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Jebel Marra clashes : over 21.000 IDPs reach UNAMID site in N. Darfur


February 2, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to flee the fighting in Jebel Marra area that straddles three Darfur states, as the number of those who seek protection at a nearby UNAMID site in North Darfur has reached 21.000 civilians.

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A group of women build a shelter in Kalma camp for internally displaced people in South Darfur on 9 March 2014 (Photo: UNAMID/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

"The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says that as of 31st of January, the number of displaced persons seeking refuge in the vicinity of its Sortoni team site, in North Darfur, is reported to have increased to 21,328 from 14,770. This includes 13,269 children," said UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq on Tuesday.

Haq further pointed that the number of civilians who have fled from Jebel Marra, Jebel Si and Fanga Suk, in Central Darfur, to the Rwanda and Argo camps in Tawila, North Darfur, is reported to stand at 9,209 civilians.

He said aid groups are providing emergency humanitarian assistance to the new IDPs. He added that an inter-agency humanitarian needs assessment team also arrived at the Sortoni team site on Tuesday.

"Humanitarian organizations, with the support of UNAMID, are working with relevant national authorities to deploy inter-agency assessment teams to Nertiti, Thur and Guldo in Central Darfur, to assess critical needs of civilians displaced in these areas," he added.

On Wednesday 24 January, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, expressed "grave concern" over the humanitarian impact of the fighting in Jebel Marra, adding that some 34,000 people have been displaced.

During an informal meeting for peace in the region held recently in Ethiopia, two armed groups: Justice and Equality Movement and SLM-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) called on the government to stop the military campaign but the government delegation refused saying the SLM-AW does not want to join the peace process.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council on 26 January, UN peacekeeping chief Hevré Ladsous called to stop the clashes in Jebel Marra and urged the SLM-AW to join the African Union-led efforts to end the conflict.

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