New Darfur violence worries UN
The United Nations has expressed concerns about renewed violence in Sudan’s Darfur region displacing 34,000 people of which majority are women and children.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), latest flare up of violence in Jebel Marra region has forced 19,000 people to seek refuge in the state of North Darfur and 15,000 have fled to Central Darfur state.
The UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says the intensified violence has lead to massive displacements and the UN is appealing for the protection of civilians in the conflict zone.
“The protection of civilians remains our paramount concern during conflict,” the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas said adding “While it is encouraging that some humanitarian assistance is being provided, clearly much more is needed and we are working with our national and international partners on the ground to ascertain how the vulnerable can be helped during this time. We are therefore advocating for safe and unfettered access to provide timely assistance to those in need.”
There have been reports indicating 19 villages near Rockero, in northern Jebel Marra were torched on Monday in the middle of the violent clashes.
UNAMID says residents fled to Sortoni, Kabkabiya and Tawila, and to the nearby mountains.
According to sources, the recent violence erupted between Sudan’s military and the rebels Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AW). Either side is claiming the other violated the ceasefire that was extended for one month on New Year’s Eve.
Jebel region is comprised of three states South, Central and North Darfur and it has been the stronghold of the rebels against the Khartoum government. The rebels have been fighting the regime since 2003. The conflict has displaced millions claimed about 300,000 lives according to UN estimates, the Khartoum government says that figure is exaggerated.