South Darfur — Elements of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in military uniforms, assisted by Abbala tribesmen, set fire to more than 127 villages in the areas southeast of Nyala on Monday and Tuesday.
"We can still see the smoke rising from the area southeast of the Ed Daein-Nyala railway," sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya of El Salam camp for the displaced told Radio Dabanga today (Wednesday).
"The Rapid Support militias, under supervision of the Sudan security apparatus, set fire to more than 127 villages in the past two days. They destroyed what remained after their attacks in the end of February, and set fire to the rest of the villages, abandoned by its inhabitants out of fear. They razed everything to the ground, even the water wells."
Among the scorched villages, he mentioned Hijer, Tarka Tuli, Tabaldiyat, Um Gunja, Hillet Ahmed El Mustafa, Hillet Birka, Ardaba Aradeiba, Hashaba, and Jabarona.
The camp sheikh strongly condemned the attacks, and reiterated his appeal to the international community and Unamid to stop burning "these villages abandoned by its people and stop the killings, looting, rapes, and bring the perpetrators to justice". He also demanded the return of the property of citizens and their livestock stolen in those areas. "They have to be fully compensated."
People who arrived from areas "south of the railway" told the coordinator for the newly displaced at Kalma camp in South Darfur, that "Rapid Support militias, wearing military uniforms, stormed the villages in Land Cruisers, accompanied by Abbala tribesmen on camels. They set fire to the remaining and abandoned houses by shooting at them. "Everything burned to ashes," the coordinator reported to Radio Dabanga.
The newly displaced said that the scorched villages are located at a distance of about 40-45km southeast of Nyala, "from Duwana village in the north until the last village in the area of Ladob".
These include the villages of Hijer East, Um Gunja, and Duwana, the coordinator said. Concerning the area southeast of Hijer, the villages of Bobay Awad, Hillet Abdel Aziz Ankoro, Sidir, and Sijani were destroyed. South of Ladob, Goz Mur, Abu Hamra, Um Ghubeisha A and B, Um Gora, and Tegadei were razed to the ground.
The coordinator said that the purpose of attacking and setting these villages on fire for the second time is "clearly to prevent that the villagers will never return". "The Abbala have entered our areas, and they are the ones who are cooperating with the central government."