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Jebel Marra IDPs gather around Golo base: UNAMID

UNAMID's new Temporary Operating Base in Golo, Jebel Marra, Central Darfur on 30 April 2018 (Photo UNAMID)
June 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Wednesday said hundreds of displaced persons fleeing the fighting in Jebel Marra have gathered around the Mission’s newly established base in Golo area.

Since last March, government forces and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur fighters resumed clashes in different parts of Jebel Marra.

“In the evening of 15 June 2018, displaced persons started gathering outside UNAMID’s newly established Temporary Operating Base (TOB) in the Golo locality, of the Jebel Marra area, Central Darfur,” said the Mission in a statement on Wednesday.

“By the next day, 16 June, 305 IDPs, including 200 children and 85 women, were outside the TOB and had started erecting temporary shelters” added the Mission

According to the statement, UNAMID staff “provided protection and water to the displaced as well as first aid to an IDP woman who gave birth near the base”.

It pointed out that the displaced people “informed UNAMID that they were fleeing from villages in Jebel Marra where fighting has been reported, including Gubbo, Gur Lumbung, Kawara, Saboon El Fag, Abuloto, Ujongole, Kara, Jari, Buju Buju and Wira”.

UNAMID added it is coordinating with UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and local authorities to address the humanitarian needs of the displaced.

On Tuesday, Troika countries including United States, United Kingdom and Norway denounced the ongoing fighting between the Sudanese army and the SLM-AW in Jebel Marra saying this “unnecessary violence” affects only the civilians.

In a report covering the security situation in Darfur for the period from 16 February to 15 April 2018, the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reported low-scale skirmishes in Jebel Marra area between the government forces and the SLM-AW fighters.

On 12 April 2017, the Sudanese army declared Darfur a region free of rebellion following the capture of Srounq area, the last SLM-AW stronghold in Jebel Marra. However, the army continued for several months to carry out attacks on rebel’s pockets in the mountainous area.

Jebel Marra, which spans over three states including North, Central and South Darfur, is located in a water-rich area that is characterised by a mild climate.

Last year, the UN Security Council decided to reduce the UNAMID, admitting that the security situation has improved but it decided to reinforce its presence in Jebel Marra because there is no cessation of hostilities as the SLM-AW refuses to declare it unilaterally or to engage in peace negotiations.

The Sudanese army has been fighting armed groups in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)