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Camp coordinator calls on world to intervene in Darfur

January 12 - 2015 NORTH DARFUR
A displaced girl sits on a bed next to the remnants of her house torched during a militia attack on the Khor Abeche camp for the displaced, South Darfur, 6 April 2014 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A displaced girl sits on a bed next to the remnants of her house torched during a militia attack on the Khor Abeche camp for the displaced, South Darfur, 6 April 2014 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

About 20 large lorries, loaded with pillaged goods from Fanga and surrounding villages in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, left the area over the weekend. All the water wells in the area have been demolished. On Sunday morning, a number of newly displaced people were severely beaten by elements of a government militia near Tawila town. Militiamen entered hundreds of camels into the farmlands left by fleeing villagers in Tawila locality. On Sunday too, representatives of national and international aid organisations began to register the about 20,000 newly displaced who managed to reach the Tawila camps.

According to Omda Ahmed Ateem, coordinator of the North Darfur camps for the displaced, the “ferocious dry season offensive, launched by the Sudanese government against the rebel movements in Darfur since the beginning of this year, was first and for all targeting civilians”.

“The militias attacked and destroyed villages from Fanga in East Jebel Marra to Tabit in Tawila locality, and from Sheiria locality in East Darfur to the strongholds of the Zaghawa tribe in the northern part of North Darfur,” he said.

“They seized all the property and livestock of the villagers, and occupied their farmlands. In fact, they robbed them of all the reasons to live for. Thousands of people, who were forced to flee their homes, are now facing widespread violence, severe cold, and starvation.

“This situation cannot but move the world to act,” the omda stressed, calling upon the UN Security Council to “immediately intervene, and allow humanitarian organisations to access the region to rescue the people in Darfur from starvation”.

“In fact, the government militia robbed the people of all the reasons to live for.”

Multiple sources told Dabanga from the North Darfuri part of East Jebel Marra that on Friday and Saturday 20 large lorries, loaded with pillaged goods from the area of Fanga and the surrounding villages, left towards Tabit and El Fasher.

“Other lorries went into the direction of Nyala, capital of South Darfur,” they reported. “The lorries were loaded with anything they could carry, including beds, blankets, charcoal, and foodstuffs.”

They added that all the wells in East Jebel Marra are demolished, “except a few, which are under control of the RSF militia”.

“This significantly aggravates the plight of the people still hiding in the area, and who are already suffering from the intense cold wave that is hitting the country these days,” one of them added.

Beaten

The people in the areas of Golo and Shagra, west of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, and the villages east of Tawila, were robbed by militia troops of everything they owned, “even their clothes and their tobacco were taken,” one of the victims told Dabanga. “We are now forced to live in the open, in the bracing cold.”

He related how he and a group of other villagers were assaulted by troops of the paramilitary of Rapid Support Forces (RSF), when they were on their way back to their villages, “to collect what was left of our belongings”.

“The militiamen stopped the vehicle we hired, just 2 km from Tawila town. They demanded our money and mobile phones. After we had explained to them that we did not have money, they demanded our clothes. When we refused, they beat us excessively. We just managed to return to the Tawila camps.”

Farmlands

Omda Mukhtar Bosh, coordinator of the Tawila camps for the displaced, reported to Dabanga that militiamen entered hundreds of camels into the farmlands of the people who fled the areas of Tawila El Omda, Hillet Neema, Dali, Argo, and Harouna camp.

“The release of camels in such large numbers on the farms will destroy all the crops.” He added that the Sudanese army, the Central Reserve Police, nor Unamid, “all present in Tawila”, did not move to protect the people from the widespread attacks by the paramilitary RSF on their villages since 31 December.

The camp coordinator appealed to the North Darfur state governor and the central authorities to “speed up sending a large force to intervene, and protect the civilians in Tawila locality”.

“They are living in the open, without anything but their clothes. Those militiamen even stole their cooking utensils.”

Bosh also said that the 2,000 families, consisting of about 20,000 people, who sought refuge in the three Tawila camps for the displaced have not received any form of assistance so far. “They are living in the open, without anything but their clothes. Those militiamen even stole their cooking utensils.”

He reported that representatives of national organisations, “accompanied by personnel of international organisations”, visited the camps on Sunday. “They began registering the newly displaced, and promised the provision of relief within the next few days.”

Checkpoints

The Legislative Council of North Darfur state demanded from the state authorities on Saturday to deploy more checkpoints in El Fasher to reduce the growing insecurity in a number of districts.

Furthermore, the North Darfuri MPs recommended the strengthening of security forces “in all parts of North Darfur, to reinstate the rule of law”, and the activation of the Anti-Drugs and Alcohol Act.


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