8 July 2013

Sudan: 'Sudan Air Force Bombs South Darfur Villages' - Sources

El Salam Camp — The Sudanese Air Force has on Sunday reportedly bombed areas around Umm Gunja in South Darfur. The air raid, a source said, was followed by artillery shelling by machine guns. On Thursday, three women were injured after shells "resulting from clashes in Nyala" hit the Dreige camp for displaced. The wounded were transferred to a hospital in the state capital.

Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya of El Salam camp near Nyala said the site's population is "terrorized". Several people, during the air raids, were cultivating their vegetable gardens near El Salam and rushed back to the camp in fear. "This is compromising the livelihoods of the displaced."

Residents of El Salam are asking Unamid and government forces to reinforce security at the camp. Tabaldiya says many people are hiding at the site "fearing an imminent attack by militias especially after the assassination attempt of Ali Kushayb and information that the South Darfur governor expelled militias from Nyala."

Last week's fighting between militias, Central Reserve Forces (Abu Tira) and Security Forces led to the closing of roads in the vicinity of Nyala. This is consequently affecting commodities' prices, which have been increasing since, said the sheikh.

"The month of Ramadan has entered and we consume a lot around this time of the year. In the past we would greet the holy months, but today with the expulsion of aid organisations, the increasing amount of displaced persons, scarcity of goods and high prices our suffering is increasing," Tabaldiya stated.

Dreige camp:

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a Dreige sheikh said Thursday's shelling are the "result from clashes between security forces, pro-government militias, Abu Tira (Central Reserve Forces) and border guards that happened on Wednesday and Thursday near the camp."

The three victims, the sheikh said, are Farhat Abul Hassan Taher (18), Jewahir Abdullah Musa (35), and Zakiyya Adam Suleiman (40). "The displaced are living in intense terror and fear," he said.

In addition, Dreige's market has remained closed between Thursday and Sunday, "for fear of imminent militias' attack and looting".

"Days before the Nyala incidents, authorities brought militias to establish a camp west of Dreige," said the sheikh, demanding officials to "immediately withdraw the militias."

Violent clashes erupted last Tuesday between Abu Tira and the Security Services in Nyala claiming the lives of two staff members of the NGO World Vision, as confirmed by the UN. A Major in the Security Services and a four-month-old baby were also fatally hit. Heavy gunfire was still heard on Thursday in the area.

On Sunday, alleged war criminal and International Criminal Court (ICC) indictee, Ali Kushayb, was critically injured in an attack by a lone gunman in the industrial zone of Nyala. One of his bodyguards died and another was seriously injured in the attack.

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