Sudan: Ban On Commercial Vehicle Traffic to Darfur's Jebel Marra 'Could Cause Mass Displacement'

Jebel Marra / Tawila / Shangil Tobaya / Zalingei — Residents of villages in south-eastern Jebel Marra have warned of massive disruption and possible displacement that may hit them in the coming weeks because of a decision by the authorities to prevent commercial vehicles from entering the area from Saturday. Reports are also reaching Radio Dabanga of ongoing incidents between herders and farmers across Darfur.

A number of south-eastern Jebel Marra residents emphasised that the region is experiencing a severe fuel, food, and consumer goods crisis. Stocks of fuel and foodstuffs are running out, especially sugar, flour, and medicines.

Many grain mills and water engines have stopped working because of the fuel crisis.

They warned of massive displacement in the coming weeks if commercial vehicles do not reach the weekly market of Feina where people from more than 50 villages buy their goods.

Herds destroy crops

Farmers in Tawila locality in North Darfur are complaining about aggression of herdsmen and the forcible trespassing of their farms by their camels and their livestock and the destruction of large areas of agricultural crops.

Farmers in the areas of Abuzeid, Dubo El Omda, Martal, Karfola, Daly, and Koto, east of Jebel Marra, said that the region is now witnessing fierce attacks from armed cattle and camel herders riding on motorcycles and camels.

They pointed out that they were beaten and whipped by the herders and a number of them suffered varying injuries. Three women, Maryam Haroun, Nurelhuda Idris, and Asha Haroun were seriously injured.

They said they informed the commander of the garrison of both Tabit and Kator of the attacks, but did not move to their rescue.

Herder attacks

Farmers in Arasho, Umbeji, Shagraga, Tagali, and Magali northwest of Shangil Tobaya, also complain about herder attacks and damage to their farms.

Representatives of the displaced living in camp Hamidiya in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, demanded from Sudan's Transitional Government to immediately implement all international resolutions against Al Bashir's government, especially the International Criminal Court (ICC) memorandum and handing over the wanted.

According to a statement issued by community leaders of the Hamidiya camp, representatives of the displaced demanded in meeting an American delegation at the camp on Tuesday afternoon, the need to compensate the displaced and refugees individually and collectively, to create an environment conducive to their return, expel the settlers brought by Al Bashir from neighbouring countries and gave them the lands of the indigenous peoples that were displaced internally and externally.

They also demanded the disbanding of government militias, first of them the Rapid Support Forces, the Popular Defence Forces, and jihadist battalions, the collection of their weapons and the expulsion of the mercenaries brought by Al Bashir to their countries of origin.

They also demanded that international humanitarian organisations expelled by Al Bashir should be allowed to return to Sudan to provide services to the displaced in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and all those affected in Sudan.

Representatives of the displaced and refugees confirmed that if the government of PM Abdallah Hamdok abides by the above-mentioned demands, they will cooperate with them in solving the Sudanese issue in general and the issues of the displaced and refugees in particular.

Otherwise, they will consider it an extension of the former regime, as long as it provides protection and immunity to the figures and institutions of Al Bashir regime and refuses to hand them over to the ICC, according to the words of the displaced representatives in a statement after the meeting.

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