Sudan: Darfur Refugees in Chad Desperate and Destitute

Intercommunal violence in Darfur has left millions in need of assistance. Pictured here, an IDP settlement in Sortoni (file photo).

Chad — Thousands of Sudanese refugees who fled to eastern Chad from Jebel Moon in West Darfur as a result of armed attacks on their villages over the last week, are calling for urgent humanitarian intervention to save their lives.

About 10 villages in addition to camps for the displaced in Jebel Moon burned to the ground, Misseriya tribesman Siddig Ibrahim told Radio Dabanga last week. "At least 10 people died, and 14 others were wounded," he said. "Thousands of people fled to eastern Chad, and are now living in the open in very poor humanitarian conditions."

Speaking to Radio Dabanga yesterday, an elder among the refugees says that they lost all their property after armed men burned their villages, stole their belongings, and destroyed their farms. He explained that they are now living without shelter, food, or even cover from the elements, which is especially hard due to severe cold weather.

He called for urgent and immediate humanitarian intervention to save the lives of thousands of refugees, whose exact number is unknown, most of whom are women and children. He explained that they had not received any assistance since their arrival near Chadian villages such as Hadiba, Seleet, Marfoua, and Barak.

He confirmed that at least 10 villages, including Um Siyala, Sawani, Arga, Goz Minu, Hashaba, Hillat Tayeb, Hejlija, Mino Kara, and Hillet Aween, have been completely abandoned by residents, as they were utterly destroyed and burned to the ground in the attacks.

Sudan researcher and analyst Eric Reeves remarked in a tweet that the Arab militiamen in North Darfur "see the coup as a license to resume attacks on non-Arab farmers without fear their crimes will be communicated".

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