Humanitarian Conditions in Darfur: Relief Efforts Perilously Close to Collapse |
Eric Reeves, 15 August 2013 |
I. Displacement in Darfur
II. Refugees in Chad
III. Denial of humanitarian access, and access to farmlands
IV. Direct assaults on civilians, inside and outside camps
V. Aerial bombardment of civilians
VI. Primary medical care
VII. Food and malnutrition
VIII. Water and Sanitation
IX. Increase in ethnic and tribal violence
I. DISPLACEMENT IN DARFUR
• Fleeing clashes between rebel and government forces south of Nyala 75,000 people have arrived at El Salam camp near South Darfur’s capital. Sources report they are living in “inhuman conditions” without water, food or shelter. Sheikh Tabaldiya of El Salam told Radio Dabanga on Friday that the number of displaced persons who have arrived at the camp since 22 April has reached 75,000. “These people are not receiving any aid, also not from the state.” (Radio Dabanga, Nyala, 3 May 2013) (all emphases in quotations have been added by the writer)
• More than 632 newly displaced people who have fled tribal conflicts to Garsila camp in West Darfur are facing extremely difficult conditions. They are reportedly living in the open without shelter, food or medicine. (Radio Dabanga, Garsila, West Darfur, 28 June 2013)
• Clashes between troops of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Friday, followed by alleged air raids by the Sudanese Air Force, have reportedly caused about 17,000 civilians in East Jebel Marra to flee and become displaced. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for the Association of Displaced Persons and Refugees of Darfur, said “Friday’s clashes and air raids in eastern Jebel Marra drove the people from their villages to settle in the areas of Kululu and Kele. They are living under trees with no shelter from the rain in conditions that are difficult, even for healthy adults,” Abu Sharati said. (Thousands flee clashes, air raids, in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra, East Jebel Marra, 30 June 2013)
• A Norwegian organisation reported the arrival of about 200 people in a South Darfur displaced camp fleeing tribal clashes between the Dajo and Beni Halba on 21 June, as stated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The NGO Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) said the displaced come from the Ereida village in Kubum locality in South Darfur. According to community leaders, two Dajo tribesmen were killed and many houses were destroyed, OCHA says. The agency says that following verification of the new arrivals by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), food and other relief items will be distributed to the new arrivals. (UN: Clashes between Dajo, Beni Halba displace 200 in South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, South Darfur, 8 July 2013)
• In its latest report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirms that more than 300,000 people have been forcibly displaced in Darfur since the beginning of this year. It attributes the displacement to inter-tribal fighting and conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and armed rebel movements. The US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice noted that more than five times as many people have been displaced in the first few months of 2013 than in the whole of the previous year.
Attash [also Otash] camp
According to the latest count on Thursday, 2,173 displaced families have arrived at the Attash camp near Nyala, Sheikh Abdel Karim Abkar informed Radio Dabanga. Their humanitarian situation is dire. They lack food, shelter, and medicine. Abkar says that 34 families come from Muhajeriya, 388 from Labado, 822 from Marla, 186 from Hijer, 440 from Umm Gunja, and 223 from Abu Jabra. Many have been exposed to attacks and banditry from marauding pro-government militiamen…. Displaced persons from Attash have raised concerns about the shortage of water, health services, and sanitary facilities. The sheikh said the displaced people form long queues to get drinking water. This problem is growing, especially considering the intensification of the summer season and the ever-increasing number of displaced people.
El Salam camp
Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya of El Salam camp in South Darfur said that on Wednesday alone, 70 families arrived from Ahmed Mustapha village, 30 families from the village of Ardabat Al Omda, and 11 families from Marla village. These new arrivals are further challenging the camp, which is now home to 80,000 newly displaced people. He said: “These families are living at the camp without food or shelter. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating fast, as apart from 3,200 plastic sheets and some utensils, they have yet to receive any meaningful aid.”
More than 30,000 people fled their homes in the Golo and Jildu areas of Central Darfur, because of clashes in the region between government troops and its militias against rebels that began in late December, the UN estimated. Deadly clashes erupted in January over control of a gold mine in North Darfur led to the displacement of at least 150,000 people. At the time, the UN termed it “the biggest forced displacement in Darfur in years.” In addition, tens of thousands from East Jebel Marra fled to Zamzam, Tawila and Shangil Tobaya camps….
The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) termed it “the largest influx of people from Darfur to Chad since 2005.” According to the UN, Chad has received more than 300,000 Sudanese refugees in ten years. On 6 April, rebel forces captured the strategic towns of Labado and Muhajeriya, but the SAF retook them ten days later. Security concerns have kept civilians moving to other locations and this week the UN reported that 60,000 civilians were displaced. Tribal clashes and armed conflicts between government troops and its militias against rebel forces in South Darfur have displaced another hundreds of thousands of people this year. Civilians fled their homes in the areas of Bulbul Dalal El Angara, Umm Gunja, Hijair, Tonjo as well as the Katayla locality. The spokesman for the association of displaced persons and refugees of Darfur told Radio Dabanga on 5 May that a total of 41,441 families have arrived at Kalma camp since the beginning of March. (UN: more than 300,000 Darfur displaced in five months, Radio Dabanga, 16 May 2013)
II. DARFURI REFUGEES IN CHAD
• [See also above]
• About 2,500 new Sudanese refugees at camp Goz Amer in eastern Chad are living poor humanitarian conditions without health or medical services, a shortage of food and plastic sheets, a sheikh of the camp has told Radio Dabanga. Sheikh Ahmed War, says that the new refugees, who originally fled the tribal conflict between the Salamat and Misseriya, have arrived at the camp from the Chadian town of Tissi. Sheikh War explained that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) initially provided them with some plastic sheets upon their arrival at the camp, but these have become torn due to heavy rains and wind. “Some of them are now living without shelter,” he said, calling on the UNHCR “to expedite meeting the needs of the new refugees in terms of medicine and health services, to increase their rations of food and plastic sheets and provide educational services.” The UNHCR estimates that at least 50,000 people were uprooted as a result of the Misseriya-Salamat tribal clashes that broke out on 4 April in Umm Dukhun, Central Darfur. (Sudanese refugees in Chad need urgent resupply, Goz Amer camp [Eastern Chad], July 2, 2013)
• Thousands of people displaced from Darfur to the remote Chad border town of Tissi are facing a worsening humanitarian situation due to a lack of adequate medical facilities, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) says; it transferred 19 seriously injured people by air to Abeche regional hospital, where its surgical team is currently attending to them. The ICRC says it has now transferred those in most serious need of medical care out of the area… In cooperation with Red Cross of Chad volunteers, the ICRC distributed aid to some 10,000 of the neediest returnees in the country. Every family in the Tissi area was given clothing, blankets, sleeping mats, jerrycans, mosquito nets, soap, kitchen utensils and tarpaulins. [UNHCR’s] Plennevaux said displaced people continued to face difficult conditions on the ground and there are concerns the upcoming rainy season will cut off access to the area. “We are trying to meet the most urgent needs by providing aid before the onset of the rainy season, which will render the roads impassable and therefore make access to the area very difficult,” she said. “Most of these people fled without taking anything with them, so they need the items we are providing to protect themselves from bad weather. The families, consisting mainly of women and children and sometimes elderly or disabled dependents, need shelter and emergency supplies,” she added. Several tens of thousands of people flooded into Tissi after fierce fighting erupted in early March between the Salamat and Misseriya tribes in and around the Um Dukhun area following an attempted armed robbery. Some 23,000 Sudanese refugees, including dozens of wounded, fled the violence in Darfur to the eastern Chadian town, with a further 16,000 Chadians who were living in the conflict zone also crossing the border.
Displaced civilians fleeing instability across Darfur continue to arrive, with the influx of people sparking tensions in the area among some local communities, the ICRC said.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva in April, UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Melissa Fleming said many of the new arrivals were “exhausted, traumatised and visibly disturbed.” Many of the newly-arrived refugees were forced to take shelter from the elements under trees and conditions in the area remain harsh and subject to climatic extremes. The UNHCR has since relocated thousands of displaced people, mainly women and children, from Tissi to camps further inside Chad as a safety precaution. (Sudan Tribune, 13 June 2013)
• The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says it is “in a race against time” to deliver aid to them before the rainy seasons begins. In a press briefing on Friday, UNHCR spokesman Dan McNorton said the agency “is requisitioning aid for tens of thousands of Darfur refugees in eastern Chad amid fears that heavy rains will cut off access to the group.” This year more than 50,000 people, both Sudanese and Chadians who were living in Darfur, fled violent hostilities to Tissi, just across the border. Roads to the area become impassable during the rainy season lasting from May to November and the first rains have already fallen. The region has little infrastructure and new arrivals place a strain on the local communities. UNHCR says it has procured enough aid to cover the needs of 3,000 families and additional supplies are underway to cover the needs of another 4,000. The refugees are mainly women and children and they urgently need shelter, food, clean water and medical assistance, the spokesman said. “They say that they fled because people were killed during the violence and that many houses were torched by armed men.”
Earlier this month Médecins Sans Frontières drew international attention to the problem: “Humanitarian assistance is urgently needed before the looming rainy season cuts off road access to many areas … time is running out.” The UN Agency says that on average, 300 refugees a day continue to cross into Tissi as communal tensions persist in Darfur. The new arrivals say that many more are on their way to Chad but that armed groups are preventing them from crossing the border. Before the latest influx, there were some 300,000 Darfur refugees in Chad. (Radio Dabanga [eastern Chad], 17 May 2013)
• A severe food crisis has broken out at camp Jebel for Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad after the World Food Programme (WFP) had replaced the edible wheat for another dark variety since the beginning of this month. The new variety has been rejected by the refugees, according to the Omda who is the head of the camp. He said that a National Committee for Refugees’ Reception had led to mediation between the refugees and the WFP to resolve the dilemma, but this has had no effect thus far. The Omda criticised WFP officials for avoiding finding a solution and “forcing the refugees to eat this wheat as a staple food.” He also denounced that the provision of flour mixture has been stopped since last April. “The distribution is due to be resumed next October, but we were not given any clarifying reason for that decision.” The Omda explained that the refugees refuse to use the new wheat as a staple food. “It is not suitable do be ground into the Darfuri porridge called Asida.” He demanded via Radio Dabanga that the WFP take the situation of the refugees into account but supplying appropriate grain. He also asked that they assist to provide for their educational and water needs. (WFP change prompts food crisis in Chad camp for Darfur refugees, Radio Dabanga, Jebel camp [Eastern Chad], 14 June 2013)
III. LOSS OF HUMANITARIAN ACCESS, TRAVEL ACCESS, AND CIVILIAN ACCESS TO FARMLANDS OCCUPIED BY ARAB MILITIAS
• Several buses and vehicles en route to Girayda have been held by security authorities in Nyala since Thursday. The measure is in place after pro-government militiamen opened fire on several buses in the vicinity of Abu Jabera in the past week. According to sources, people in Girayda are suffering as a result of the roadblock. They are entirely dependent on these vehicles for the transport of commodities, especially after the deteriorating security situation prompted smaller vehicles to discontinue their service three months ago. (Security authorities impose roadblock in Nyala, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Nyala, South Darfur, 26 May 2013)
• A sheikh of El Salam camp near Nyala said pro-government militia blocked on Friday a road connecting the site to Bielel locality. On the same day, he added, militiamen cut off the road connecting Tabeldia and Umm Gonja villages, also in South Darfur. Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya told Radio Dabanga that pro-government militia invaded El Salam camp on Thursday night and began firing shots in the air “inciting fear in the hearts of the displaced.” The next morning, the gunmen closed off the two roads preventing residents of El Salam from going to work or shopping at the Bielel weekly Friday market. (Pro-government militia blocks road near South Darfur camp, Radio Dabanga, El Salam camp, 24 May 2013)
Denial of access to farmlands:
• A group of ten displaced women have been beaten and whipped by “armed pro-government militiamen” as they tended their farms near to Kassab camp in Kutum, North Darfur. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga this week that the women were forcibly lashed. The militiamen then reportedly threatened to kill the women “because they keep farming and are no longer afraid of being whipped.” A woman activist from camp Abu Suruj in Sirba locality, West Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that the systematic beating of displaced farmers by “herders and pro-government militias” is contributing to the food crisis in the camps. She confirmed that the whipping continues, and appealed to pastoralists and farmers “to avoid the frictions that occur during the planting season.” (Militia and Herders Beat Darfuri Women for Farming Land, Radio Dabanga, Kutum, 21 June 2013)
• The citizens of Sirba locality in West Darfur have complained that new settlers have seized their agricultural lands and are preparing to cultivate them. Locals told Radio Dabanga that they refuse to give up their lands, and that they consider its seizure by the new settlers to be an infringement on their rights. They accused government agencies of “supporting the new settlers without a legitimate right.” The seized lands are located in the east of Sirba including areas of Kourki, Tenjeki and Gozbanat, the areas of north-west Sirba including Donta, Goz Siggait and Drankola, and some areas in Jidad administrative units including Ras Jamal, Aish Barra, Hai Jadeed and Heijaji Iieda. A Sirba farmer reported to Radio Dabanga that the seized agricultural lands were now officially considered “grazing and agricultural paths.” He denied that any lands were previously classified for these purposes. (Radio Dabanga, Sirba Locality, West Darfur, 12 June 2013)
• Hundreds of displaced families who were returning to their areas of origin in South Darfur in connection with seasonal farming were forced to flee after large Misseriya crowds began arriving from different parts of the region. One of the farmers told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that they are “concerned” with the presence of these groups settling in Shattai, “especially because there are so many of them and they are armed.” The farmers fear for “disastrous” consequences if the Misseriya settle in their lands of origin. (Radio Dabanga, Shattai, South Darfur, 1 May 2013)
• As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, tensions have risen between farmers and armed herdsmen during the planting season, with farmers complaining of armed militiamen grazing camels and other livestock on their farms, and threatening them at gunpoint if they confront them. (Radio Dabanga, Sirba camp, 8 August 2013)
• A group of 13 displaced people have been assaulted by 16 “pro-government militiamen” as they tended their farms in the Wadi Tor area near Murnei camp in [formerly West] Darfur on Friday. A sheikh from the camp told Radio Dabanga that a displaced man was beaten and a displaced woman shot during the attack. Both were transported to Murnei hospital for treatment. The sheikh lamented that “this intimidation of farmers by militiamen is a daily ordeal for the displaced, who are just trying to grow some food. The militiamen just want to get them off the land.” The sheikh appealed to Unamid and the local authorities to put measures in place to protect the displaced from these attacks. (Displaced farmers attacked and injured by militiamen in Central Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Murnei camp, West Darfur, 23 June 2013)
IV. DIRECT ATTACKS ON DISPLACED PERSONS AND IDP CAMPS
Five pro-government militiamen detonated a grenade during a wedding celebration in Umm Dukhun, [formerly West] Darfur, critically injuring two of the guests, sources said. “The armed militiamen came to wedding and began firing gunshots in the air. We asked them to stop and join us in the celebrations. They got angry and detonated the grenade,” a relative of one of the victims said. The two wounded are being treated in the Umm Dukhun hospital, the source told Radio Dabanga.
Separately, militants attacked a man called Ahmed Ali, and a 65-year-old woman on Wednesday in Central Darfur’s Gemmeiza village, “seriously injuring them.” They were transferred to a hospital. The victims were working on their farms when the gunmen invaded their land and beat them with riffle butts and whips. Farmers have been facing fierce attacks by herders allegedly armed by the government. Sources often recount how gunmen invade farms and force their livestock into the properties. “If people try to resist, they are beaten or even threatened to death,” a source said. (Grenade blast during wedding injures two in Central Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Umm Dukhum, 14 August 2013
• The displaced inhabitants of Nazho camp in Bindisi locality, [formerly West] Darfur, are complaining about attacks, theft and harassment by “armed tribal militiamen who have entered and settled in the camp.” The area was the scene of violent inter-tribal clashes between the Misseriya and Salamat during the last week of July. (Complaints as armed tribal militias settle in Central Darfur camps, Radio Dabanga, [formerly West] Darfur, 7 August 2013)
• Pro-government militias are said to be “spread in an unprecedented way” around camps for displaced persons in South Darfur, having robbed a number of local residents by the roadside. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, witnesses said that especially residents of camps El Salam, Attash [also Otash] and Dreige—all located near the state capital Nyala—are affected. (Unprecedented spread of militiamen around South Darfur camps. Radio Dabanga, South Darfur, 2 August 2013)
• The displaced inhabitants of El Salam camp in Bielel locality, South Darfur, have reportedly been subject to a spate of beatings and robberies, with not even camp leaders left unscathed. “The pro-government militias have launched widespread assaults and lootings against the displaced persons entering and leaving El Salam camp,” said Sheikh Adam Mahjoub Tabaldiya, who regularly reports to Radio Dabanga. (El Salam Sheikh robbed, displaced beaten by militiamen in South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, El Salam camp, 29 July 2013)
• Five people have reportedly died, seven—including a child—wounded, and another three kidnapped in militia attacks in Kabakabiya, North Darfur on Monday and Wednesday. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that four armed militiamen rode their motorcycles into the livestock market in Kabkabiya on Monday evening “intent on theft.” (Marauding militias kill five, wound seven, kidnap three in North Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Kabkabiya, 31 July 2013)
• The High Committee for Inventory of Losses formed after an attack on camp Nertiti North in Central Darfur last week have assessed that the total losses amount to SDG2,750 million ($625 million). The attackers were reportedly elements of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) supported by pro-government militias. (Sheikhs tally losses after SAF raid on Nertiti camp in [formerly West] Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Nertiti camp, 19 June 2013)
• Formations of pro-government militias and government troops (SAF) allegedly attacked camp Nertiti North for displaced people in [formerly West] Darfur on Sunday night, killing a doctor, and injuring 15 residents. Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for the association of displaced persons and refugees of Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that government forces supported by militias launched the attack from all directions. “They used Land Cruiser vehicles and opened fire, killing Dr Adam Mohamed Hamid, medical director of the nutrition centre at the camp and wounding 15 others…. They also burned the camp’s nutrition centre.” (Doctor dead, 15 injured and 54 homes torched during attack on Nertiti North, [formerly West] Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Nertiti, 10 June 2013)
• A leader of Nertiti North camp for the displaced in Central Darfur has strongly denied to Radio Dabanga that there was an “exchange of fire” at the site, as stated by the UN earlier on Tuesday. The sheikh asserted that a statement by the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan “is invalid and completely untrue.” The UN statement as quoted by Radio Dabanga refers to “an exchange of fire.” The camp leader insists that it was a unilateral shooting by government forces. “All the displaced people of Nertiti know for sure that there were no clashes at the camp,” the sheikh said. “The victims were simply attacked by the government army.” (Shooting at Nertiti North camp in Central Darfur was no exchange of fire: Sheikh, Radio Dabanga, Nertiti, 11 June 2013)
• In a separate incident on Tuesday morning, “pro-government militiamen” attacked the village of Karendy Kaslo, about 20 kilometres south of Kass in South Darfur. Fleeing villagers told Radio Dabanga that the attack seemed to be retribution for a confrontation between a village trader and several militiamen who attempted to rob his shop on Monday evening. (Radio Dabanga, El Fasher/Kass, North Darfur, 31 July 2013)
• A resident of Kenjara village in North Darfur was allegedly tortured and shot dead in a camp of the Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) in Tawila on Saturday. Sources affirmed such executions have been occurring often in the area. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that Nasser Omar was travelling from El Fasher to Tawila. When he arrived at the gate of the camp he lives, government forces arrested him. They then took him to a garrison that the Abu Tira, under the command of Major Al Hadi, share with government forces. The sources said that Omar was accused of “supporting rebel groups.” Government soldiers first tortured him severely before shooting him and tossing his body into a street in Tawila. (Civilians tortured, killed for supporting rebels in North Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Tawila, North Darfur, 28 May 2013)
• Three displaced people were injured on Sunday when Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira) soldiers reportedly invaded Dreige camp near Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. During the 08:00pm attack, the soldiers beat displaced residents of the camp and stole a considerable amount of money as well as some mobile phones. (Abu Tira injure three in Dreige camp, Radio Dabanga, Dreige camp, South Darfur, 28 May 2013)
• Two displaced men from Kalma camp near Nyala in South Darfur were shot dead by pro-government gunmen on Friday. The gunmen allegedly shot and robbed Mohamed Abdullah Adam and Abkar Adam Alnour as they were heading back to the camp from a nearby market. Kalma camp sheikh, Ali Taher, described the situation which displaced people are facing as “dangerous” and added that “UNAMID is not able to protect them.” A camp resident told Radio Dabanga that the gunmen are “Janjaweed” and have taken up a position in the valley between Al Salam and Kalma camps “to rob citizens and steal everything they come across.” He claimed that the security situation is “very bad” and that UNAMID is unable to protect them from the “Janjaweed.” (“Janjaweed” kill two in South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Kalma camp, 26 May 2013)
• Three members of the Sudanese Central Reserve Forces (Abu Tira) invaded a Central Darfur camp on Wednesday evening and looted many of its residents at gunpoint. Onlookers said the gunmen entered Bindisi camp at 8:00pm via its Beda neighborhood, located on the south side. They mostly robbed money and mobile phones from the displaced and fired gunshots in the air, a witness told Radio Dabanga. (Abu Tira forces loot displaced inside Central Darfur camp, Radio Dabanga, 25 April 2013)
• Pro-government militiamen opened fire on Friday on nine displaced persons from camp Murnei in West Darfur, critically injuring all of them. On the next day, militias “tortured” camps’ residents and robbed their belongings. A sheikh of Murnei camp told Radio Dabanga that pro-government militias riding 30 horses opened fire on nine farmers at the Jumjum valley, located near to the camp. The victims had their properties stolen and militias threatened to kill them if they returned to the area, the sheikh said. The wounded were transferred to Murnei for treatment. They include: Yaqoub Haroun, Yaqoub Younis Haroun, Aisha Ahmed Osman, Ammouna Mohamed Ahmed, Hassan Abbakar Mohamed, and Khamisa Adam Suleiman. On Saturday, residents of the Kendebe and Bir Kilab camps in West Darfur’s Sirba locality said that militias in military uniforms have been carrying out attacks in the area and firing gunshots in the air. A sheikh told Radio Dabanga the militants “tortured” several residents of Bir Kilab and stole their belongings. (Series of attacks by militias in West Darfur leave at least nine injured, Radio Dabanga, Murnei, West Darfur, 8 July 2013)
• The newly displaced people of Attash [also Otash] camp near Nyala in South Darfur have been subject to “a series of attacks by pro-government militias between Thursday and Saturday this week.” A sheikh of the camp told Radio Dabanga that the attacks have been carried out at night by militiamen dressed in the uniforms of the Sudanese Central Reserve Forces (known as Abu Tira). Abdul Naim Adam Mohamed was seriously injured when he was shot in the chest in one attack in which the militiamen allegedly stole 26 mobile phones, and 17 sheep and eight donkeys. Mohamed was transferred to Nyala hospital for treatment. The sheikh said that on Thursday evening, the same militiamen stole 11 mobile phones and five donkeys. (Livestock, mobile phones stolen in series of militia attacks in Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Attash [Otash] camp, 30 June 2013)
• Two displaced people, one a 12-year-old child, have died in two separate shooting incidents on Monday and Tuesday at Zalingei camp in [formerly West] Darfur state. The coordinator of the camps for the displaced at Zalingei told Radio Dabanga that the child, Ahmed Musa Adam was killed outright on Monday when pro-government militiamen allegedly opened fire inside the camp. The coordinator says that a report was filed with the police, but they have apparently “not moved to track down and arrest the perpetrators.” On Tuesday, Abdullah Osman was tending his farm near to the camp when he was shot dead and robbed, allegedly by pro-government militiamen. (Displaced child, adult shot dead in Zalingei, [formerly West] Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Zalingei camps, 7 August 2013)
• Displaced residents of Murnei camp in West Darfur were reportedly whipped and beaten by pro-government militiamen on Sunday night for sleeping on their farms. One of the sheikhs of the camp told Radio Dabanga that 13 farmers from Murnei were spending the night on their farms in the Jumjum area just to the west of the camp.
“The pro-government militia arrived at about midnight, riding camels and horses. They whipped and beat the displaced with rifle butts and sticks, causing them varying injuries,” the sheikh said. “The militia then stole all of their property and baggage, threatening to beat or even kill them if they return.” The sheikh said that two of the victims had serious injuries and were transported to hospital in Murnei for treatment. “This is the fifth time that this has happened in less than a month,” the sheikh complained, demanding from the authorities and Unamid to “put an end to violations and abuses by the militias by arresting those involved and bringing them to justice.” (Sleeping farmers whipped, robbed by militia in Darfur midnight raid, Radio Dabanga, Murnei, West Darfur, 2 July 2013)
• An advocacy group said six people were killed this week in different attacks perpetrated by unidentified armed men near Nyala, South Darfur, and called on the peacekeepers to hold up their mandate. In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, SUDO (UK) reported that unknown gunmen killed six internally displaced persons (IDPs) and wounded five others in three attacks carried out this week on civilians outside Nyala. According to the independent group, four IDPs, moving to Dereige IDP camp from their farms in Um Dirbahia, were killed 15Km North East of Nyala on Monday 24 June. On Tuesday 25 June, gunmen murdered two people outside their home in Korea area and Kass, which are inhabited by IDPs. (Gunmen kill 6 people outside Nyala, advocacy group says, Radio Dabanga, Khartoum, 28 June 2013)
• Several displaced residents of Manawashi in South Darfur were allegedly robbed on Thursday morning by pro-government militiamen. One of the victims told Radio Dabanga that three gunmen opened fire on their vehicle that was being used to transport firewood in the Alla Yastur area northeast of Manawashi. “The men robbed the displaced of all the money and goods they were carrying and fled.” The same victim recounted that a week ago, pro-government militiamen threatened three vehicles moving from Nyala on their way to Manawashi, forcing the owner of each vehicle to pay SDG1,200 ($270). “The pro-government militias practice looting and robbery on an ongoing basis,” he said, “despite the presence of police, army and UNAMID forces in the region.” The witness mentioned that the militias often impersonate forestry protection officers or local officials of the localities forcing displaced people who collect firewood to pay sums of money. “Last week, militiamen seized 12 carts being used by displaced students to collect wood. They took them to Niteaga locality area and forced them to pay SDG60 ($14) per each cart, on the pretext that they represented the locality.” (Displaced firewood collectors robbed in South Darfur, Manawashi, South Darfur, 28 June 2013)
V. AERIAL BOMBARDMENT OF CIVILIANS
• The death toll of air strikes allegedly carried out by the Sudanese Air Force in North Darfur’s East Jebel Marra rose from seven to nine, sources affirmed. On the occasion of the bombings on Dubbo al Omda, witnesses said the bombardment was so intense that people were simply not able to escape. Sources informed Radio Dabanga that two more bodies, belonging to the twin brothers Hassan Yahiya Mohamed and Hussein Yahiya Mohamed, 7, were found on Monday in the zone of Keyra, which belongs to the Dubbo al Omda administrative unit. “The shattered bodies were found among animal carcasses. The Sudanese Air Force continues bombing the area for a second day in a row,” a witness stated. (Radio Dabanga, East Jebel Marra, 12 August 2013)
• A 27-year-old woman and her two daughters of five and seven were killed when a “Sudanese Air Force Antonov” bombed their home on the outskirts of a village in East Jebel Marra on Sunday. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that Dar Naim Yahya (27), Hawa Saleh Abkar Savnier (7), and Miriyam Saleh Abkar Savnier (5) all died on Saturday when the aircraft dropped two bombs on their home as they were cooking in the courtyard. The bombing also reportedly killed seven cows and five sheep belonging to the family. Observers suspect that the bomber targeted the light of the cooking fire. (Radio Dabanga, East Jebel Marra, 16 June 2013)
• Three women have been killed and another three injured in reported aerial bombardments of Bir Abu Yassin, East Jebel Marra on Sunday and Monday. The raids also killed 37 cows and seven camels, and destroyed essential water installations, sources said. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that at 6:00pm on Sunday, a “Sudanese Air Force Antonov” made passes over the Rovata area, 35 kilometres west of Vananga, from various directions and dropped several bombs in a raid that was “very violent.” An even heavier raid reportedly followed at 11:15am on Monday, which destroyed three wells and a water pump installation. (Radio Dabanga, East Jebel Marra, 24 June 2013)
• Four displaced people were killed and nine others were seriously injured when “pro-government militiamen” allegedly opened fire on residents of Dreige camp in Nyala, capital of South Darfur on Saturday evening…. Multiple witnesses have told Radio Dabanga that a group of about 15 militiamen in Land Cruisers opened fire on the displaced people near Derabaya, 15 kilometres east of Nyala as they were returning to camp Dreige after collecting firewood. (Thousands protest in South Darfur after killing of four civilians in militia attack, Nyala, 24 June 2013)
VI. HEALTH AND PRIMARY CARE
• Kalma camp near Nyala in South Darfur has seen 89 new families arrive during the past three days. They are all fleeing the renewed Fur-Tarjam tribal clashes in the area. Sheikh Ali Taher of the camp told Radio Dabanga that 26 families arrived on Saturday and 36 on Monday. He described their situation as “dire” as they lack shelter, food and water. Many of the children have diarrhea. Sheikh Taher said that the situation at the camp is now “dangerous” and appealed to international NGOs to provide the new arrivals with food and shelter. At El Salam camp, also near Nyala, an as yet unidentified illness is causing coughing in both children and sheep. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya attributed the spread of the disease to a lack of food and shelter, especially as the rainy season has started.” (Looming rainy season threat of disaster at Nyala camps, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, South Darfur, 28 May 2013)
• The sheikh of a camp near Nyala, South Darfur, has told Radio Dabanga the deteriorating heath and sanitary conditions at the site have resulted in the death of four children, and caused four women to miscarry this week. In addition, five children have died of diarrhoea at a camp in the vicinity. Sheikh Abdul Karim Abakar of Attash [also Otash] camp says that as relief organisations have not yet provided support for the newly displaced to build houses, the four women concerned have only their own clothing to shelter themselves and their children from the sun. There is inadequate sanitation, which forces many of the displaced to defecate in the open, he said. Sheikh Abkar warned about the spread of disease at the camp, especially as more displaced people arrive every day. He made an urgent appeal to humanitarian aid organisations to “move quickly to save the sick….” The Attash camp is far from unique. An activist told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that five children have died of diarrhoea at Dreige camp where the disease is spreading fast. The activist warned of “an impending health disaster.” (Disease kills children, causes miscarriages in camps near Nyala, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Nyala, 22 May 2013)
• Camps for displaced persons near Nyala in South Darfur are in dire need of tarpaulins and tents with the approaching rainy season. The existing equipment is worn, broken, and offers inadequate protection “even from light rain.” Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for the association of displaced persons and refugees of Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that thousands of displaced people are living in the open, while the rain has already started in Darfur. On 5 May he said that a total of 41,441 families have arrived at Kalma since the beginning of March. Abu Sharati said that South Darfur camps lack tarpaulins, sanitary facilities, doctors, health centres and medicines to treat diarrhoea, vomiting, and other diseases that are affecting also pregnant women. (South Darfur humanitarian catastrophe as rainy season approaches, Radio Dabanga, Kalma camp, 15 May 2013)
• The influx of displaced persons from conflict zones to the south and east of Nyala has swamped capacities of camps in the area. Twelve children and two women have died over the course of last week at El Salam camp in Nyala, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya told Radio Dabanga. “The situation of the displaced is unbearable and the camp still lacks health services,” says Tabaldiya. He said most deaths occurred last week, and that two children died on Thursday. Diarrhoea, coughing, vomiting, and headaches are spreading fast, especially among children and the elderly, he said. (South Darfur camps swamped by new arrivals—14 die, Radio Dabanga, Nyala, 9 May 2013)
• Reports from Kalma camp for displaced persons near Nyala, capital of South Darfur, say that cases of acute diarrhoea are on the increase among residents of the camp. Dr Abdulkarim Abdullah, a physician at one of the camp’s clinics, says that at least 250 people visit the clinics each day complaining of acute diarrhoea. “Another cause for concern is vomiting and malnutrition among the children; all a result of the deteriorating sanitary environment and a lack of medicines,” he lamented. “This is aggravated by the influx of displaced persons and the rainfall at the camp. Antibiotics just can’t treat them anymore.” Dr Abdullah criticised the international organisations and the Ministry of Health for not providing medicines. “The health situation is far worse than it was, for example, in 2003 when the organisations operating in the area managed to supply medicines.” (Acute diarrhoea outbreak among South Darfur displaced, Radio Dabanga, Nyala camps, 5 July 2013)
• Four children have died of measles in El Salam camp for the displaced near Nyala, capital of South Darfur, and there are threats the camp “might have to be dismantled.” Speaking to Radio Dabanga on Friday, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya attributed the children’s deaths a lack of medicine, health care and a food shortage at the camp. Sheikh Tabaldiya reiterated that “the displaced are going through very difficult humanitarian and heath circumstances, especially children, women and the elderly.” He warned that “the camp might be dismantled from lack of food, medicine and due to organisations’ stoppage of food provision to displaced people,” the sheikh said, appealing to the authorities and humanitarian NGOs to urgently provide food for the displaced. Many of the displaced from across the Darfur camps have expressed concern about the spread of disease during the rainy season. A woman from Dreige camp in the same locality told Radio Dabanga that the heavy rains last week have “turned the camp into a pool of water,” which encourages the breeding of flies and mosquitoes. (Measles kills four children in El Salam camp, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Nyala camps, 22 July 2013)
• Reports of hardship, the spread of disease, shortages of food, clean drinking water, medical care and shelter continue to reach Radio Dabanga from the camps for the displaced throughout Darfur every day. Currently, the rainy season is adding to their challenges and increased demand during the holy month of Ramadan is reportedly raising prices beyond the reach of the impoverished displaced. The tenuous security situation in the region has also prompted many humanitarian NGOs to scale-down or completely stop operations in the camps.
A sheik of Zamzam camp near El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, complained of the deterioration of health conditions, the spread of diseases such as diarrhoea among children, and the breeding of flies. He attributed the situation to “the withdrawal from the camp of some of the organisations working in the field of health.” The sheikh told Radio Dabanga that more than 212,000 displaced rely on just one health unit that is working in Zamzam. “The unit opens at 6am and closes at 3pm. This means that outside of these hours, there are no health services for the displaced, who include many pregnant women, children and elderly who might require emergency treatment.” He pointed out that two large medical units that were previously serving the camp withdrew, and nothing has come to take their place.
Similar challenges face the displaced of the Zalingei camps in Central Darfur. The coordinator of the camps largely echoes his Zamzam counterpart in his concern over the spread of disease, as well as malnutrition. “Mosquitoes, flies and the deterioration of the environmental health lead to the spread of diarrhoea, malaria and other diseases, especially among children, pregnant women and the elderly,” he said. “The health centres see very large numbers of patients suffering from these diseases on a daily basis, and there have already been several deaths from disease.” (Floods, flies, fever and famine in Darfur camps, Radio Dabanga, Darfur camps, 24 July 2013)
• Three children and three pregnant women died on Saturday at Kalma camp for the displaced near Nyala, capital of South Darfur. Kalma camp’s Sheikh Ali Abdulrahman Al Taher told Radio Dabanga that Samira Isaac, Najat Ali, Amira Suleiman, all pregnant women, succumbed to disease at the camp on Saturday, while three children died of diarrhoea and vomiting. “These women died due to the lack of first aid and primary health care,” he lamented. The sheikh pointed out that about 100 toilets [latrines] have been closed, which means that the displaced must relieve themselves in the open. “This stimulates the breeding of flies and mosquitoes, which quickly spread diseases.” (Children, pregnant women die of disease at Kalma camp, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Kalma camp, 30 June 2013)
• The displaced residents of camp Marshang in South Darfur have complained of the high mortality rate among the elderly of the camp, as well as the spread of skin diseases, diarrhoea, and fever among children. The Sheikh of the camp told Radio Dabanga that the mortality rates among the elderly is increasing as a result of malnutrition and the lack of medicines. He said that the deteriorating health of the environment and persistent pools of standing water left by the heavy seasonal rains are promoting the spread of diseases such as malaria and skin disorders. “There has been a complete halt to any humanitarian relief organisations inside the camp, which amounts to a major disaster for the displaced,” the Sheikh said. (High mortality rate, fever among displaced of Marshang, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Marshang, South Darfur, 10 July 2013)
• Each day, an average of 100 displaced inhabitants of Kalma camp near Nyala in South Darfur visit the clinic of the American Refugee Committee (ARC) complaining of diarrhoea. Others suffer from conjunctivitis and there is a spread of influenza. ARC physician Dr Saleh Ahmed Ali told Radio Dabanga the spread of disease can be attributed to the deterioration of the environmental sanitation and rains in the camp. “Our organisation is anxious to provide medicines to the displaced and we predict that a supply will arrive in Nyala within the next few days.” The displaced at the nearby Attash [also Otash] camp are suffering similar ailments, with diarrhoea and vomiting among children as well as the spread of green flies in the camp. Sheikh Abdel Karim Abkar reported to Radio Dabanga on Thursday the spread of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting among children, warned of a health disaster in the camp due to the spread of green flies and appealed to the organizations working in the field of health and state health authorities to move to spray pesticides and bridge the pools of water. (Shortage of medicines as disease spreads in Darfur camps, Radio Dabanga, Nyala camps, 25 July 2013)
VII. FOOD AND MALNUTRITION
• Displaced people in Sirba locality of West Darfur have complained about insecurity in the camps due to repeated attacks by armed militias. The market of camp Armenkol has been closed for more than two weeks as a result of tensions and security threats. This is leading to a lack of food as it is too dangerous for people to go to the state’s capital El Geneina to shop because of the proliferation of militia. They have raised their complaints to multiple local authorities demanding the provision of security and an end to militia activity, but with few results. “Local authorities completely disregard the complaints of the displaced,” an Armenkol resident told Radio Dabanga. “The latest militia attack against us was on Wednesday. Militia assaulted and robbed displaced people who were returning to the camp from the market in Tendelti. On the same day, militia assaulted displaced people en route from Camp Saraf Jidad to Tendelti,” the resident said. (West Darfur: Insecurity in camps causing food shortage, Radio Dabanga, Sirba, West Darfur, 9 May 2013)
• In the camps of [formerly West] Darfur, displaced children are suffering from malnutrition and lack of food with no health organisations able to provide support. This is proving to be an added affliction, over and above the intense rainfall and deteriorating security situation that residents must cope with each day. A camp leader told Radio Dabanga that there are about 35 children suffering from malnutrition at Camp Khor Ramla and similar cases have been reported in Nertiti, El Salam and other camps south of Nertiti. He pointed out that due to a failure to reach an agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP), food ration distribution was suspended in the camps—a measure that has been in effect for almost two months. “This has created very difficult humanitarian conditions.” (Short rations make malnutrition rife among children in Central Darfur camps, Radio Dabanga, Nertiti camp, 30 May 2013)
• Frustrated with the “unfair” food distribution to non-displaced persons, 2,000 displaced women staged protests on Tuesday against the organization responsible for providing nourishment to North Darfur camps. Eleven people were arrested and eight were wounded, when police forces tried dispersing the crowd. Demonstrations took place in front of the main food distribution center of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), which residents of camp Dankoj blame for the problems. Two of its employees were wounded. Sources informed Radio Dabanga that the names of 6,000 displaced had “disappeared” from an official list and food rations had not been distributed to them in six months. Although they were aware their names were removed from the record, several women saw non-displaced persons who live in Saraf Omra city receiving food rations from SRCS. [The SRCS has a decidedly mixed record when it comes to providing humanitarian relief in an equitable and impartial fashion.] (2,000 women rally against unfair food distribution in Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Saraf Omra, 23 April 2013)
VIII. WATER AND SANITATION
• Large numbers of Sudanese refugees at camp Konokono in eastern Chad are enduring difficult conditions as they still lack plastic sheets at the beginning of the rainy season. The head of the camp, Issa Tijani, explained to Radio Dabanga that “nearly half of the population of the camp is living under difficult humanitarian conditions, as they live in the open without plastic sheets.” Tijani stressed that the camp leaders have “repeatedly requested them from humanitarian organisations without any clear response.” He requested that the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organisations to provide plastic sheeting as soon as possible. The Sudanese refugees at camp Fareshna, also in eastern Chad, have complained of the scarcity of drinking water at the camp. This is largely due to the shut-down of water stations…. (Water cuts, lack of shelter for many Sudanese refugees in Chad, Radio Dabanga, eastern Chad, 12 July 2013)
• Earlier this year, sources informed Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese government halted the work of half of the NGOs working at the ten camps around El Geneina on 1 January, transferring them to voluntary return villages and to the capital. Residents of the camps were said to be suffering due to a severe shortage of drinking water and deteriorating medical services, stating that the “government did not succeed in filling the vacuum that was created when the NGOs left.” Recently displaced persons living in four Marshang camps, South Darfur, have repeatedly complained about the scarcity of drinking water at the site. Although authorities investigated the technical problems, “they never returned to repair the machines,” a source said. (Severe water crisis at six camps in West Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Sirba, West Darfur, 7 May 2013)
• Displaced people from camps in Marshang locality in South Darfur must travel several kilometres each in order to fetch drinking water. A displaced resident of Tom Kitir camp explained to Radio Dabanga that the complaint about the lack of drinking water is acute, however, he says, official complaints have not been met with any response. “The displaced must travel to the villages, where the price of a tank of water has risen to SDG7 ($1.60). Just like the displaced of other camps in the locality, residents of Tom Kitir must fetch water from Hillet Omer, which is several kilometres away. With the rising price, they are also finding it increasingly hard to afford….” “Although we are thirsty and hungry, nobody seems to pay us any attention. The (humanitarian and aid) organisations have reduced our corn ration that is distributed during each autumn and have threatened to stop it altogether next autumn.” He appealed to all organisations working in the humanitarian field to provide for the basic needs of the displaced people of Marshang locality including shelter, food, water. (Displaced face long treks for scarce drinking water in South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Marshang Locality, 12 June 2013)
• The rainy season is increasing the suffering of about 60,000 newly displaced people in Kalma camp near Nyala in South Darfur. One of the leaders of the newly displaced at the camp Osman Abdulrahman Abu Al Gasim told Radio Dabanga that the displaced are distributed across three centres. “Centre One accommodates 3,600, Centre Eight accommodates about 40,000, with 17,000 settled at Centre Five,” he said. “The heavy rains have deepened the difficulty of their humanitarian condition, so there are severe shortages of food, shelter and a deterioration of health services,” he said. “There has been widespread criticism of the humanitarian organizations operating here,” he said, describing their work as “superficial.” “They provide no service or aid other than just registering names on papers,” Al Gasim lamented, appealing to international humanitarian organisations to provide “real humanitarian aid; both the old and the new displaced are dependent on it,” he said. (Conditions bleak for newly displaced in Kalma camp, South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Kalma camp, 12 July 2013)
• More than 46,000 displaced families in the area of Marshang, north of Nyala in South Darfur, are facing extremely harsh living conditions after aid organizations left the area in June 2011. Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for the displaced and refugees, told Radio Dabanga that more than 46,000 displaced families residing in camps in the northern part of the state are suffering from a severe scarcity of drinking water after the aid organizations were forced to leave on 9 June 2011 [three months after Khartoum’s expulsion from Darfur of 13 international relief organizations]. (Marshang camps’ conditions deteriorating, Radio Dabanga, Marshang, 12 May 2013)
• At least 14 people were killed, including seven children and two women, as 874 houses collapsed due to heavy rain and flood on Sunday evening at the Kalma camp of South Darfur. Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for the Association of Displaced Persons and Refugees of Darfur, informed the names of most victims to Radio Dabanga. (874 houses collapse in South Darfur camp killing 14 people, Radio Dabanga, Darfur, 12 August 2013)
IX. RECENT TRIBAL AND ETHNIC CONFLICT
• Tensions between the Abbala [Northern Rizeigat] and Beni Hussein tribes have closed the vital road link between Saraf Omra and Al Sareif Beni Hussein localities in North Darfur. As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, renewed clashes between the tribes resulted in a suspension of the secure goods and petrol convoys between Saraf Omra and Al Sareif Beni Hussein over the weekend, which has caused shortages. The closure of the road has also isolated the areas from the rest of Darfur. According to witnesses from Saraf Omra city, authorities decided to close the market entirely on Monday, as the tensions prompted militiamen to enter the city and attempt to loot the market, as well as rob passers-by of mobile phones and money
Multiple witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the city of Al Sareif Beni Hussein “is witnessing a state of anticipation and caution.” Civilians are staying indoors to avoid groups of militants—this despite the arrival of a senior government delegation headed by the Deputy Governor of North Darfur Fateh Abdul Aziz and the President of the Council of States team Adam Hamid Musa to assess on situation. They held a meeting on Sunday on the need to address the conflict and create peace between the tribes, and contain the latest crisis, which broke out on Friday. The two tribes fought violently earlier this year over control of the Jebel ‘Amer gold mine in Al Sareif Beni Hussein locality, leaving about 500 people dead. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people were displaced. (Tribal tensions close vital road in North Darfur, Radio Dabanga, al-Sareif Beni Hussein/Saraf Omra, 24 June 2013)
• Several members of the Gimr tribe have reportedly been wounded, and a number of homes torched in renewed clashes between the Gimr and Beni Halba tribes in South Darfur. According to a spokesman from the Gimr tribe, 50 “Beni Halba gunmen” in vehicles and on motorcycles, descended on Gimr areas of Shaatir, Al Buhaira, and Abu Krakir in Katayla locality, South Darfur on Monday, wounding several members of the Gimr tribe, as well as torching numerous homes. “Due to this new upsurge in violence, the Gimr hereby cancel any peace agreements made,” spokesman Abkar Al Toum told Radio Dabanga. “The Beni Halba are using this opportunity to perpetrate genocide on the Gimr.” Al Toum told Radio Dabanga that this attack occurred in spite of the presence of special forces sent by Khartoum to occupy a buffer zone between the two parties. “The attack was possible because on Sunday evening, the special forces withdrew eastwards,” Al Toum said. (Accusations of “genocide” as Beni Halba, Gimr clash again in South Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Katalyla, South Darfur, 24 June 2013)
• The renewed violence between Misseriya and Salamat tribesmen has left “dozens dead and wounded in the Abugaradil region” of [formerly West] Darfur, witnesses have told Radio Dabanga. According to several witnesses, the clashes broke out during the day on Tuesday in Abugaradil area and spread to the nearby area of Al Guerle. They reported seeing “dozens of bodies and wounded people” as a result of fighting in which various kinds of weapons were used, including rifles and Land Cruisers mounted with “Dushka” machine guns. In the meantime, Misseriya and Salamat leaders continued the Reconciliation Conference in Zalingei, that was convened on 3 June, but has not yet produced concrete results. The main stumbling block is apparently agreement over compensation levels for losses sustained during the original violence….
Human Rights Watch in a report released last week says that Abugaradil town and neighbouring villages saw 2,800 buildings torched, which corresponds to 88 percent of structures in the whole area. Similar accounts have also been provided by local witnesses to Radio Dabanga numerous times since the conflict started. Tensions erupted in Umm Dukhun when a member of the Misseriya tribe allegedly tried to rob a Salamat man, who was not hurt. Hostilities broke out the next day when 4,000 men from opposing sides began battling each other. Clashes then spread north and to South Darfur. The UNHCR said that more than 50,000 people fled to Chad as a result. Human Rights Watch and Radio Dabanga both indicated, based on witnesses’ accounts, the participation of Ali Kushayb, a suspected war criminal wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), in the same battles. Kushayb, a member of the South Darfuri Al Taaysha tribe, fought alongside the Misseriya against the Salamat in [formerly West] and South Darfur. (Dozens killed, wounded in new Misseriya-Salamat violence in [formerly West] Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Abugaradil, 25 June 2013)
• At least 9 people were killed and dozens fled their homes when violence erupted between Al-Gimir and Bani Halba tribes in the town of Katela in South Darfur. The special force which was deployed by the federal government in Khartoum to create a buffer zone between the two tribes has retreated to Edd al-Fursan locality following the outbreak of clashes. The spokesperson of Al-Gimir tribe, Abakar al-Tom, has issued a press statement accusing Bani Halba tribe of attacking them from three directions including Shateen, Buhairat, and Abu Garageer areas which lie 17 Kilometers west of the headquarters of Katela locality. He said the attackers used 10 four-wheel drive vehicles as well as motorcycles and horses, pointing that the retreat of the special force to Edd al-Fursan locality aided the assailants. Al-Tom further disclosed that 9 members of Al-Gimir tribe were killed in the attack and dozens of houses destroyed in Shateen area and accused Bani Halba tribe of violating the truce between the two tribes four times, describing the security situation in the area as “fragile.” Similar clashes between the two tribes took place last month leaving dozens dead or injured from both sides. Tribal clashes have recently mounted in Sudan’s Darfur region. Over 40 people were killed and about 45 others injured in fresh clashes between Al-Salamat and Misseriya tribes in [formerly West] Darfur state this week. (Fresh tribal clashes break out in Darfur, Radio Dabanga, South Darfur, 25 June 2013)
• Reports from Al Sareif Beni Hussein in North Darfur say that the town is still besieged by Abbala [Northern Rizeigat] tribesmen. Local sources said that 62 members of the Beni Hussein tribe were buried in a mass grave in Al Sareif Beni Hussein city on Thursday. The sources said the Beni Hussein were killed “in an ambush by Abbala in an area four kilometres north of Al Sareif city.” They added the Abbala stole “between 3,000 and 4,000 head of cattle” on the same occasion. Representatives of UNAMID, who according to sources have documented the recent incidents in the area, said that 24 wounded arrived at the hospital of Al Sareif, while more than 20 people from the Beni Hussein tribe are still missing. Speaking to Radio Dabanga from Al Sareif, a source said “all the roads leading to the town are completely closed while an atmosphere of sadness, wariness and anticipation of renewed clashes hangs over the region,” according to witnesses who spoke to Radio Dabanga. [Both the Beni Hussein and “Abbala”/Northern Rizeigat are Arab tribes.]
Beni Hussein leader Al Nour Sayer Mohamed told Radio Dabanga from Al Sareif that “the Abbala invited groups of Chadian Arabs on more than 75 vehicles and horses to attack the Beni Hussein north of Al Sareif, killing a large number, and looting of thousands of livestock.” Sayer said that bodies of the dead are still on the battlefield and there are others who are wounded or missing following the clashes that broke out on Wednesday, but said that the estimate of the actual number of casualties is still ongoing….
[The local omda] suggested that villages and the countryside of Darfur are being torched and destroyed, and “maybe soon everyone will have moved to cities because there are no more villages.” Afflicted citizens of Al Sareif appealed to the government to intervene and protect Sudanese civilians. The Beni Hussein leader told Radio Dabanga: “if the government consider us to be people of Sudan then we Sudanese are supposed to receive protection and security.” He appealed to the United Nations and the Security Council to immediately intervene. “Al Sareif is in urgent and immediate need of aid,” he said.
In the nearby town of Saraf Omra, the market was closed on Thursday after the arrival of “a large number of four-wheel-drive vehicles belonging to the Abbala,” witnesses said.
Due to “fear and tension that currently prevails in the region” because of the Abbala-Beni Hussein conflicts, citizens and traders are said to have “rushed to shut down the market the moment the Abbala entered the city….” The Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes fought violently earlier this year over control of the Jebel ‘Amer gold mine in Al Sareif Beni Hussein locality, leaving at least 500 people killed. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people were displaced. (Beni Hussein bury 62 in North Darfur following tribal violence, Radio Dabanga, North Darfur, 27 June 2013)
• Tension has reportedly been increasing between the Rezeigat and Maaliya tribes in Kulaykili Abu Salama in Assalaya locality, [formerly South] Darfur, prompting people to flee the area. According to reports by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) from community leaders in Ed Daein, the tension is related to a dispute over land ownership. Last week some 200 people from the Maaliya tribe arrived in Abu Karinka locality from Kulaykili Abu Salama fearing possible clashes between the two tribes, according to the Commissioner of Abu Karinka. In El Ferdous locality, tension between two Rezeigat clans has led to the displacement of 275 people from Keka Barra village, south of El Fardus town, to Khor Omer camp, according to findings from a recent inter-agency mission. “The newly displaced arrived in the camp three weeks ago leaving behind all their household goods” the report says. “They are in need of water, food, non-food relief supplies, education and sanitation assistance.” According to tribal leaders, the people fled their homes “after one of their relatives killed a man from the other clan.” The leaders say they are unable to return to their homes until the situation is resolved through the traditional tribal dispute settlement system. [Both the Rezeigat and Maaliya are Arab tribal groups] (Nearly 500 flee inter-tribal tensions in East Darfur, Radio Dabanga, Assalaya, [formerly South] Darfur, 19 July 2013)
• In the nearby state North Kordofan, tribal tensions have mounted between the Kababeesh and Jabal Hamra tribes in the town of Sudari against the backdrop of a dispute over a gold exploration site. An eyewitness said that tribesmen have taken up arms in anticipation of possible clashes, saying that the town is sliding towards a new tribal conflict. A tribal leader and an MP told reporters yesterday that the two tribes are mobilizing their members and called on the government to immediately put an end to the escalation.
[With astonishing and vicious irony, the same dispatch reports president al-Bashir declaring:]
“Some people inside the tribes work to instigate the conflicts” he said, warning against the danger of such moves. North Kordofan state which forms part of Sudan’s commercial heartland, is a hub for the country’s agriculture, livestock and gum Arabic industries. The state has witnessed security disturbances when rebels of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) launched surprise attack on the town of Um Rawaba.
(Tribal tensions in North Kordofan, Sudan Tribune, 26 June 2013)