11 January 2013

Sudan: Another 8.000 Flee North Darfur Clashes, Head to Rebel-Controlled Area

Photo: IRIN
Armed men in Darfur (file photo).

Jebel 'Amer — About 8.000 people fled their village located near al-Sref Hussein locality, North Darfur, following an attack by Abbala tribesmen on Wednesday, 9 January.

They reportedly headed to Abu Gamra, an area of North Darfur controlled by the rebel movement Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).

One of the women who just arrived in Abu Gamra told Radio Dabanga the displaced are facing "difficult humanitarian conditions" after traveling for two days by foot without food, water or medicine.

The newly-displaced are mostly farmers from the Attash village and were working on their lands when Abbala men "suddenly attacked" them, burning homes and killing many inhabitants, she continued.

Several people lost their family members and are allegedly arriving alone in Abu Gamra, some of them are wounded. Besides, "a number of children are still missing".


Another displaced from Attash told Radio Dabanga the attack on his village began at 6:00am and continued until the evening "when Abbala men arrived with their vehicles".

They killed women, children and men and looted nearly all sheep and cows of the villagers, he recounted.

The population of Attash fled the community on Wednesday and spent the evening in Harbin, before arriving in Abu Gamra two days later.

On Thursday, they affirmed seeing flames rising from the villages of Keni, Attash and Medechicha.

The witness pointed out that there are still many bodies still lying out in the open and he said the situation is "critical".


Many displaced families from Kabkabiya camps are worried about 49 women who left the site to work on their farms on Saturday, the day clashes between Abbala and Beni Hussein erupted. They have not received any news from the women since.

The farms are reportedly located around the areas of Turbi and Gandelat, both of which were affected by the fighting.

Sources affirmed the women come from the Sibak El-Khel camp, more specifically from the Adjira and El-Wadi neighborhoods.

Their families appealed to anyone who has news about the women to inform directly or via Radio Dabanga.

Fighting erupted in the gold mining area of Jebel 'Amer as a result of a dispute between members of the Arab tribes of Abbala and Beni Hussein on 6 January. Initial reports suggested that at least 60.000 workers fled the region in the first few days of clashes.

On Tuesday, Radio Dabanga reported that at least 20 villages had been burnt and that the fighting appeared to have expanded further than the gold mine area of Jebel 'Amer.

The day after, a total of 25 villages had been set on fire and the conflicting parties had reportedly received backup from communities from Central, South, West and parts of North Darfur.

In the fifth consecutive day of violence, Abbala gunmen allegedly enclosed the capital of al-Sref Beni Hussein locality and burnt another four villages in the vicinity.

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