Recent Violence in Darfur Shows Just How Insecure the Region Remains
Eric Reeves | April 12, 2018 | https://wp.me/s45rOG-8591
Despite the claims by the UN and African Union of improving security in Darfur—based on the incompetent and grossly inadequate reporting of the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)—a steady stream of reports from the ground provided by Radio Dabanga reveals that insecurity remains the defining feature in the lives of millions of people in Darfur, both in camps for the displaced and in rural areas, including villages and smaller towns. Violence over the past month has been continuous, has displaced more than 50,000 people, and revealed yet again the dangers that face any displaced persons seeking to return to their villages and lands—or even new “villages” built by Khartoum as a means of justifying the impending camps closures and dismantlings.
The UN and AU would have it that “the continued improvement of security situation creates favourable circumstances for the withdrawal of more peacekeepers from Darfur” (Sudan Tribune, April 8, 2018 [Khartoum]); but this is expedient mendacity, not an effort to present an accurate picture of Darfur today but to justify further reductions in the highly expensive UNAMID when the UN Security Council debates renewing the Mission in two months. Desperate to end a Mission that represents the most disastrous episode in UN peacekeeping history—and one of the most expensive, extending over more than ten years—and equally eager to placate the Khartoum regime, the UN and AU are simply ignoring what Radio Dabanga is reporting, with an enormous roster of reporting sources on the ground in Darfur (see below).
Fighting in the Deribat area of East Jebel Marra (as it extends into South Darfur) between rebel forces of the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdel Wahid (SLA/AW) and Khartoum’s regular and militia forces (primarily the Rapid Support Forces) began in early March. The fighting soon was used by Khartoum’s forces to conduct a wholesale assault on the area (see map below | many of the locations noted in the Radio Dabanga dispatches appear in the Deribat insert, with Deribat, Feina, and Leiba (also Libei) highlighted because of their prominence in so many dispatches). Civilians were the primary victims, and more than 50,000 are reported to have been displaced, many into caves where living conditions are appalling, with morbidity and mortality rising rapidly.
Attacks on civilians have been indiscriminate and savagely cruel, as suggested by several dispatches; Radio Dabanga also reports the barbaric treatment of sheikhs representing the authority of the non-Arab/African people who are the targets of Khartoum’s current offense in the Deribat area.
The past month has also seen considerable violence directed against those who attempt to return to their lands in a number of locations in Darfur. This puts displaced persons in an impossible situation: “return” to face intolerable violence or stay in camps that are designated for destruction. If Khartoum is not removed from the U.S. State Department’s annual listing of “State Sponsors of Terrorism,” we may expect no restraint from the forces of an outraged Khartoum regime, which feels it has met all the benchmarks laid out by the Obama and Trump administration for “normalized” relations between Washington and the génocidaires who feel in any event entitled to continue their deadly campaign in Darfur.
There are frequent reports of fires; and while most are caused by cooking in the dangerous circumstances of camps that are often flimsy tinderboxes, arson is strongly suspected in a number of cases—for it is an easy way to make camp life intolerable. Of a fire in Al Salaam camp near Nyala, residents are reported by Radio Dabanga (April 1, 2018; below) as saying, “the authorities are behind the fire. The government wants to impoverish the displaced as they intend to dismantle the camp.”
What amounts to continuing genocidal violence in Darfur—with both regular and militia forces frequently targeting non-Arab/African populations throughout the region—has entered its sixteenth year. The UN and African Union wish the problem of Darfur would simply go away, and are prepared to extend their willful ignorance of realities to the point where the meager security provided in some locations by UNAMID will be further compromised in the June 2018 Security Council review.
It is impossible to imagine a more expedient and callous international response than the one we have seen for the past decade…and that continues to this very day:
The best map of the region that is central to the majority of the dispatches below is UN OCHA’s September 2012 map of “Sudan: Central Darfur – Administrative Map”: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/map_2981.pdf
[Locations, including village and town names, that appear in the dispatches below are highlighted in bold orange, as are events of particular note or revealing brutality—ER]
• Mother dead, child loses legs in Jebel Marra RPG blast Radio Dabanga, April 11, 2018 | DERIBAT, SOUTH DARFUR (EAST JEBEL MARRA)
A woman was killed and a child lost both of his legs in the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) – part of a barrage fired from the headquarters of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) based in Deribat in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra on Monday night. One of the victims’ family members told Radio Dabanga that the dead woman, Hawa Yahya Suleiman, fled with others to the mountains after the government forces attacked Sawani village two weeks ago.
He said that she and her 12-year-old son Ayoub Husein were sleeping rough in the mountains when they were hit by a shell coming from government forces at 9:00 pm on Monday night. Hawa died instantly and Ayoub lost both legs. He said government forces might have seen the light from a battery flashlight at night, to which they responded by strafing the area and firing a barrage of bombs in that direction that continued for about half an hour. He condemned the shelling as an atrocity, as there are no legitimate military targets, only civilians taking refuge in the mountain caves.
An estimated 50,000 people displaced by recent fighting between government troops and rebels in Darfur’s Jebel Marra, are reportedly taking refuge in mountain caves in the Libei area. Last week, voluntary work activists estimated the number of those fleeing their villages in the eastern areas of Jebel Marra after the government attacks at about 50,000. Activists told Radio Dabanga that these civilians have been displaced from the areas of Sawani, Terongafogi, Owru, and Rokona after the government attack and the battles with the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW).
• 80-year-old Sheikh “barbarically tortured to death” in Jebel Marra | Radio Dabanga, April 11, 2018 | LIBEI (East Jebel Marra/Southeast of DERIBAT)
An 80-year-old sheikh has died in the custody of the Sudanese government forces in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra. He allegedly succumbed after severe torture. Local notables have branded his killing as “barbaric.” Sheikh Mousa Osman, nicknamed ‘Mousa Simbi’, was allegedly killed by severe torture at the headquarters of the government forces stationed at Libei area in East Jebel Marra. Sheikh Mousa, who is about 80 years old, a normal resident of Libei, was arrested without charge and beaten to death. His body was transferred to the army command in Manawashi.
Notables and activists in East Jebel Marra condemned the incident and described it as barbaric and immoral by the government army towards the citizens. The area of Libei is accommodating more than 50,000 people who have fled from the neighbouring areas because of the military confrontations between the government forces and militias and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur. Activists said the fleeing civilians are still living without services in the open and caves after their villages had been burned.
• Gunmen shoot, rob voluntary returnees in South Darfur | Radio Dabanga, April 9, 2018 | GIREIDA
A community leader sustained bullet wounds in an attack by gunmen on voluntary returnees in Gireida locality in South Darfur on Saturday. “Five gunmen ambushed a group of displaced from the Gireida camps on Saturday evening,” one of the victims reported to Radio Dabanga. “The people were on their way back to Um Balola village.” “Omda Ahmed Ali who was heading the returnees was hit by bullets. The attackers the seized our money and mobile telephones, and fled,” he said. “The omda is currently being treated in the Nyala Teaching Hospital.”
• Militiamen arrest, beat man and boy in Central Darfur | Radio Dabanga, April 10, 2018 | NIERTETI / EAST JEBEL MARRA
Militiamen beat a boy and a man after arresting them in a market in Central Darfur on Saturday. In Jebel Marra, gunmen burned sacks of charcoal during a robbery. Mohamed Adam Omar, aged 57, and 13-year-old Hussein Mohamed Adam were beaten by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) after they arrested them at Gurni market in Nierteti locality, Central Darfur. Witnesses at Gurni market told Radio Dabanga that seven militia members arrived in the market in a Land Cruiser with a Dushka machine gun mounted on top. Mohamed, who works as a butcher in the market, was arrested together with his assistant. “They were taken to an unknown destination,” a witness said. “The same day both of them were transferred to Nierteti hospital in a poor health condition.” Mohamed Adam Omar was in a coma at the time of reporting yesterday.
Robbery Jebel Marra
Gunmen have stolen donkeys and have burned 50 sacks of charcoal meant for sale at El Aradib El Ashara in eastern Jebel Marra. A listener told Radio Dabanga that the incident took place on Sunday night at a charcoal factory, operated by Hamid Ibrahim, Abu Bakr Eisa, Adam Yacoub and Mohamed Younis. A source confirmed that armed herders, who arrived on camels, opened fire into the air before they set fire to the charcoal sacks and stole four donkeys from the workers.
• Darfur displaced: ‘We cannot return as long as our land is occupied’ | Radio Dabanga, April 9, 2018 | KALMA CAMP
Last week, the residents of Kalma camp in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, briefed a US government delegation about the situation of the displaced in the region and the reasons why they still cannot return to their areas of origin. “The American delegation met with the camp administration in the presence of the deputy director of UNAMID in South Darfur,” Yagoub Abdallah, the general coordinator of the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association told Radio Dabanga.
“The US representatives inquired about the voluntary repatriation programme, whether people had returned already, and as well about the reasons preventing the displaced from returning to their villages,” he reported.
The displaced told the delegation that only a small number of people returned to their areas last year and early this year. “But they soon returned to the camp because of the aggression they met from militiamen and new settlers.” “We explained the American visitors that apart from the insecurity still caused by the many militiamen in the region, the presence of new, armed settlers is preventing the displaced to return to their villages.
“The new settlers, consisting of Arab herders from Darfur or migrants from Chad or Niger, are occupying our lands with the support of the authorities,” the camp leader said. “These settlers assault anyone who tries to return to their village.”
The displaced further told the American delegation that the government is still continuing its war against the Darfuris. “Government militiamen are now burning villages in Jebel Marra.” The camp leaders handed the US representatives a memorandum in which they had listed their concerns (attached below). They called on the USA and the international community to provide protection to the displaced people in Darfur, to pressure the Sudanese government to stop distributing land to investors and new settlers, and to press for the arrest of all of those indicted by the International Criminal Court.
• Darfur: 50,000 civilians taking refuge in Jebel Marra caves | Radio Dabanga, April 5, 2018 | LIBEI
An estimated 50,000 people displaced by recent fighting between government troops and rebels in Darfur’s Jebel Marra, are reportedly taking refuge in mountain caves in the Libei area. Voluntary work activists estimated the number of those fleeing their villages in the eastern areas of Jebel Marra after the government attacks at about 50,000. Activists told Radio Dabanga that these civilians have been displaced from the areas of Sawani, Terongafogi, Owru, and Rokona after the government attack and the battles with the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW).
Activists said the civilians in the caves are sleeping on stones with no water or food. The association of displaced people and refugees said that the government attacks have led to the burning of 11 villages and displacement of their residents, confirming that the humanitarian organisations and UNAMID have not arrived to provide help. The spokesman of the association Hussein Abusharati called on them via Radio Dabanga to urgently rescue the civilians and provide them with food and medicine.
• Second deadly attack in Darfur’s Jebel Marra in days | Radio Dabanga, April 3, 2018 | DUBO EL OMDA
A man was killed by gunmen near Dubo El Omda in eastern Jebel Marra on Monday morning. A displaced man in Central Darfur has been abducted. Armed men shot and killed Abdelshafi Eisa Mohamed near Rabkona, 15 km south of Dubo El Omda, on Monday morning. The attack occurred two days after two villagers were killed by armed herders west of Dubo El Omda. A family member of Eisa Mohamed told Radio Dabanga that seven gunmen on camels intercepted him as he was on his way to a water well to fetch water for his cattle. He was killed on the spot.
The attackers seized twelve cows and a horse and fled.
On Monday morning, Abdelaziz Abdelrahman Musa from Hasahisa camp for displaced people in Central Darfur’s Zalingei was kidnapped by gunmen while he went out to collect firewood. Central Darfur camp coordinator El Shafi Abdallah told this station that five gunmen on horses intercepted Abdelrahman Musa at gunpoint and took him to an unknown destination.
Renewed attacks on villages in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra leave 11 dead | Radio Dabanga, April 2, 2018 | SAWANI
At least 11 people were killed and 21 others were injured in attacks by paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on villages in South Darfur’s East Jebel Marra on Saturday.
Multiple sources told Radio Dabanga that members of the RSF, Sudan’s main militia, riding in 18 vehicles and others on more than 50 motorcycles, backed by gunmen on more than 100 camels and horses, attacked villages in the area of Sawani on Saturday morning.
Villages in the area of Terongafogi and Owru, 10 kilometres northeast of Libei, were attacked as well, causing the people to flee to nearby valleys and mountain tops. After plundering the villages, the attackers set fire to the houses. They took with them hundreds of livestock as well, the sources reported. The sources mentioned three children among the 11 people that were killed during the attack on Sawani: Adam Teirab (5), Ezzeldin Ali (7) and Hawa Yousef (8). Sara Omar (4), Ibrahim Hamid (7), Abdelbasit Ali (8), Shamseldin Adam (9), Adam Ahmed Mohamed (13), Jamal Mahmoud (25), and Abdelazim Abakar (27) went missing according to a villager who fled from Sawani.
On Friday, government forces launched an attack on Sawani and Rokona in East Jebel Marra. Both areas are strongholds of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW). The clashes between the two sides continued on Saturday. Mohamed Abdallah El Nayer, the spokesman for the SLM-AW, said in a statement on Sunday that the rebels managed to defeat the government forces. They forced them to flee the battlefields leaving their dead, destroyed vehicles, and seized a large quantity of weapons and ammunition. Four rebel fighters, including a commander, were killed.
El Nayer said that tens of villages burned to ashes. Thousands of people are hiding in caves and valleys in the area “in a catastrophic humanitarian situation. They lack food, medicines, and shelter.”
According to the statement, the government forces are continuing the government’s “scorched earth policy, for the purpose of demographic change through forced displacement.”
On March 9, army and militia forces attacked the area of Jawa, south of Deribat in East Jebel Marra, in an attempt to clear the region of the last rebel strongholds. Five days later, fighting erupted in the areas of Feina and Dawa. Thousands of people were displaced. Sources said that the government forces succeeded to completely take over the area of Feina.
According to reports on Thursday, the militia troops began to withdraw to El Malam and Umelgura which are the headquarters and home-town of RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan (aka Hemeti). According to activists in southeast Jebel Marra, the thousands of villagers stranded in mountain caves are in dire need of humanitarian aid. They called on UNAMID in South and North Darfur “to assume their responsibility and move immediately to the areas of Libei, Sawani, and Terongafogi where the fighting is ongoing.”
The activists further called on the government of South Darfur and UNAMID “to rapidly access the area of Feina area that was attacked last week, to rescue the people hiding [there] in mountain caves east Jebel Marra, and the area of Barkoro in North Darfur which was attacked on Friday.” They said that the people may die from hunger and thirst “if UNAMID does not come to protect them soon.”
The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has strongly condemned the renewed fighting in East Jebel Marra and the attacks on “innocent civilians” in the region. In a statement on Sunday, the DBA denounced the clashes “that reached its peak on March 30 and 31, in the areas of Sawani, Rokona, and Feina”, and “forced hundreds of elderly, women and children to resort to valleys, trenches, slopes, and caves of the mountains.”
The Darfur lawyers appealed to the international community “to force the parties to respect the rights of innocent civilians, guaranteed by national laws, charters, and international conventions.” They called on relief organisations to provide urgent assistance to the victims of the conflict.
The DBA also urged the international community to compel the government in Khartoum “to respect its extended cease-fire.”
On Wednesday, President Omar Al Bashir issued a decree extending the government’s unilateral cease-fire in the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile states) for another three months. Al Bashir said that the purpose of the cease-fire extension is to stabilise the country.
• Two injured in militia attack on North Darfur returnee village | Radio Dabanga, April 2, 2018 | TAWILA
Two formerly displaced people were wounded in a shooting in Turbo village in North Darfur’s Tawila on Saturday. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the Sheikh of Turbo reported that militiamen riding in two Land Cruisers and others on camels began shooting at the village at about 9 pm.
Maryam Eisa (12) and Abdelmajid Haroun sustained bullet wounds, he said. After the villagers fled their homes, the attackers left, taking with them about 17 sheep and three donkeys. Turbo lies 15 km south of Dubo El Omda in Tawila locality. The sheikh said that about 30 families returned from the Shadad camp for the displaced near Shangil Tobaya a month and a half ago. He added that the same militiamen as well stole seven horses and carts belonging to residents of the camp who went out to collect firewood near the camp on Saturday morning.
• South Darfur camp market destroyed by fire | Radio Dabanga, April 1, 2018 | NYALA
A huge fire that broke out at the market of El Salam camp for the displaced near the South Darfur capital of Nyala, has destroyed more than 450 shops. “The fire erupted at the market at 3 am on Friday. Because of the strong wind, the flames could spread rapidly,” one of the victims told Radio Dabanga. “More than 450 shops were destroyed, including groceries, perfume shops, shops selling building materials, in addition to restaurants, cafeterias, and a number of stores.”
The losses that were being counted on Friday afternoon are estimated at tens of thousands of Sudanese Pounds. The source said that most camp residents suspect arson. “They say the authorities are behind the fire. The government wants to impoverish the displaced as they intend to dismantle the camp.”
Attack by armed herders in North Darfur leaves two dead | Radio Dabanga, April 1, 2018 | TAWILA
Two people were shot dead and five others wounded in an attack by armed herders near Dubo El Omda in North Darfur’s Tawila locality on Friday. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a villager reported that a group of armed herders riding in a Land Cruiser and others on motorcycles, camels and horses, stormed the area of Barkorou, 15 kilometres west of Dubo El Omda, in what is locally known as eastern Jebel Marra. “They indiscriminately opened fire on the people in the area. Abdelrazig Ibrahim and Yagoub Abdelrahman Eisa were killed instantly. Kalthoum Eisa, Maryam Adam, Ezzeldin Haroun, Abakar Yahya, and Hamid Idris sustained several bullet wounds,” he said. The attackers then left the area, taking dozens of livestock from the villagers.
• Six dead, many injured in Darfur violence | Radio Dabanga, March 27, 2018 | DIMSU
Three people were killed and six others were seriously wounded in two separate incidents in Dimsu of South Darfur. In the first incident, the commissioner of the locality, Saleh Adam, confirmed that gunmen opened fire on two vehicles, killed one person, and wounded two men and a woman. In the second incident, Haj Abdallah Eisa and Adam Hashim were killed and four people, including a woman, were wounded in a clash between a local rescue team and thieves who stole 60 goats. In East Darfur, 12 people were killed or injured in clashes involving edged weapons (knives and machetes) between youths from Karo area of Bahr El Arab. Exact casualty numbers are still unknown.
• RSF militiamen plunder market in Darfur’s Jebel Marra | Radio Dabanga, March 26, 2018 | JEBEL MARRA
Two people were wounded in an attack reportedly by paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on villagers in southern Jebel Marra on Saturday. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, listeners said that RSF troops riding in 25 Land Cruisers, backed by others on more than 70 camels and horses, shot a group of people on their way to the weekly market of Kara on Saturday afternoon.
“When the janjaweed neared the market, they began shooting around them. Adam Waddoura and Amran Ahmed were seriously wounded by the bullets,” a villager reported. “They then proceeded to the market, where they beat the people with their whips and sticks before they plundered the shops and robbed all the customers of their goods, money, mobile phones, and donkeys. They then left towards the area of Umelgura.” The sources all said that the militiamen came from the area of Sina, where fighting erupted between government forces and combatants of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) last week.
• Militiamen besiege Dambar in Central Darfur | Radio Dabanga, March 26, 2018 | DAMBAR
Security tensions in the southeast of Mukjar locality in Central Darfur have caused the closure of the Dambar Market since Friday. “A large group of heavily armed militiamen on motorcycles surrounded the market of Dambar on Friday morning,” a resident of the town reported to Radio Dabanga. “Fearing an attack, the traders immediately closed their shops and stalls.” The source said that the reasons for the siege are unknown. “They just came out of the blue,” he said. [HE] added that residents of Dambar and the surrounding villages have called on the Governor of Central Darfur and the Commissioner of Mukjar to either come to Dambar or to deploy a large military force “to save the area from a disaster as soon as possible.”
• Darfur: Deadly fighting continues in east and south Jebel Marra | Radio Dabanga, March 23, 2018 | JEBEL MARRA
Fierce fighting is reportedly ongoing across wide areas to the east and south of Darfur’s Jebel Marra, following movement of government forces and militias on rebel-held positions this week. The fighting has left an unknown number of civilians and combatants dead and wounded, and displaced thousands. On Thursday afternoon, fleeing civilians told Radio Dabanga that Sara Ali Haroun and three of her children Musab, Hassan, and Hussein were killed during the fighting at Sina area southeast of Jebel Marra, which are the last strongholds of the forces of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW).
One of the survivors of the fighting told Radio Dabanga, that yesterday the clashes were renewed north of Sina area which was captured by the government forces from the movement on Wednesday.
He said thousands of families have been displaced from Feina area after government forces and their militias burned all the food stocks in the villages and left the civilians in a very poor humanitarian situation. He appealed to humanitarian and human rights organisations to urgently intervene to save thousands of fleeing civilians and provide food and urgent protection to them.
• Civilians dead, many left homeless as Sudan forces strafe rebel positions in Darfur’s Jebel Marra | Radio Dabanga, March 22, 2018 | JEBEL MARRA
Three civilians were shot dead and 12 others were wounded in an attack launched by government troops and militia at Feina and Dawa areas in East Jebel Marra on Wednesday morning. Witnesses have reported ‘heavy military casualties’ but no exact figures are available yet. The areas are the last stronghold of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) south of Jebel Marra. Reports of many displaced continue to reach this station.
Ezzeldin Sambala, the movement’s military spokesman, told Radio Dabanga that “the government forces attacked the movement’s positions, which led to the displacement of civilians from their homes. He said that villages were burned and the livestock seized. It is a humanitarian disaster for the people. He stressed that the clashes are continuing between the two sides and appealed to the international community and humanitarian organisations to urgently intervene to rescue the civilians.
He pointed to the large-scale deployment of government forces and militias around Jebel Marra from the east and south, including the areas of the movement of Libei, Sawani and Rabkona, Fouli, Duwa, Feina and Kidinir. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the clashes between the government forces and the movement at Feina area south of Jebel Marra has forced the population to flee the mountain caves for security and protection. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that at 6 am on Wednesday the government forces attacked Feina area using armoured vehicles, grenades, and heavy guns. They said the clashes are known to have left three civilians dead, including Khadija Eisa Yousef, Ayoub Yousef Suleiman and Adam Khidir Suleiman. The witnesses confirmed that the government forces entered Feina area and now control it completely.
Callers reported dozens of deaths and injuries between the two sides in the battle in addition to the destruction of many vehicles and much military equipment. Information from Jebel Marra reported that the government forces launched a large-scale campaign on the SLM lands in east and south Jebel Marra. Witnesses and those fleeing from those areas told Radio Dabanga that government forces captured the areas of Jawa, Deribat, and Rabkona in East Jebel Marra locality in South Darfur, while taking over the areas of Kidinir, Fogoli and Libei south of Jebel Marra.
Witnesses said the fighting resulted in the death and wounding of dozens of civilians and fleeing of hundreds of people to the nearby mountains and valleys. They pointed out that these they are facing very difficult humanitarian and health conditions and called on human rights and humanitarian organisations to visit them and save their lives by protecting them and providing them with food and medicine.
• Central Darfur sheikh abducted, merchants beaten by RSF | Radio Dabanga, March 20, 2018 | DIMO
The Sheikh of Dimo village, 35 km north of Nierteti in Central Darfur, was beaten and abducted by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia on Saturday. The militia also beat two market traders. Residents of Dimo village told Radio Dabanga that members of the RSF in a land cruiser mounted with a Dushka machinegun attacked Adam Abdelmawla while he was tilling his farm at Dimo village. The reportedly beat him and threw him into the vehicle at gunpoint and took him to an unknown destination. They said they reported the incident to the police at Sagadir near Nierteti.
At the market of Sagadir, RSF elements reportedly beat merchants Abakar Eisa and Haroun Yagoub and tortured them for six hours. Merchants in the market told Radio Dabanga that RSF elements beat Abakar Eisa, a shoe dealer on the pretext that the prices for his shoes are too high. They said the same forces also attacked Haroun Yagoub on charges of buying and supplying sorghum to the armed movements. Witness told Radio Dabanga that the RSF tied the two men to a tree in the market and flogged them with whips for about six hours.
Witnesses confirmed that the two men were taken away after being released, bleeding and in a critical condition.
• Herders chop-off North Darfur farmer’s hand | Radio Dabanga, March 15, 2018 | JEBEL MARRA / KUTUM
Armed herders have stabbed a farmer and chopped-off his hand in Tawila locality (popularly known as eastern Jebel Marra) in North Darfur on Wednesday. A relative of the victim told Radio Dabanga that three armed herders attacked farmer Mohamed Ahmed Hamid while he was tilling his farm at area Suri area near Khazan Tunjur, ordered him to immediately leave the farm as the area has become a pasture not for farming, and when he refused, one of the herders chopped-off his right hand with a sword. Hamid lost a lot of blood and was taken in critical condition to Tawila Hospital. He said the herders told them that what happened to Hamid is a warning to anyone else who comes to the area to farm or collect hay. The herders reportedly threatened to kill anyone else, and not just cut-off their hand.
A number of farmers were injured at Tuma village, 10 km east of Kutum in North Darfur by beatings and flogging by herders. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that on Saturday armed herders riding two Land Cruisers led by Ibrahim Abubaker attacked Tuma village where the residents returned last month as part of the voluntary return, beat and injured them, one of them named El Fadil Mohamed Ali was seriously injured.
The witnesses said the gunmen kidnapped three residents of the village, took them to Damirat Um Sayala, held them there for two consecutive days and only released them last Monday. They pointed that the kidnappers told them that the area is liberated and has become a pasture for their cattle and camels. They threatened to beat and kill them if they do not return to where they came from. The kidnapped were Abubakar Yousef El Doma, a basic school teacher, Abdelmajid Ahmad Abakar, a veterinary assistant, and Mutasim Abdallah.
• New settlers assault, drive-off East Darfur returnees | Radio Dabanga, March 15, 2018 | ED DAEIN
Two displaced people who returned to Areit village in Asalaya locality in East Darfur were injured and forcibly returned in an attack by new settlers who refused to accept their return to their area of origin on Sunday. Sheikhs from camp Neem in Ed Daein told Radio Dabanga that 400 displaced people returned to the village on Sunday according to voluntary repatriation programmes, but the settlers in the village refused their return, assaulted them and injured Adam Yousef and Ahmad Omar Adam who were taken to the state capital Ed Daein for treatment. The sheikhs said that the displaced returned to camp Neem on Monday morning on the orders of the locality commissioner, Hamdan Adam El Bushra, so as to prevent further violence and clashes.
The camp sheikhs stressed their attachment to their land, and appealed to the government authorities to extend the prestige of the state, provide services in the villages where they had been displaced from, as well as the removal of agricultural lands from the settlers and returning them to the indigenous people.
• SRF condemns government raid on Central Darfur village – Video | Radio Dabanga, March 14, 2018 | ARTALA
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) has strongly condemned attacks by Sudanese government forces on the inhabitants of Artala village in Central Darfur. A statement issued by the Revolutionary Front said that the tribal militias of the government and its security services gathered the residents of the village in a humiliating manner after they were confirmed to be free of weapons, beat them with whips and seized their property. Mohamed Zakariya, the spokesman for the SRF, described what happened to the residents of the village as “a shameful state crime against unarmed people and a blatant violation of the rights of citizenship.”
In its statement, the SRF also condemned the ongoing crackdown on freedoms and the arrest of activists by the security services and reiterated its call for the immediate and unconditional release of all the political detainees and the prisoners of war.
*VIDEO OF ASSAULT contained in this dispatch*
A video widely circulated via by social media (see above) this week shows government forces beating and harassing dozens of men of the village. It has drawn widespread condemnation among activists and human rights defenders demanding the government authorities to form a committee of inquiry into the incident described as shameful.
Asa reported yesterday by Radio Dabanga, Members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) stationed at Deribat in Darfur’s east Jebel Marra stormed the weekly village market, assaulted the people, arrested eight of them and injured six others on Sunday morning.
• Sudan Armed Forces raid Darfur market: eight held, six injured | Radio Dabanga, March 13, 2018 | DERIBAT / TAWILA / KABKABIYA
Members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) stationed at Deribat in Darfur’s east Jebel Marra stormed the weekly village market, assaulted the people, arrested eight of them and injured six others on Sunday morning. Residents of Deribat reported that the members of the SAF arrested Yahya Ahmed Hussein, Abulbasher Abdelrazig, Mubarak Haroun, Younis Ali, Abdeljabbar Ali Idris, Kubra Adam Musa, Mariam Ibrahim, and Kaltoum Sharif Adam.
A merchant from the weekly market, which brings together all residents of nearby villages, said that the storming of the market by troops terrorised the shoppers and prompted them to flee the market.
He said the troops also attacked the shoppers with rifle butts and daggers causing injuries to Hashim Haroun Abdelkarim, Salim Mohamed Ibrahim, Sara Yagoub Eisa, Musa Yousif Haroun, Mariam Abakar Hussain, and Suleiman Yousif Hamid. He added that the troops also prevented vehicles coming from Nyala in South Darfur and El Fasher in North Darfur from loading goods from the market and forced them to return empty.
On Sunday the security services arrested Abdelnasir Abdelrahman Abdallah from the market of Tawila in North Darfur without explanation, took him to the security offices in Tawila and denied him visit by his family members. Activists in Tawila called for his immediate release or trial and allowing his family and lawyers to visit him.
Members of the main government Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia arrested two people from Kabkabiya and took them to Sarf Umra in North Darfur on Sunday. Witnesses and sources told Radio Dabanga that the rapid support militia forces led by Abu Shouk arrested Hassan Eisa, nicknamed Hassan Shamasi, and one of his relatives because of their demand for ‘blood money’ for their relative. He was killed at the gate of Umlaota, west of Kabkabiya during a recent attack by militiamen led by Abdallah Ganga, that also led to the death of two more people and the burning part of the village. The sources told Radio Dabanga that the arrest of the two was only to prevent them from demanding the payment of the blood money.
• Darfur: Govt. forces, rebels clash in Jebel Marra | Radio Dabanga, March 12, 2018 | JAWA
Three villagers were wounded during clashes between government forces and rebel combatants in South Darfur’s East Jebel Marra on Friday. A relative of one of the victims told Radio Dabanga that Ishag Idris, Daoud Haroun, and Hussein Hamid were injured when they were caught in an exchange of fire between members of the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), and government troops on Friday evening. “They were hit by bullets in the area of Jawa, 15 km south of Deribat,” he said. “Luckily, they could be transferred to Rabkona, west of Jawa, for treatment.”
Since the start of the war in Darfur in 2003, the area of Jawa has been one of the strongholds of the SLM-AW, that had its base in Jebel Marra itself. In 2016, more than 80,000 people were displaced by a major military offensive by the Sudanese government against the holdout rebels in the mountainous region of the Jebel Marra. According to the spokesman for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, Sudan’s main militia, in February 2017, Darfur became “free of armed movements, suspects, and outlaws, except for a small group [part of the SLM-AW] stationed at the top of Jebel Marra.” In April that year, after a relative calm for months, the Sudanese air force resumed bombing Jawa because of reported movement of rebel fighters in the area.
• West Darfur camp sheikh murdered on farm – herder held, two at large | Radio Dabanga, March 9, 2018 | CAMP MURNEI
The Head Sheikh of Camp Murnei for the displaced in West Darfur has been murdered, allegedly by armed herdsmen, as he worked on his farm at Arum area west of Murnei on Wednesday. A camp resident told Radio Dabanga that Abdelrasoul Aburifa was tilling his farm when a gang of three armed herders opened fire on him. Aburifa died instantly. The witness said police managed to arrest one of the alleged perpetrators while the other two are still being hunted-down.