Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

Sudan: Unamid Addressing Needs of Central Darfur Displaced

El-Fasher — UNAMID announced it is addressing the humanitarian needs of the newly displaced persons in Central Darfur, in Nertiti town precisely, following the battles that took place in the area between the Sudanese army and rebels.

Aicha Elbasri, the mission's spokesperson, communicated with Radio Dabanga on Friday, 18 January.

She pointed out that besides responding to the humanitarian situation resulting from recent fighting in Jebel 'Amer, UNAMID provided full logistical support and security escorts that facilitated the distribution of food ration provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Central Darfur.

"The first round of food distribution took place on 10 January and benefitted over 2.600 displaced persons in Nertiti", she said.

The WFP team has begun the second round of food distribution, which is expected to benefit an additional 3.000 newly displaced persons, who have also recently arrived in Nertiti.

"UNAMID has also facilitated the delivery of emergency shelter items, including blankets and sleeping mattresses, provided by UN Office for Project Services, UNOPS and UN refugee agency", the spokesperson pointed out.

West Jebel Marra

Fighting in the West Jebel Marra region of Central Darfur reportedly broke out on 23 December, when the rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement-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 were 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 (prized for its fertile land), located near the central town of Golo.

On 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.

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", on 9 January.

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.

Battles subdued

On 15 January, residents of the Jildu garrison area told Radio Dabanga they had not heard sounds of gunshots or of government airplanes flying over the region for the past two days. They suggested the battles could have subdued.

According to them, that could explain the decreasing amount of displaced arriving at the nearby Nertiti camps.

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