18 March 2016

Sudan: Jebel Marra Activists - 150 Villages Torched

Photo: Radio Dibanga
Men from Leeba gather under a tree to read the Koran, pray to God to avoid any Antonovs bombing the area.

Jebel Marra — Activists from Jebel Marra in Darfur reported that the government's air raids and military attacks in the area that started on 15 January have so far led to the burning of more than a hundred villages in northern, southern, and western Jebel Marra.

Several of them estimated on Thursday that the military offensive against the armed rebels resulted in the burning down of 150 villages and the displacement of 100,000 civilians into the mountain's tops and caves. One activist told Radio Dabanga that soldiers and militiamen have torched fifteen villages for their teachings of the Koran.

"Nearly half of the people have taken shelter in caves. About 70 percent of them have caught a cold and the number of children with malnutrition and diarrhoea is on the rise," he said about the displaced in Jebel Marra. "The dense dust caused by the aerial bombardments that hit Jebel Marra in the past two days is a major cause of the worsening health situation."

'The dense dust of ongoing bombardments in the mountain's shelters causes health problems.'

On Wednesday afternoon, witnesses reported that an Antonov of the government's Air Force dropped nine barrel bombs on Foley, southwest of Golo, and destroyed 25 homes in the nearly abandoned village.

"The soldiers continued shelling the area with heavy artillery and long-range missiles in western and southern Jebel Marra. Tens of thousands of people have fled to the mountain tops."

The activists and witnesses appealed to the United Nations and the Security Council to pressure Sudan to stop the bombardments and ground attacks.

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