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UNAMID says alarmed by continued fighting in Central Darfur


January 17, 2016 (EL FASHER) — The joint peacekeeping operation in Darfur region (UNAMID) said alarmed by the ongoing fighting between government forces and the rebel, confirming the bombing in the Jebel Marra area, Central Darfur.

A UNAMID peacekeeper from from Burkina Fasso and based in Forobaranga, West Darfur, checks a map during a patrol to Tamar village. (Photo UNAMID/Albert González Farran)

An eyewitness told Sudan Tribune Saturday that Sudanese warplanes bombed the positions of the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) in areas west of Jebel Marra, adding the fighting erupted since Friday morning.

In a statement released on Sunday, UNAMID said "deeply concerned" about ongoing fighting near the Mission’s Nertiti team site.

"UNAMID personnel in Nertiti also reported five bombs being dropped at an area north-east of their location. The impact of the bombs was felt at the team site. Shops and markets in Nertiti have shut down in fear of looting and attacks. UNAMID is closely monitoring the situation," said the statement.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese army spokesperson Ahmed al-Shami told Sudan Tribune Saturday that the army is fully committed to the ceasefire announced by President Omer al-Bashir. However, he further said they only repulse attacks by rebel fighters who target administrative and military convoys.

The source who reported the fighting said several villages were burned to aches, and thousands have fled due to the heavy aerial bombardment.

He further pointed that hundreds have resorted to the caves of Jebel Marra, noting the western area where clashes took place is inhabited by more than 45,000 people.

The hybrid mission said they are working with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) partners to arrive at contingency measures for responding to protection and humanitarian consequences on the civilian population in the area.

"UNAMID emphasises, once again, the importance of the need to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the situation and stands ready to assist in such efforts," said the statement.

The SLM-AW is not part of the African Union mediated peace talks. The rebel group rejects negotiating a peace agreement with Khartoum government, unless the government militias are disarmed and displaced civilians return to their original areas.

Sunday, the minister of information confirmed reports about informal talks between the government and the Justice and equality Movement and SLM- Minni Minnawi, but he disn’t disclose a date for the encounter which will be held in Addis Ababa.


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