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New waves of displacement reported in Central Darfur

On 27 January 2016, UNAMID's Police Advisers from Sortoni, North Darfur, interact with the newly displaced seeking refuge in the vicinity of the Mission's team site - (UNAMID Photo)

May 9, 2017 (NERTITI) - Hundreds of civilians have fled their villages in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area following fresh attacks by Sudanese government militiamen forces, said a local representative of displaced persons.

On 26 April, the holdout rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) said they clashed with the government militia near Nertiti locality, Central Darfur State.

In statements to Sudan Tribune, IDPs coordinator in Central Darfur State el-Shafei Abdallah claimed that militiamen wearing military uniforms and riding four-wheel-drive vehicles and camels recently attacked 122 villages in Jebel Marra.

He said the attacks included several villages in the locality of Guldo and eastern part of Nertiti, adding that nine people mostly women and children were killed and their belongings were looted.

He said the government has failed to stop the attacks by the armed militias pointing that the new waves of displacement refute the "state government’s repeated lies about the voluntary return in the state".

In a related development, Adam Abdalla Ishaq, the deputy president of IDPs and refugees association, said more than 410 families (2800 people) fled to Nertiti and Guldo on Monday and called on aid groups to provide them with food and shelter saying they are in poor conditions.

Ishaq blamed the government saying it encouraged the return of the IDPs to their villages and pledged to protect them. Also, he said the local authorities refrained from providing any services before their return to their villages.

Central Darfur government officials were not available for comment, as the IDPs representatives are often hostile to the authorities which accuse them of supporting the rebels.

However, Sudan Tribune learned that Central Darfur State Security Committee held an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the situation in the Nertiti area. It was decided to deploy military forces to protect villages of voluntary return to stabilise the returnees, secure villages that were not displaced.

(ST)