Sudan: Newly Displaced in Nuba Mountains Living Rough

Kadugli — The more than 2,000 people who fled their homes in El Berdab village near Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan last week, are living in dire conditions.

On Wednesday last week, members of Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) reportedly attacked the village. Nine villagers were killed.

The Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) reported today that a group of RSF militiamen riding in four Land Cruisers and on motorcycles raided El Berdab on May 13. They then asked the villagers about their ethnic background. Those belonging to a Nuba tribe, the majority of the villagers, were killed or beaten-up. Their houses were plundered and torched.

More than two hundred homes burned to ashes. At least 2,000 villagers fled to the nearby South Kordofan capital.

A listener told Radio Dabanga from Kadugli that almost the entire population of El Berdab sought refuge in two schools near the military base of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the town. Others searched for protection in neighbouring villages.

The source explained that the newly displaced people are now living in a very critical humanitarian situation, without water or food. No aid has been provided yet.

HUDO as well states that no services or aid have been provided to the displaced villagers, "regardless of the fact that government officials visited and witnessed the torched houses".

The state government has requested them to return home without offering any protection or rehabilitation. "Yet, the attackers are threatening to attack again," the human rights organisation warns.

On social media, activists strongly criticise "the systematic violence and forced displacement of indigenous people from their areas in the Nuba Mountains". They blame the South Kordofan state government and security committee for failing to provide security in Kadugli and its surroundings.

Last week, Kadugli and the surrounding area were prone to several attacks. On May 12, at least 26 people were killed in clashes between people of different ethnic background in Kadugli. A day later, nine RSF militiamen were killed in an attack by army soldiers near Kadugli. At least 16 other people were wounded.

Early on May 14, men wearing RSF uniforms stormed the El Amara district in the eastern part of Kadugli. They beat the residents and set fire to several houses. At least five people were killed, and an unknown number of others were wounded.

A report by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) on violence in Sudan between March and May this year indicates that members of the Sudanese army and the RSF continue to violate human rights in the country.

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