Renewed attacks on Darfur villages leave 25 dead, thousands displaced
Attacks on El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, February 4, 2021 (Social media)
At least 21 people were killed and six others were wounded yesterday in attacks on villages in Jebel Moon in West Darfur. Thousands fled their homes. In North Darfur, four people died in raids on a number of villages near the state capital El Fasher on Tuesday.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, people living in Jebel Moon reported that large groups of gunmen launched attacks on the area from three directions on Wednesday morning, and torched at least eight villages.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reported people fleeing their burning villages on Wednesday.
It is the fourth attack by members of various Arab tribes on Misseriya living in Jebel Moon within one month. In earlier attacks, at least 16 villages burned to ashes, more than 20 people were killed, and thousands of people fled their homes. Many of them reportedly sought refuge in neighbouring Chad.
The Acting Governor of West Darfur Khamees Abakar end November acknowledged security problems in North and West Darfur. He said that the attackers are “taking advantage of the deteriorating security situation in Khartoum”.
Earlier that month, Sudan researcher and analyst Eric Reeves, stated in a tweet that the Arab militiamen in North Darfur “see the [October 25] coup as a license to resume attacks on non-Arab farmers”.
According to the NRC, more than 430,000 people have been newly displaced by armed conflict in Sudan this year alone, adding to more than three million people internally displaced in the past two decades.
The withdrawal of the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) at the end of 2020 removed a neutral deterrent to violence and occurred in the wake of Darfur’s new chapter of conflict. the NRC said.
The West Darfur Doctors’ Committee said in a press statement yesterday that the attack on Masalit living in Kereinik and the neighbouring Abuja camp in early December have left 88 people dead and 84 wounded.
The wounded are being treated at the El Geneina Teaching Hospital, El Salah Medical Hospital, and the Kereinik Rural Hospital. Most of the cases originally brought to the rural hospital were transferred to the hospitals in the West Darfur capital.
On December 5, groups of armed men attacked Kereinik. People from the town said that they surrounded the town from the early morning, launched an attack with heavy weapons, and burned the Abuja camp for the displaced and a number of northern and western neighbourhoods.
Listeners told Radio Dabanga from the Zamzam camp for the displaced near El Fasher that groups of gunmen riding on camels and motorcycles attacked 10 small villages southwest of the camp in the early evening of Tuesday.
Four people, among them two children, were killed. Seven others went missing.
Hundreds of villagers arrived at the camp after the attacks, though large numbers of armed men riding in vehicles and on motors were gathering in the vicinity of Zamzam camp. The sources said they hope that the joint forces stationed near the camp will protect them.
They explained that the attacks on the nearby villages are a revenge for the killing of four people near the Zamzam camp on Monday evening.
The following day, members of the Herders and Nomads Coordination organised a vigil in El Fasher, giving the authorities 24 hours to arrest the perpetrators. The secretary of the North Darfur government called on the protesters to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
On Tuesday, two Turkish engineers working on a project of the Turkish Electricity Company were kidnapped from the centre of El Fasher.
The Governor of Darfur, Minni Minawi, pledged in a post on social media that he will find the two engineers kidnapped by unknown persons in front of the security service office in the North Darfur capital.
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