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Sudanese army, rebels resume fighting in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

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Members of the Sudanese Army in Jawa village, in East Jebel Marra South Darfur State on 18 March 2011 (Photo UNAMID)
June 12, 2018 (ZALINGEI) - On Tuesday, violent clashes broke out between Sudanese government forces and fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) in the Central Darfur State, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their villages.

A Sudanese official told Sudan Tribune that SLM-AW fighters recently regained control of several positions in Jebel Kali and Badia areas, adding this development forced the Sudanese army to mobilize more than 2,000 troops including the Rapid Support Forces to retake these areas from them.

The source which was talking under the cover of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said the fighting began at 6.00 am local time and stopped at 11.00 am, pointing that heavy rain forced the parties to stop the fighting.

For its part, the SLM-AW confirmed the in a short message to Sudan Tribune the fighting saying clashes had been taking place since the morning in Glol area in western Jebel Marra without further details.

A joint report by the African Union and the United Nations dated on 1 June 2018, on the strategic review of Darfur peacekeeping force, UNAMID, says the "security situation in Darfur has remained relatively stable", stressing that the clashes between the government forces and the SLM-AW are limited to certain sections of the mountainous area in Jebel Marra.

"While the small groups associated with SLA/AW continue to have some operational capabilities, they are largely contained," says the report which proposes to limit the peacekeeping operations to Central Darfur state and close the remaining 14 peacekeeping sites in the other states of Darfur region.

The deputy secretary of humanitarian affairs of the Union of Darfur Displaced and Refugees Osman Saleh Deblah told Sudan Tribune that more than 170 heavily armed government vehicles and soldiers attacked the areas of "Glol, Badia, Jebel Kali and Kujo" of Nertiti locality, 100 km east of Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur.

He added that the government forces shelled the villages with heavy guns, igniting large fires that forced at least 7 thousand people to flee in different directions.

He further called on United Nations agencies to intervene urgently to save the lives of the affected civilians.

In a recent news bulletin covering the two last weeks of May 2018, UNOCHA says about 8,900 people have been reportedly displaced due to fighting in East and South Jebel Marra areas in South Darfur, adding that IOM verified.5,900 new IDPs.

(ST)

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