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There were no large-scale fighting in Darfur’s Jebel Marra, says UN report

May 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Darfur hybrid peacekeeping force has reported low-scale skirmishes in Jebel Marra area between the government forces and the fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW).

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Darfur rebel forces gather as they guard during the visit of Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari at Fanga Suk village, in East Jebel Marra (West Darfur), 88 km from Tawilla March 18, 2011 (Reuters)

In a report covering the security situation in Darfur for the period from 16 February to 15 April 2018, the UNAMID minimised the clashes in the mountainous area in Central Darfur state and underscored that the security situation remains generally stable with the dry season coming to an end.

"The level of reported casualties and the low intensity of clashes indicate that there were no large-scale confrontations," reads the report which was discussed by the Security Council on Thursday.

On 23 March the SLM-AW accused the Sudanese forces of attacking their positions in Fina, Dalo and Dowa areas of Jebel Marra in South Darfur State. The armed group said they repulsed the attack and inflected human and material causalities on the assailants.

UNAMID, however, said the clashes go back to 10 March when the SLA-AW fighters attacked the government forces in Jawa, 7 km south -west of Deribat, and the following day ambushed a military convoy about 8 km north-east of Deribat

The reports further said the SLA-AW on 21 and 22 March once again attacked government forces in Layba, Feina and Funguli areas in the eastern part of Jebel Marra. The Sudanese military were in a search operation for the rebels after the first attacks.

"Reports on the number of casualties conflict but the Sudanese military repelled the attacks and captured one SLA-AW commander. Three civilians were killed," the report indicated.

The report says "some displaced persons" moved to Kidingir on 26 March. It further adds that "unspecified number" of civilians fled to the mountains seeking safety after clashes in Sabun and Khormaley, east of Jebel Marra on 28 March.

"There are also reports of militias carrying out attacks on 4 April in the Feina area, where some 16 villages were destroyed and civilians killed. The arrival of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on the same day put a stop to the attacks," says the report.

In a statement released on 27 April, U.S. State Department said they have "credible reports" the about attacks on Jebel Marra villages resulting in thousands of newly displaced civilians after the resumption of hostilities between the government forces and the SLM-AW.

The UN secretary general in his regular report also briefed the Security Council about clashes between the armed group and the Nawaiba nomads following the rustling of camels by the rebel fighters on 12 March.

In reprisal, the nomads exchanged fire with the SLA-AW fighters and burned the village of Durgo, from where the population reportedly fled to Boori, Dar al-Salam and Golo.

"Three civilians were reportedly killed in those incidents and two Nawaiba tribesmen were also reportedly killed by SLA -AW cadres in the village on 17 March," concluded the report.

(ST)