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SLM-AW says fierce clashes taking place in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

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SLM-AW fighters on guard during a visit by UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari to Fanga Suk village, in East Jebel Marra, West Darfur, on 18 March 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
April 22, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Liberation Movement - Abed Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) Sunday released a short statement claiming that its fighters are under fierce attacks of the government forces in northern Jebel Marra.

Last March and during the first two weeks of April, the SLM-AW spoke about fighting in eastern and southern parts of Jebel Marra, stressing that civilians are in dire need of humanitarian aid.

The rebel group since Friday have released three statement speaking about clashes with government forces in different areas of northern Jebel Marra saying a significant number of civilians fled their villages as result of the attacks.

"Our forces are engaged in a fierce battle against government forces in Katti area of Jaldu locality," said the SLM-AW in a short statement on Sunday.

On Saturday the group mentioned the displacement of thousands of civilians in northern Jebel Marra, saying the government forces were waging a scorched earth campaign and burning villages.

On Friday the holdout group claimed that the government militias burnt the villages of Hilla Hajja Madina, Sankara, Loki warrro, and Gharab Waffir. The inhabitants of these villages fled to other areas forests and mountains to protect themselves.

The statement added that the villagers fled their areas of Slo, Dardro, Vtakrja, Kry, Kaya, Hilla Ow Moya, Caginari, Dar Al Aman, Mery, Aw Gharb, Kata, Hilla Oh Abdo Ahmed and Kara.

The SLM-AW estimated the number of displaced persons at 30,000,00, but neither the UNMAID nor humanitarian actors in the Central Darfur State were not reachable for comment on these figures.

Also, none of the two observers issued a statement speaking about a massive displacement of civilians recently.

The rebel group, on the other hand, kept silent on the casualties of the group or among the government force.

The Central Darfur government used to point to the unilateral cessation of hostilities declared by President Omer al-Bashir and speak about limited operations against rebel elements in Jebel Marra to stop "looting on commercial convoys and other criminal activities".

In a briefing to the UN Security Council on 14 April, UNAMID chief Jeremiah Mamabolo said the Jebel Marra Task Force is being operationalized within the framework of the mission’s reconfiguration after the reduction of 40% of its troops.

However, Mamabobo pointed to the persistence of some administrative restrictions preventing the access to some areas without indicating if these areas in Jebel Marra or elsewhere.

The SLM-AW rejects negotiations with the government demanding the disbandment of government militias, the return of displaced persons and financial compensations.

Mamabolo called on the Security Council to "use leverage with Abdul Wahid, to prevail upon him to acknowledge the futility of war and to join the peace process".

(ST)

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