Jebel Marra — The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan has welcomed a three-month unilateral cessation of hostilities by the rebel SLA-AW. It has allowed aid assistance to an estimated 380 people. The rebels accused the Sudanese army of shelling southwestern Jebel Marra.
A joint team comprised of Unamid civilian staff, the humanitarian country team, and 70 peacekeepers including six doctors have reached the villages of Wadi (valley) Tulba and Tagoli, both in Kass locality in the Jebel Marra mountains. These were hit by landslides following heavy rains in early September.
The United Nations reported today the mission provided relief assistance to 76 affected families (approximately 380 people), including tents and plastic sheets for shelter, kitchen sets, jerry cans, blankets and mosquito nets, and treated the injured and ill. The death toll of 19, as reported by Unamid in September, has been adjusted to sixteen people.
The UN said today there are reports of more people injured or sick, with several homes destroyed by the disaster and livestock lost. Humanitarian agencies will continue providing the landslide-affected people with humanitarian assistance and other support, including food and non-food relief aid, from nearby villages.
"The Government of Sudan and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) are facilitating access to the affected area," the statement by UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, reads.
The two affected villages are in a mountainous area where access and logistics are complicated by lack of roads and difficult terrain. Rebel-controlled areas of the Jebel Marra massif straddling parts of North, Central and South Darfur states had been inaccessible for many years due to insecurity and fighting between the government and rebel forces.
Only in March this year, the Red Cross was allowed to deliver essential household supplies to Golo in central Jebel Marra (Central Darfur). It was the first distribution of aid to Jebel Marra as a whole in more than 10 years.
Yesterday, the SLA-AW accused the Sudanese army of shelling civilians areas in southwestern Jebel Marra, in a statement by the rebel group. The Sudanese army shelled villages and civilian communities around the areas of Baladung, Galol, Torung Tora and Sorong on Monday.
"The shelling has caused some material and human losses among unarmed civilians," the statement read without providing more details. The rebel movement reiterated its commitment to the unilateral cessation of hostilities that they declared last month in order to allow emergency assistance to areas affected by the mudslides.