebel Marra. Together with tens of thousands of other people, they have been forced to flee their homes in eastern and southern Jebel Marra in the past four months. An activist interviewed displaced families living in the open in south-east Jebel Marra.
Since early March, Sudanese army troops and allied paramilitaries are attempting to eliminate the last strongholds of the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur in the mountainous region.
An unknown number of villages in the area of Feina, Libei, Sawani, Katur, and Sabun El Fagur were plundered and set on fire. In early April, activists told Radio Dabanga that an estimated 50,000 people fled the fighting and militia attacks on their villages.