12 January 2013

Sudan: UN - 30.000 Flee Rebels, Government Clashes Around Golo, Central Darfur

Nertiti — More than 30.000 people fled their homes in Golo and Guldo towns in Central Darfur, because of clashes in the region between government troops and its militias against rebels, The United Nations say.

According to a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report, about 2.800 people escaped to a camp in Nertiti, Radio Dabanga learned on Thursday, 10 January.

This camp is already home to 42.000 displaced persons, the report pointed out.


Fighting in the region reportedly broke out on 23 December, when the Darur rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) claimed to have captured the Jildu garrison, leaving the government with only two strongholds in the area.

According to some testimonies, ground offensives by the government are coupled with aerial bombings of several nearby villages. Dozens have died so far according to several reports, including civilians.

Jildu is an important junction that connects East and West Jebel Marra, located near the central town of Golo in Central Darfur.

Last Tuesday, 8 January, Central Darfur's governor informed UNAMID that "armed groups had taken control of the towns of Golo and Rockero in west Jebel Marra", a mission's statement read.

He also said that about 850 families have been displaced and fled to Nertiti as a result of the fighting, while others are believed to be wandering in the mountains seeking safety.

On Wednesday, the Sudanese army denied losing the territory and declared to be in full control of the Jildu garrison area, "despite attempts made by the rebels to capture it".

The day after, Radio Dabanga reported that residents of Nertiti city were claiming the town had been receiving 150 displaced "every day, for the past five consecutive days".

They asserted these people were coming from the Jildu garrison and Golo areas.

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