On 24 January 2016, UNAMID's Deputy Joint Special Representative, Bintou Keita, led an integrated mission to Anka and Umm Rai, 60 kilometers south-east of UNAMID's team site in Kutum, North Darfur. The objective of the mission was to verify reports of mass displacements in the area following attacks by unidentified armed men on 3 December 2015. The team consisted of members from UNAMID's Civil Affairs, Protection of Civilians, Human Rights and Communications and Public Information sections, a representative from UN OCHA and a Government of Sudan official.
The team met with community leaders from Anka, Umm Rai and surrounding areas who revealed that most of their livestock was looted while their houses and markets were burnt down by unidentified armed attackers. Following this, they said, the majority of villagers living in the vicinity had fled to the nearby hills for shelter.
In Anka Central, a conglomeration of 30 villages with 20,000 residents, 14 of which have reportedly been torched, the DJSR and her delegation met with some 600 community members, mostly women and children, many of whom highlighted the pressing need for humanitarian assistance, especially food, water, shelter and medical facilities. The team also observed that more than 80 per cent of the village had been burnt to ashes.
In Umm Rai, a cluster of 50 villages with a population of some 25,000, eight villages were reported to have been burnt. Some 650 community members had gathered to meet the visiting team and spoke about their dire need of food and water resources. Women were observed to have been feeding their young infants raw millet and sorghum.
Additionally, Ms. Keita and the team visited Anka 'B' village, a cluster of 20 villages of which seven were completely burnt down. More than 2000 people were assembled here and they requested UNAMID for urgent humanitarian intervention. Moreover, they expressed their deep concern regarding the insecure conditions in the area and requested the Mission to set up a team site to protect them from further attacks.
The integrated team recorded evidence of burnt houses in all three locations they visited. Upon their return to El Fasher, they have put an action plan into place to provide emergency relief to the affected populations.