(cont’d) Human Security in Darfur, Year’s End 2012: West Darfur

(cont’d)    Human Security in Darfur, Year’s End 2012: West Darfur
Intolerable human insecurity and threats to humanitarian operations in Darfur remain largely invisible. An overview in three parts: Part 1B: West Darfur (Part 1a at: http://www.sudanreeves.org/?p=3692 )

Eric Reeves, 27 December 2012

[15]  Gunmen rape 15-year-old girl

ZALINGEI (23 September 2012):  Two gunmen, said to belong to a pro-government militia, raped a 15-year-old displaced girl from Hamidiya camp, on Saturday September 22 in the area of Gondarsi, north of Zalingei in [formerly West] Darfur. A Zalingei camp coordinator told Radio Dabanga that four displaced women were collecting firewood as they ran into two gunmen who threatened them with weapons. Three of the women managed to escape and return to the camp, while the 15-year-old girl was captured by the gunmen. The girl was taken to Zalingei hospital for treatment after she was released. The camp coordinator said they informed the police, UNAMID and UNHCR about the incident. He added that the police refused to register the incident’s report. He appealed to UNAMID to increase patrols around the camp to ensure the safety of the displaced people, and women and children in particular.

[Hamidiya camp is in in Zalingei Locality, Zalingei-Traige Rural Council (latitude 12.92/longitude 23.48)]


[16]  Sudanese army shoots inside Hamidiya

ZALINGEI (2 October 2012):  A Sudanese army patrol heavily fired shots inside Hamidiya camp in Zalingei, [formerly West] Darfur, just past midnight on Tuesday, 2 October. There are no reports of casualties at the moment. A Zalingei camps coordinator told Radio Dabanga that a Sudanese army convoy stormed the camp and fired in the air for about 45 minutes. The army, stationed north of the camp, targeted blocks 1, 2, 3 and 7 during the shootings, he added. The heavy shooting caused panic and horror amid the camp residents, sources told Radio Dabanga.

[Hamidiya camp is in in Zalingei Locality, Zalingei-Traige Rural Council (latitude 12.92/longitude 23.48)]


[17]  Two young men killed in Zalingei

ZALINGEI (16 September 2012):  An armed group attacked four young men in Zalingei, [formerly West] Darfur, on Saturday September 15. A witness informed Radio Dabanga that the four gunmen, believed to be pro-government, opened fire on the young men inside their home, in the ‘Hay el-Mowazafeen’ (staff district) in Zalingei. He explained that the attack killed both Salah Idris, a water seller, and Bella, a bakery worker. Two brothers, Mohamed and Hassan Yahya, were injured during the attack. The two brothers were taken to Zalingei hospital for treatment. The witness said that the gunmen looted 3 million Sudanese Pounds (SDG) from the deceased bakery worker Bella. On another note, an angry crowd of mourners demonstrated on Saturday, denouncing the incident and demanding a regime change. “A thousand martyrs for a new era.” the crowd chanted. [A witness] noted that Zalingei market traders closed their shops and joined the protesters.

[Zalingei is in Zalingei Locality, Zalingei-Traige Rural Council (latitude 12.92/longitude 23.48)]


[18]  Series of robberies in Forbaranga

FORBRANGA (13 September 2012):  Residents from Forbaranga, a town in West Darfur, complained to Radio Dabanga about a series of night robberies and looting they have been experiencing since Sunday, 9 September. They said groups of two to six gunmen are responsible for the attacks. Sources said the gunmen, wearing military uniforms, have been looting homes, shops, the market, and different parts of town for the past few days. They added that specially neighborhoods around the market, such as El-Buhairah, El-Inqaz and El-Salam are targeted.

[Foro Baranga (variously spelled) is in Habillah Locality, Foro Baranga Rural Council]


[19]  Displaced woman killed, father critically injured

ABU SURUJ CAMP (3 December 2012): An armed group has been accused of killing a displaced woman and critically injuring her father on Saturday afternoon, 1 December, in the area of Abu Suruj camp. A witness recounted to Radio Dabanga that the armed group appeared on horses and attacked the displaced man Mohamed Rizig al-Hajj and his family in the area of Rajul El-Mur, near to Abu Suruj camp. The attack reportedly took place Saturday afternoon when Rizig and several family members were working on their farm. The witness claimed that the militants attacked the farm with the purpose of raping Rizig’s daughter. He said that the armed group opened fire on Rizig when he tried to resist and defend his daughter, injuring him severely in the neck and chest. According to the witness, the man’s daughter was shot dead on the spot when she refused to obey the gunmen’s orders.

[Abu Suruj camp is in Kulbus Locality, Sirba Rural Council]


[20]  Armed group rapes two women

SARAF OMRA (31 October 2012) – Two women were raped by an armed group in the area of Wadi Bare, Saraf Omra locality in North Darfur on Tuesday October 29, Radio Dabanga has learned. A witness told Radio Dabanga six pro-government militants attacked a number of women on Tuesday evening, adding that the women were on their way from Wadi Bare to their village Maleesa, at about 20 kilometers east of Saraf Omra. The militants reportedly grabbed two of the women and raped them alternately, while the other women managed to escape. The witness explained that the two women were not able to escape, as they were both carrying a baby. He added that rape is not something new, adding that many similar crimes were committed by pro-government militiamen over the past few weeks. The witness attributed the crimes to the lack of UNAMID troops and police in the region

[Saraf Omra is on the border between North and West Darfur, southeast of Sirba]


[21]  Army officers accused of ‘severely beating’ displaced

BENDESSEY CAMP / MUKJAR (2 December 2012):  Three residents from Bendessey camp in Central [formerly West] Darfur have reportedly been subjected to severe beatings by Sudanese army officers. A displaced person recounted to Radio Dabanga that three army officers entered a home on the north side of the camp on Wednesday evening, 29 November. When the two female home owners, Aisha Jebarallah Adam and Kaltouma Awad Jumaa, confronted the officers they were assaulted with rifle butts, the source claims. Also, another camp resident, Abbaker Isaaq, was beaten when he tried to rescue the women.

[Bendessey camp is in Mukjar Locality, Mukjar Rural Council; 11.95 latitude/23.18 longitude]


[22]  Series of roadside attacks in Nertiti   
NERTITI (16 December 2012):  A number of residents from Nertiti locality in [formerly West] Darfur have complained about their alleged exposure to beating and looting by pro-government militias on roads, especially on market days. Besides, the residents complained about fees imposed by militants at the city’s gates. Residents from several villages in the area told Radio Dabanga they have been exposed to a series of roadside attacks by pro-government militiamen over the past few days. Additionally, the residents complained about the fee ‘pro-government militiamen’ allegedly impose on commercial vehicles and residents at the town’s gates. Moreover, a number of residents noted that there are about 15 gates on the road between Nertiti and Golo.

[Nertiti is in Jebel Marra Locality, Nertiti Rural Council]


[23]  Sudanese soldier kills secondary school student

EL-GENEINA (29 October 2012):  A secondary school student, Amer Ahmed Karar, was reportedly shot dead by a Sudanese army soldier on Sunday night October 28 in the Tendelty area close to El-Geneina in South Darfur, witnesses told Radio Dabanga.

Witnesses said that the incident occurred when the armed soldier stormed the victims’ home, killing Amer on the spot and injuring his relative. They added that the family member was taken to a hospital for treatment. The soldier fled to a nearby army garrison and a number of residents followed his trail, according to the witnesses. When the residents reached the garrison, the army commander informed them that the person they described had fled the premises. [ ]  [The witnesses] added that the attacks have become a daily concern for citizens of the area.

[Tendelty is in el-Geneina Locality, Masteri Rural Council]


 [24]  Armed herders accused of stabbing displaced persons
BENDESSEY CAMP / MUKJAR CAMP (26 November 2012): Armed herders are being accused of stabbing a displaced resident from Bendessey camp and another one from Mukjar camp in [West] Darfur on Friday November 23, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. A witness said that camel herders reportedly stabbed and severely beat the displaced person Adam Abdullah on Friday evening in an area east of Bendessey camp in Central [formerly West] Darfur. He explained that the herders attacked Abdullah when he tried to chase them from his farm, adding that he was taken to a hospital nearby for treatment. The witness stated that the incident has been reported to the police.  In a separate incident, armed herders allegedly stabbed a displaced resident from Mukjar camp when he refused to hand over his mobile phone.

[Mukjar camp is in Mukjar Locality, Mukjar Rural Council; 11.95 latitude/23.18 longitude]


[25]  Armed herders rape four displaced women

DELEIJ (10 December 2012):  Sources told Radio Dabanga that armed herders are being accused of raping four displaced women, among them two minors, in farms in the deserted village of Koska at a few kilometers from Deleij, southeast of Wadi Saleh locality in [formerly West] Darfur on Saturday, 8 December. The victims left to the farms in the early morning with the purpose of continuing the harvest process. The victims’ families reported that more than 9 armed herders entered the farms and released their cattle onto the farmlands. When the herders found the women, they threatened them with guns and allegedly raped all of them. It was reported that among the victims were two underage girls of 9 and 12 years of age. The victims’ families explained that when the four women did not return to the camp, they went out to look for them at the farms. Upon arrival at the farms, the herders opened fire on the family members. They added that they managed to release the victims and take them to a health center in Deleij for treatment.

[Deleij is in Wadi Saleh Locality, Garsila-Deleige Rural Council; latitude 12.48/ longitude 23.25]


[26]  Gunmen allegedly rape displaced woman

SIRBA (20 December 2012): An armed group reportedly raped a displaced woman from Beni Jadid camp in Sirba locality, West Darfur, on Tuesday, 18 December. A witness told Radio Dabanga that three armed herders, allegedly loyal to the government, attacked the displaced woman on Tuesday morning at around 10 o’clock, while she was working at her farm close to the camp. According to sources, the gunmen raped her alternately and held her captive for an entire day. The witness said they found the woman on Wednesday, dumped in a nearby valley.

[Beni Jadid camp is in Kulbus Locality, Sirba Rural Council]


[27]  Armed group reportedly rapes displaced women
MUKJAR CAMP (25 November 2012): An armed group reportedly raped three displaced women from Mukjar camp in Burgi area[West] Darfur, on Friday November 23, sources told Radio Dabanga. A source told Radio Dabanga that one of the victims is a 14-year-old girl. A relative of one of the victims, describing the armed group as a ‘pro-government militia’, said that the gunmen attacked the three displaced women while they were on their way back from the farms in the area of Burgi, approximately four kilometers west of Mukjar. He added that the women were raped alternately.

[Mukjar camp is in Mukjar Locality, Mukjar Rural Council; 11.95 latitude/23.18 longitude]


[28]  Gunmen kill Hamidiya camp resident

ZALINGEI (12 November 2012): A resident from Hamidiya camp, Abbas Abdullah Adam, was allegedly killed by unidentified gunmen inside his farm in the area of Kenjo, at approximately 2 kilometers from Zalingei in [West] Darfur on Sunday November 11, Radio Dabanga has learned. A camp resident told Radio Dabanga that three armed men on camels opened fire on a group of displaced persons working in their farms in the area of Kenjo.  The attack also resulted in the injuring of two other displaced persons, Mohamed and Adam. The injured victims were taken to Zalingei hospital for treatment.

[Hamidiya camp is in in Zalingei Locality, Zalingei-Traige Rural Council (latitude 12.92/longitude 23.48)


[29]  Gunmen loot NGO offices in Mornei

MORNEI (18 September 2012):  Unidentified gunmen attacked offices of international aid organizations located at the Mornei camp, West Darfur, on Monday 17 September, a witness told Radio Dabanga. He said that millions of Sudanese pounds (SDG) and other equipment were stolen. Onlookers informed Radio Dabanga that gunmen, driving vehicles equipped with Dushkas, stormed WEST’s office at around 3am, which was empty. They said the perpetrators only found office equipment and other devices in the office.  The armed men stormed then the headquarters of a Sudanese health insurance, which belongs to the government, witnesses recounted. They said that the gunmen found again only office stationery and other equipment.  [Witnesses] said, the armed men locked up its staff in a room, broke the safe and stole 30 million SDG.

[Mornei camp is in el-Geneina Locality, Mornei Rural Council; it is approximately 15 miles from Nyuru, dateline for the New York Times story, “A Taste of Hope Brings Refugees Back to Darfur”]


[30]  Herders accused of killing 3 farmers

KEREINEK (13 November 2012):  Gunmen, who witnesses believe to be herders, were accused of having shot dead two residents from camp Kereinek, West Darfur, on Monday morning, 12 November. On a separate incident, witnesses have accused herders of killing another farmer recently in West Darfur. The displaced, Adam Ahmed Ibrahim, and his son were shot inside their own farm, located about three hours away from the camp, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. According to reports, the perpetrators had entered the victims’ farm at nighttime with their livestock and the displaced got shot when they tried expelling the gunmen from their land. The victims, sources recounted, had fled their village of Rakubah during wartime to camp Kereinek. Similar incidents have happened in the area recently, according to what sources told Radio Dabanga. Herders have reportedly killed Abbaker Ismail inside his farm, located at Hummaidah area, south of Azimi, east of El-Geneina. A source said that ‘herders always let their livestock graze in the farms, and when farmers object it, they are faced with weapons and murder threats.’

Reduced food rations

The displaced and activists from camp Kereinek attribute the critical situation to the reduced food rations and to the disappearance of thousands of names from the World Food Programme (WFP) food distribution lists. Both factors forced the displaced to harvest food in their farms located outside the camps, despite facing enormous security risks, continuous attacks by gunmen and lack of protection, they explained.  A camp’s resident appealed to the WFP to not leave the displaced without services ‘because peace has not yet prevailed, the lands are still occupied and security is still missing in Darfur.’

[Kereinek (also frequently Kerenek) camp is in el-Geneina Locality, Kerenek Rural Council; attitude 13.20/longitude 22.50]


[31]  Herders kidnap police, injure displaced

SARAF JIDAD (20 November 2012): A group of herders reportedly kidnapped three members of the community police after raiding their station at a displaced camp in Saraf Jidad area, in Sirba locality, West Darfur, on Sunday morning, 18 November, a resident told Radio Dabanga. The source added that the same group has tortured more than 60 camp residents, severely injuring 11, in two consecutive days of attacks. He explained the first wave of attacks began on Sunday morning and lasted until the same evening and the second wave began on Monday at 6am. Onlookers recounted that besides the kidnapping, the perpetrators stole all weapons belonging to the police station and beat other policemen before locking them up in the station’s prison center. The reason for the attack, according to the perpetrators, is because they believe members of the community police killed a herder. They claimed to have found his body at Mruro area, five kilometers north of Saraf Jidad on Saturday. According to witnesses, some of the perpetrators were driving Land Cruisers while others were riding horses and camels [the hallmarks of the infamous Janjaweed, in all their incarnations—ER].

A source noted that despite the arrival of the Sirba locality commissioner, Abdul Khaliq Ibrahim Mattar, and the military to the area on Sunday night, abuses continued. Onlookers said that herders looted homes, shops and cattle and beat and tortured more than 60 people, severely injuring 11, between assaults that took place on Sunday and Monday. According to sources, before attacking the camp on Monday morning, perpetrators fired heavily in the air and then began beating the residents. Witnesses who managed to escape the area told Radio Dabanga that the perpetrators also carried out assaults in the areas of Banjedid and Moro on Monday. The incidents over the past two days caused ‘a major wave of displacement towards camps Arminkol, Abu Suruj and Tendelti,’ sources explained. [ ]  Omda of Saraf Jidad, Yahia Ulma, [ ] explained the situation [in Seraf Jidad] is dangerous at the moment and that they fear for their lives.

[Seraf Jidad is in Kulbus Locality, Sirba Rural Council]


[32]  West Darfur: Armed group kills 2 policemen, injures 3

JEBEL MOON (19 December 2012): An attack by an unknown armed group on a police station in the locality of Jebel Moon in West Darfur has left two police officers dead and another three wounded. Sources told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, 18 December, that the alleged perpetrators approached the police station in Land Cruiser vehicles. A source claimed that the vehicles were loaded with arms and ammunition and headed towards the city of Seleia, the locality’s capital. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that unknown gunmen attacked the police station and looted arms and ammunition, in addition to seizing an ambulance of the Ministry of Health and a vehicle of the military police before fleeing the scene.

[Although not identified as such in this dispatch, the well-armed and well-equipped forces were almost certainly regime-allied militia; the attack on local police is both evidence of this and an intensely worrying feature of the present security situation in Darfur—ER]

[Jebel Moon (also frequently Jebel Mun) is in Kulbus Locality, Seleia Rural Council; latitude 12.38/longitude 23.20]


[33]  Armed herders accused of killing farmer
KENDEBE CAMP (26 November 2012): Adam Abkar, a displaced person from Kendebe camp in West Darfur was allegedly shot dead by armed herders inside his farm on Sunday evening, November 25, Radio Dabanga has learned. A witness told Radio Dabanga that the armed herders reportedly opened fire on the farmer and shot him in the head and chest. The farmer was killed on the spot when he tried to chase the herders from his farm in Wadi Jughana at about 1 kilometer from Kendebe camp, the witness added. He explained that the herders try to enter their cattle onto the farms of the local residents in the areas of Wadi Bir Dagig all the way to Wadi Jughana.  The witness pointed out that the fatal victim is the second victim of the armed herders within one week. He said: “our fate is with God after the authorities fail to protect us and our farms from the armed herders,” the witness added to Radio Dabanga from Kendebe camp in Sirba locality.

[Kendebe camp (also frequently Kondobe) is located in Kulbus Locality, Sirba Rural Council; latitude 13.65/longitude 22.50)]


[34]  Dispute between Sudanese soldiers leaves 8 dead, sources
MORNEI (16 December 2012): A dispute between Sudanese soldiers in the area of Mornei, West Darfur has allegedly left eight men killed and another four injured on Saturday, 15 December. Sources informed Radio Dabanga that clashes erupted in the garrison of Mornei, located on the north side of the city, on Saturday around noon and affirmed that eight soldiers were killed, among them an officer ranked first lieutenant, and another four were injured. It was reported that the clashes erupted after two Land Cruiser vehicles of the army tilted near to the Ronga Tass bridge during a chase between two groups on the main road from Mornei to Zalingei. They said that the clashes sparked fear and panic among residents in the area and many fled to their homes, residents from Radamia neighbourhood near the army garrison in particular. Some sources claim that the reason for the dispute is that a force of 20 vehicles which recently arrived from Jebel Moon, was refused to move to East Jebel Marra for ‘field operations’, causing the force to clash with other soldiers and officers.

[Mornei is in el-Geneina Locality, Mornei Rural Council; it is approximately 15 miles from Nyuru, dateline for the New York Times story, “A Taste of Hope Brings Refugees Back to Darfur”]
[35]  Darfur civilians: ‘strange bombs, two dead’

EAST JEBEL MARRA (29 November 2012):  Two children were killed in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur when the Sudanese air force bombed the area on Wednesday, 28 November, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. They added that the government dropped “strange bombs” in the area for two consecutive days.  Both victims, Adam Issa and Mariam Mohamed were looking after their cattle when the bombs hit them on Wednesday, sources recounted. Onlookers affirmed that Antonov and MiG airplanes belonging to the Sudanese air force were used during the attacks. In addition, 48 cattle were reportedly killed and farms were burned. According to local residents, the bombings were ‘violent’ and targeted the areas of Keira, Sabi and Tabaldiya Delmah. These villages are located about 15km west of Tabet, the main base of government troops and pro-government militias in the region.

[This places the villages some 10 miles from the eastern border of West Darfur—ER]

Onlookers told Radio Dabanga that ‘intensive bombings’ resumed on Thursday, killing another 72 cattle and burning more farms. The bombings used by the government were “strange,” according to witnesses, who affirmed never seeing them before. They explained that, after hitting the ground, these shells broke into seven pieces and destroyed large areas. Their smoke is causing vomiting, skin sensitivity and eye infections, residents told Radio Dabanga. On Thursday, victims pointed out, the government dropped a total of 13 bombs on the area. Sources claim the following villages were hit: Keira, (six bombs), Sabi (three bombs) and Tabaldiya Delmah (four bombs).

At the same time, residents from Tabet informed Radio Dabanga that Sudanese Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) and pro-government militias recently imposed a curfew around the area. The curfew, which also includes Tabet’s surrounding villages, reportedly begins at 4pm and finishes the next morning, at 8am. A local witness stressed that these troops continue to carry out assaults in the area. They are accused of randomly shooting and threatening civilians, in addition to looting their properties and beating ‘anyone who crosses their way.’  Residents said that because of these events, they are forced to remain inside their homes. This prevents them from grazing their cattle, fetching water, shopping and harvesting their crops, they explained to Radio Dabanga.


[36]  SAF bombs East Jebel Marra
EAST JEBEL MARRA (13 November 2012): Witnesses and sources from East Jebel Marra informed Radio Dabanga that around of 25 shells were dropped by the Sudanese Air Forces (SAF) on Monday November 12. The witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the shells were dropped in the area south of Abu Zereiga and northeast of Shangil Tobay, Lamina and Wadi Murrah. Clashes erupted between the Sudanese army and the Sudan Revolutionary Front in Wadi Murrah on Friday November 9. [ ] The bombardment reportedly lasted for approximately two hours.


[37]  Bombardment East Jebel Marra kills two

EAST JEBEL MARRA (15 November 2012): An aerial bombardment in East Jebel Marra on Wednesday morning, November 14, reportedly killed two people, Radio Dabanga was informed. The aerial bombardment was said to be carried out by the Sudanese Air Forces in several villages in East Jebel Marra. Mustafa Tambour, military spokesperson of Sudan’s Liberation Movement-Abdelwahid Nur, disclosed to Radio Dabanga that the heavy shelling started at nine in the morning and lasted for approximately two hours. Tambour said that the areas of Vanaga, Jebel Hareez and East Jebel Marra were exposed to bombardments. He added that the shelling resulted in the death of a number of civilians and appealed to the UN Security Council for an intervention to stop the bombardments targeting civilians, Tambour added to Radio Dabanga from the field. At the same time, witnesses from Zam Zam camp told Radio Dabanga they heard sounds of shelling and aerial bombardments coming from Wadi Murrah and Tangarara. The witnesses added they saw at least 20 aircrafts take off from El-Fasher airport in the direction of East Jebel Marra, they added to Radio Dabanga from Zam Zam camp.


[38]  Bombings kill pregnant woman

EAST JEBEL MARRA (2 November 2012):  Heavy shelling in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, killed one woman and left another two girls injured, Radio Dabanga has learned on Thursday, 1 November. According to a witness, the seven-month pregnant woman Aisha Adam Ahmed died on Thursday in the El-Fasher teaching hospital after an Antonov airplane bombed the village of Sindika, on Wednesday evening. In addition, another two girls got injured: Suhaibah Mahmoud, seven years old and Halima Moussa Adam, 17 years old. A witness told Radio Dabanga that the shelling in East Jebel Marra targeted the following areas: Hashaba, Kouto, Dali, Toko Mari and Karafola and Sindika. He said that in addition 45 livestock were also killed and large farming areas were burned due to the bombings.

[39]  Aerial bombardments East Jebel Marra continue

EAST JEBEL MARRA  (31 October 2012): Aerial bombardments in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, on Wednesday October 31 have injured one person, Radio Dabanga was informed. The aerial bombardment destroyed a number of homes and continued for two hours, the witnesses added. The targeted areas reportedly include Hashaba, Kouto, Dali, Toko Mari and Karafola in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur. Witnesses described the bombardment as “extremely intense,” and explained that a large number of residents fled the area in search of safety. One of the witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the bombing injured Halima Moussa Adam, 17 years old, in Kouto, and added that the girl was taken to Tabet for treatment. The witness added that the bombing also led to the destruction of three homes in Hashaba, near Tabet. According to residents from the area, the bombardments caused several fires. They added that they could not confirm the number of casualties, if any, due to the intensity of the bombardment and people fleeing the area.


[40]  East Jebel Marra air strikes leave four dead

EAST JEBEL MARRA (3 October 2012):  Sheikh Joma’a Saleh, and his three sons, Hawa, Adam and Abdullah, were killed when an Antonov aircraft dropped three bombs at approximately 30 kilometers west of Tabit in North Darfur on Wednesday morning October 3. Witnesses informed Radio Dabanga that the air strike took place around 10 in the morning of Wednesday. The bombings led to the killing of sheikh Joma’a and his three sons as well as the death of a number of livestock. The witnesses confirmed to Radio Dabanga that aerial bombardments resumed on Wednesday evening in the area north of Katoor village.


[41]  Bombings in East Jebel Marra “highly toxic”

EAST JEBEL MARRA (4 October 2012):  According to eyewitnesses, the recent aerial attacks in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, were not executed by an Antonov airplane but by a Sukhoi fighter jet. They explained that a Sukhoi carries highly explosive and toxic weapons, which they believe are internationally banned. Radio Dabanga reported about the shelling on Wednesday, 3 October. Eyewitnesses reported that the recent bombs injured several farmers, who are now suffering of diarrhea, neck and limbs swelling and rashes. In addition, they claim to have visited the site where the bombings took place and said they were shocked to find parts of animals’ bodies scattered around. The population of East Jebel Marra appealed to human rights’ organizations and to the UN to send a fact-finding mission to the area and investigate the poisoning amongst residents.

According to sources, two MiG airplanes bombed Mount Selo Kndua, near Shangil Tobai, East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, on Thursday afternoon, 4 October. No causalities have been reported yet. A citizen who survived the shelling, Abdo Saleh, told Radio Dabanga his livestock were killed. He added that, despite repeated appeals to the international community, East Jebel Marra is constantly targeted by aerial attacks.

Saleh described the events as “genocide” and stressed that there is no peace in Darfur.


[42]  SAF aerial bombings kill four people

EAST JEBEL MARRA (11 September 2012):  Witnesses informed Radio Dabanga that on Tuesday 11 September, four civilians were killed in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, as a result of aerial bombings. They said a Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Antonov airplane flew above the area for about two hours before dropping a total of 10 bombs. Onlookers informed Radio Dabanga that the fatal victims include a woman and a child. They said the 10 bombs were dropped by the SAF in an area about one kilometer east from Fanga market, East Jebel Marra. Sources added the bombs were dropped within walking distance from each other and that five cows, three goats and a number of sheep were also killed as a result.

The names of the fatal victims are: Saleh Abker, 70 years old; Mohammad Yaqub, 50 years old; Mariam Yehia, 60 years old; and Ahmed Saleh, 12 years old. Another eyewitness, speaking to Radio Dabanga from East Jebel Marra, confirmed that the aerial bombings took place in the area. He added that the shelling and killings on the ground have been going on for two months.


[43]  Continued airstrikes in East Jebel Marra

EAST JEBEL MARRA (25 October 2012):  The Sudanese Air Forces (SAF) allegedly bombed east Tabet, south Hashaba and East Jebel Marra in North Darfur on Wednesday afternoon October 24, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. Residents told Radio Dabanga that the bombing caused residents to flee, as many farms caught fire. The residents added that no casualties have been reported yet, but that the bombings sparked fear and panic among residents. The area of East Jebel Marra has been witnessing repetitive airstrikes during the past two months.

At the same time, remains of the continuous airstrikes on East Jebel Marra of the past two months have led to the spread of unknown viruses. According to residents, the viruses cause vomiting, diarrhea and, in a number of cases, numbness in the eyes. It was added that mainly children, pregnant women and elderly suffer from the unknown viruses.

Witnesses recounted to Radio Dabanga that remains of the bombings, fires, smoke fumes and gas have led to the spread of poison, and added that most of the victims are younger than five years old. According to the witnesses, more people are dying every day, which is a result of the government’s use of ‘illegal’ bombs in East Jebel Marra and surrounding areas.

The witnesses confirmed that the constant bombardment of water sources has led to poisoning among residents. The nearest hospital for treatment and examination is in either El-Fasher or Tabet, however residents fear the presence of militias in those hospitals and avoid visiting these hospitals. On the same topic, residents of East Jebel Marra appealed to the UN Security Council and all human rights organizations to immediately intervene and conduct an independent investigation to examine the cause of the diseases and treat them before it is too late. In addition, they called upon the Red Cross and the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières to visit East Jebel Marra immediately and verify the reported cases.


[44]  Airstrike on East Jebel Marra injures 2

EAST JEBEL MARRA (15 October 2012) Two persons got injured as a result of an airstrike on East Jebel Marra on Sunday evening October 14, sources told Radio Dabanga. They said one of the injured victims was burned after a warplane dropped four bombs on the village of Tabaldia Dolma in East Jebel Marra. A local witness told Radio Dabanga that 50 acres broke out in flames due to the airstrike.


[45]  More bombardments in East Jebel Marra

EAST JEBEL MARRA (24 September 2012): An MiG plane dropped shells near a bore-hole in the Torta region east of Fanga, East Jebel Marra locality, North Darfur, on Monday morning 24 September. No fatal victims were reported, except for the loss of (several) livestock. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that MiG planes bombarded the areas of Hillat Wad Ali and Tangarara, Wadi Marra and Torta areas. The bombardments caused widespread panic among the residents, a witness from East Jebel Marra told Radio Dabanga. [Another] resident from East Jebel Marra described the humanitarian conditions for the locals as ‘very bad.’  He told Radio Dabanga that the residents in this area live in constant fear of aerial attacks as well as fear of renewed clashes or militia attacks.


[46]  SAF bombings kill three people

EAST JEBEL MARRA (27 September 2012):  Three people were killed, among them a three year old child, when the area of Fanga was struck by an aerial attack from the Sudanese Air Forces (SAF) on Tuesday September 25. The SAF planes dropped six shells in the Fanga area of East Jebel Marra.  Mustafa Tambour, SLM-Abdulwahid military spokesman, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the bombing occurred at about 300 meters from Fanga’s market, killing three civilians. The fatal victims are Abdullah Ahmed Tamasoh el-Moos, Mohamedein Idris Babiker and Umm Salma Mohamed Mousa.


[47]  Renewed clashes between government troops and SRF

TABIT, North Darfur (28 September 2012): Witnesses from west Tabit, North Darfur, reported that the villages of Tangarara, Tabaldia, and Humeida, were exposed to air strikes on Friday September 28 between eight in the morning and three o’clock in the afternoon. [ ] The witnesses said that the bombardments caused residents to flee towards the farms as the bombardments caused the burning of about 150 acres of agricultural land. According to reports from the area, the fire is still spreading.


[48]  Bombings in [West] Darfur area kill two Sudanese
NYALA (27 December 2012): Two Darfur citizens have died and three were injured after an Antonov airplane of the Sudan Armed forces dropped bombs on the village Barasani some kilometers west of the central town of Golo. The bombings happening today (Wednesday 26 December) also caused the destruction of seven houses and farms killing camels and cows.

[Barasani is in Jebel Marra Locality of West Darfur, Golo Rural Council)


[49]  Half of Darfuris lack access to health care

KHARTOUM/EL-GENEINA (19 October 2012): The Sudanese federal ministry of health and its partners from the international community on Khartoum revealed that half of the population in Darfur do not have access to primary health care, Radio Dabanga has learned on Thursday, 18 October. [ ] In a press conference, West Darfur minister of health, Ahmed Ishag Ya’goub, confirmed the poor health services in all five states, adding that West Darfur lags behind all of them. He said that the spread of malaria and of mosquitoes is very high, stating that El-Geneina hospital is one of the main causes for the spread of diseases, as “a patient goes to the hospital with one disease and returns with another.”  He attributed this problem also to the sewage system that adjoins a nearby valley and that affects the quality of the drinking water.


[50]  Diseases kill at least 50 in Darfur camps

SARAF OMRA / MUKJAR (19 October 2012):  Internally displaced persons from Saraf Omra, North Darfur and from Mukjar camps in [formerly West] Darfur have complained about the increasing death rates caused by several types of diseases, sources told Radio Dabanga on Friday, 19 October. According to sources, more than 50 people have died so far in both areas. They said diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, cough and malnutrition, in addition to the scarcity of medicines and the inability of health authorities to care of the people are the main causes.

Saraf Omra

Residents from three camps in Saraf Omra, Dankoj, Naseem and Jebel, have complained to Radio Dabanga about the deteriorating health situation in the area due to malaria, diarrhea and cough. A sheikh from Dankoj told Radio Dabanga that more than 40 people died in the month of October from malaria and diarrhea. He attributed the increase of diseases to the spread mosquitoes, to flies and to contaminated water. The sheikh noted that local authorities stopped providing medical assistance and treatment to patients.

Mukjar camp

An activist from camp Mukjar told Radio Dabanga that especially children are affected and that the situation is getting worse, as more than 10 people died of malaria last week. He added that when available, medicine is very expensive.


 [51]  Camps suffering from lack of drinking water
NERTITI (25 November 2012):  Residents from Nertiti camp in [formerly West] Darfur are suffering from a lack of drinking water, reportedly caused by a lack of fuel to operate the water pumps, sources told Radio Dabanga on Friday November 23. A sheikh from the camp told Radio Dabanga that the camp residents no longer have access to drinking water, as was organized by UNICEF in the past. He explained that the camp residents used to be able to bring water from a water station, which was open for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. He added that due to a lack of gasoline to operate the water pumps, people now only receive a tin of water for a period of four days. The sheikh stated that this amount is ‘insufficient’ and appealed to local authorities and international organizations to solve the fuel problem as soon as possible.

[Nertiti is in Jebel Marra Locality, Nertiti Rural Council]


[52]  Mornei camp suffering from water scarcity, displaced

MORNEI (12 December 2012):  Displaced from Mornei camp in West Darfur have complained about scarcity of drinking water due to malfunctioning water-pumps, sources told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, 11 December. A camp representative said that 7 of the camp’s water stations stopped operating five days ago, claiming that camp residents are currently fetching drinking water from surrounding valleys. Also, he mentioned that the prices of water tanks have gone up from 6 Sudanese pounds to 10 and that it takes around four hours back and forth to fetch water from Wadi Azum by donkey.

[Mornei is in el-Geneina Locality, Mornei Rural Council; it is approximately 15 miles from Nyuru, dateline for the New York Times story, “A Taste of Hope Brings Refugees Back to Darfur”]
[53]  Darfur citizens: government is delaying vaccination campaign
DARFUR (22 November 2012): Citizens of [West] Darfur and South Darfur have criticized the authorities for delaying the start of the [Yellow Fever] vaccination campaign, causing fear among citizens and camp residents that the disease will spread to the overcrowded displaced camps in the region, Radio Dabanga learned on Wednesday November 21. Additionally, they criticized the authorities for their disregard of spraying operations against the mosquitoes that transmit the disease.

A camp coordinator from Zalingei called on the Government of Sudan to declare Darfur a “disaster zone” and to allow health organizations to access the area to provide emergency assistance to affected citizens in the state. He also called for clear and honest information about the disease and its spread in Darfur. The camp coordinator explained that there have been cases of death as a result of yellow fever in Zalingei and claimed that hospital doctors withhold the information. Additionally, he demanded that all the people of Darfur receive a vaccination against the disease. He told Radio Dabanga that the authorities carried out spraying operations in Hamidiya camp and Hassa Hissa camp, which he considers to be insufficient. The camp coordinator demanded for an expansion of the spraying campaigns to all areas in Darfur, he added to Radio Dabanga from Zalingei. Doctors from the area warn that the death toll and number of total infections in Darfur may require an intervention from the UN Security Council itself to remedy the deteriorating health situation and to mitigate the spread of the epidemic.

Residents from Nertiti have informed Radio Dabanga that the vaccination campaign did not start until Wednesday, adding that they did not receive any notice regarding the start of the campaign. A sheikh from the area told Radio Dabanga that “we have heard about the announcement of the Federal Health Minister in the media about the start of the campaign on Tuesday, but we have not seen anything.” He added that people are living in fear of the disease spreading through patients who come to the hospital from areas such as Aredeba and Lauda on the outskirts of the town. Residents from the three displaced camps in Garsila, Jeddah, Ardeeba and Jebelain, expressed their concern that the epidemic will spread to the camps, as the disease is allegedly spreading in southeastern regions such as El-Farig and Moro, at about eight kilometers from the camps.

Omda Ahmed Ateem, North Darfur camps’ coordinator, told Radio Dabanga that the outbreak of [a Yellow Fever] epidemic would be a “real disaster.”


[54]  Darfur citizens: government secrecy about yellow fever

DARFUR (6 November 2012): Citizens from [ ] West and South Darfur complained about the secrecy of the government of Sudan regarding information about the spread, level of incidence and cause of the yellow fever, Radio Dabanga has learned on Monday 5 November. They also denounced the scarcity of medicines, vaccines, preventive guidance and ambulances for citizens in the most affected regions. In addition, residents demanded that governors of Darfur declare the region a ‘disaster area’.

Four dead in Jebel Ahmar

Residents from the village of Goz Miti in Jebel Ahmar, [West] Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that 20 people were transferred from Jebel Ahmar to the Nyala hospital on Sunday, adding that four of them died so far. The others, they said, remain in critical condition. They criticized the government saying it does not care about the health of its citizens nor does it seek to treat them. Lastly, the citizens appealed to health international organizations led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to rush to the affected areas and provide them with urgent medical aid and health care.

West Darfur: nine dead

The Minister of Health from West Darfur, Ahmed Ishag Ya’goub, announced that nine people died and another 36 got infected with yellow fever as of Sunday.

According to him, these numbers refer to one death and 18 infections in Mornei, Krenik locality; to six deaths and 10 infections in Habila locality; and to two deaths and eight infections in El-Geneina locality. The minister stressed that yellow fever is emerging in a number of localities in West Darfur.

Nyala hospital: 37 new patients

At the same time, Dr. Ali Merghani, director of epidemiology from the Nyala hospital in South Darfur, revealed to Radio Dabanga that 37 new patients infected with yellow fever arrived at the hospital on Sunday. The director said that 19 of these people come from [West] Darfur and 18 come from South Darfur. Merghani added that on Monday, the hospital received six cases from new localities in Darfur. He explained that four of them are from Central Darfur and the other two are from Kass and Mershing localities, South Darfur.

New areas in [West] Darfur

A source from [West] Darfur warned about the spread of yellow fever in the state, Radio Dabanga has learned. The source confirmed the emergence of the disease in new areas in [West] Darfur and said that the most vulnerable areas are around Jebel Ahmar, namely Nertiti locality and Tololu in Azum locality. According to him, quarantine posts were set up in Zalingei, Nertiti and Garsila.


[55]  Riyadh camp residents face critical conditions

RIYADH CAMP (15 October 2012):  Thousands of displaced persons from Riyadh camp in West Darfur are facing critical humanitarian conditions as their names are missing from a cards’ registration list, a camp resident told Radio Dabanga on Sunday October 14.  A source explained the registration process began in the end of 2011 and only ended in the second half of this year. He pointed out the World Food Programme (WFP) asked the displaced to submit the missing names, but so far the situation has not been rectified. In the meantime, Riyadh’s residents, whose names are missing from the list, are reportedly living under very difficult circumstances. They appealed to WFP and humanitarian organizations to intervene and solve the issue.

[Riyadh camp is in el-Geneina locality, Masteri Rural Council]


[56]  Three die amid shortage of doctors

EAST JEBEL MARRA (15 October 2012): Three young brothers have died from a mysterious illness around East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, a source told Radio Dabanga, on Monday 15 October. The source explained that local residents could not determine what the disease was that killed the children due to the lack of doctors and clinics in the region. The names of the children are: Mohamed, Adam and Issa Yahya, from the village of Khor Mali near Tabaldia Dolma.

Another source from East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, said local residents are suffering an acute shortage of medical services. They explained to Radio Dabanga that health centers and medicine are missing in several areas and that security forces deny access to medicine traders. The residents added that this forces patients to travel a long way to El-Fasher for treatment, an alternative many people cannot afford. Sources revealed that the only active health center in the area, located near to the village of Taradona, was under the supervision of an organization which was expelled by the government. According to reports, the affected areas are Dirbat, Malam, Fanga, Kekoro and Bargo. East Jebel Marra residents appealed to the local and state health authorities as well as international organizations to speed up the provision of medical services to them.


[57]  Diseases spreading rapidly in Darfur

EL-FASHER (16 September 2012):  Health Minister of the Darfur Regional Authority, Osman El-Bushra, revealed the spread of diseases such as leprosy, scabies, tuberculosis, night blindness, river blindness, malaria, schistosomiasis and typhoid among the population of Darfur. He attributes the spread of these diseases to malnutrition, poverty, a lack of health and therapeutic institutions, and the deteriorating security situation in the region. El-Bushra described the spread of drug abuse as an “epidemic on the rise” in Darfur, stressing that the abuse is getting “out of control.” He appealed to the authorities to address these issues and not just deal with them through security measures. The Minister also pointed to a survey conducted in May 2012 by the Darfur Regional Authority. The survey reveals a large deficit (approximately 40 percent) in size and number of medical staff in health and medical institutions in South Darfur.


[58]  Health conditions deteriorating in Darfur camps

EL-GENEINA (3 October 2012):  Displaced persons from camps in West Darfur have complained to Radio Dabanga about diseases, such as malaria, diarrhea and abdominal pain spreading rapidly. In addition, they complained about the lack of available medication as well as the rising prices of medicines. A number of displaced from El-Geneina, Mornei and Bindessey camps told Radio Dabanga that the rapidly spreading diseases caused the death of several children and elderly so far. Camp Bindessey leadership disclosed the death of six children between Sunday September 23 and Monday October 1. In addition, a number of camp residents reported there is hardly any house without a malaria patient. The residents pointed out that the price of malaria treatment ranges between 50 and 60 Sudanese Pounds (SDG).


 [59]  Saraf Omra hospital overloaded as ‘new’ disease emerges

SARAF OMRA (21 December 2012):  Residents from Saraf Omra have revealed the emergence of new cases of a deadly disease causing vomiting and diarrhea. It was reported on Thursday, 20 December, that in case patients are not treated as soon as the disease is discovered, the disease could lead to death. A witness from Saraf Omra told Radio Dabanga on Thursday that the number of people infected with the disease is about 500. He added that the disease causes the skin tone to turn yellow and the eyes green. The witness said that Saraf Omra hospital is overloaded with patients; malaria, yellow fever and the ‘new’ disease.

[Saraf Omra is on the border between North and West Darfur, southeast of Sirba]


[60]  22 displaced die in two weeks

GARSILA (16 October 2012): The increasing spread of diseases in Garsila camps, West Darfur, led to the death of 22 displaced persons in the first half of October, camp representatives told Radio Dabanga, on Tuesday October 16. A camps’ sheikh told Radio Dabanga that residents of three of Garsila’s camps (Jeddah, Ardeeba and Jebelain) are facing critical health conditions as diseases like malaria, dry cough and diarrhea are spreading rapidly. He added that mainly children and elderly are suffering. The sheikh said that shortage of medicine, and its high costs when available, have contributed to the aggravation of the health conditions in Garsila camps.

[Garsila is in Wadi Saleh Locality, Garsila-Delaige Rural Council]


[61]  Minister: hepatitis outbreak in West Darfur

FORO BARANGA (13 December 2012):  Ishaq Ahmed Yaqoub, minister of health of West Darfur, announced the outbreak of hepatitis D in the state, when speaking to Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, 12 December. He affirmed that similarly to yellow fever cases reported recently in the state, hepatitis patients come from the gold mining area of Jebel ‘Amer, in North Darfur.

[Foro Baranga (variously spelled) is in Habillah Locality, Foro Baranga Rural Council]


[62]  Sudan: ‘High Death Incidence By Fever’ in Saraf Omra 

SARAF OMRA (25 December 2012):  Residents of Saraf Omra locality in North Darfur are complaining about the high incidence of death and infections caused by fever, diarrhea and abdominal chest pain, they told Radio Dabanga on Monday, 24 December.

They said that particularly the fever is accompanied by vomiting and headache. [ ] On a related event, several Saraf Omra residents have also complained to Radio Dabanga about the scarcity of health care and medicine in the locality. They said that the high price of medicines is forcing them to use traditional herbs for treatment, while noting that they must pay at least 30 Sudanese pounds (SDG) for drugs. In addition, a doctor’s visit costs five SDG and a medical check-up 45 SDG, citizens claimed.

The above dispatches—detailing acute medical and other shortages, as well as a growing epidemic of Yellow Fever—provide context for the following:

 [63]  Foreign aid organizations to be expelled from Darfur

KHARTOUM (18 September 2012):  Sudan’s Commissioner of Humanitarian Aid (HAC), Suleiman Marhab, threatened to expel foreign aid organizations operating in Darfur that do not comply with an agreement signed with HAC. Marhab made this announcement during a parliamentary hearing on Saturday 15 September, in Khartoum. The Commissioner said he would not allow foreign aid organizations to operate in Sudan without a national partner from 2013 onwards. Marhab added that as of next year he will not allow the provision of relief via air or across borders, explaining that all relief operations should come from inside the Sudanese territory.

[Put bluntly, in the midst of a rapidly growing humanitarian crisis—among people who have suffered from acute deprivation for a decade—the Khartoum regime is poised to severely attenuate international relief assistance in DarfurER]


Political developments:

[64]  Unprecedented conference held in Hamidiya camp

HAMIDIYA CAMP (6 November 2012) – An unprecedented conference was held at the Hamidiya camp, [West] Darfur, with the main objective of unifying the opinion and positions of camps residents and refugees regarding the challenges they currently face in Darfur. The coordinator of Zalingei camps told Radio Dabanga that the conference took place between Tuesday, 30 October and Thursday, 1 November. He added that representatives of 53 camps, which amounted to 119 participants, were present at the meetings. According to him, challenges the displaced and refugees face in Darfur include the deterioration of security, attacks by the government and militias, attacks by allies of the so-called peace signatories and plots to dismantle the camps, which were all discussed during the conference. In addition, political, humanitarian, social and media issues have also been reportedly discussed during the conference. Most of Darfur camps’ representatives attended the conference, which was not publicly announced until its conclusion for security reasons, the coordinator explained.

[Hamidiya camp is in in Zalingei Locality, Zalingei-Traige Rural Council (latitude 12.92/longitude 23.48)


 [65]  Sudan: Wave of Arrests of Darfur Students in Sudan Capital and Atbara
KHARTOUM (25 December 2012):  The National Security of Sudan has started arresting scores of students from Darfur attending various universities in Khartoum and Atbara. [ ] The National Security of Sudan has started arresting scores of students from Darfur attending various universities in Khartoum and Atbara.

After being taken to the security offices several students have been interrogated. During the questioning they were beaten and some of them were severely tortured, the Darfur lawyers explained. One student, Abdelsalaam Nurein, sustained severe physical and psychological traumas after hours of continuous torture. The Darfur Bar Association says the nation wide hunt for Darfur students is undermining the unity of Sudan since it is focused on a certain ethnicity. According to the lawyers, the national security and police forces did not follow the required legal procedures….

[Some would still have us believe that ethnicity, including divisions between Arab and non-Arab tribal groups, are not central to what is happening in Darfur; this account provides yet more evidence, if hardly needed, that this is simply not true—ER]