Sudan: Support and Solidarity for Victims of West Darfur Attacks

Jebel Moon / Dar El Salaam — Protesters and organisations expressed their solidarity with the people in Darfur as the number of victims from the armed attacks on villages in West Darfur continues to rise. In North Darfur, four people were killed by gunmen.

The West Darfur Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Omar Abdelkarim, reported that the number of victims of the attacks that took place in the Jebel Moon area of West Darfur in the past week has risen to 35.

16 villages were completely burned to ashes.

The West Darfur Doctors Committee reported 17 dead and 12 wounded from both sides of the conflict.

The Committee explained in a statement that the wounded are receiving medical care in West Darfur hospitals. Three of them underwent surgeries at El Geneina Teaching Hospital.

Activist Hatem Abdallah told Radio Dabanga that tens of thousands of people from at least 35 villages fled to neighbouring Chad as a result of attacks on villages in Jebel Moon, Seleia, Kulbus, and Barak.

He explained that 15 children were lost as a result of the violence.

According to Abdallah, three of the injured were transferred to Nyala, while eight others were transferred to Seleia in Jebel moon.

The activist explained that the situation in Jebel Moon and its surrounding areas continues to be tense, with armed groups gathering in the area. It is clear that the situation is potentially explosive, he told Radio Dabanga.

Solidarity and support

The initiative to support the victims of Jebel Moon in West Darfur launched its work at the Ministry of Finance in El Geneina yesterday.

Hatem Abdallah said that the initiative aims to collect donations to support victims. He appealed to businessmen and philanthropists to support the citizens of Jebel Moon, pointing to the tragic conditions that the displaced people are experiencing at the moment.

During the November 25 Marches of the Millions, held yesterday throughout Sudan, large numbers of protesters expressed solidarity with the people from Darfur and the victims of the Jebel Moon attacks.

Demonstrators carried banners of solidarity and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice. The demonstrators chanted slogans such as 'The entire country is Darfur'.

The Darfur Bar Association intends to launch an advocacy campaign to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by human rights violations in the villages of Jebel Moon regions.

Other Darfur conflicts

Jebel Moon is not the only area that experienced attacks in the past weeks as attacks on North Darfur villages left several dead or injured.

Four people were also killed by gunmen near Amgeigou in Dar El Salam locality, North Darfur, on Wednesday.

People from the area told Radio Dabanga that gunmen on camels and motorcycles intercepted a vehicle heading from El Fasher to Nyala on Wednesday afternoon and shot at it, killing four people. They indicated that the gunmen hijacked the vehicle.

They explained that the families of the victims reported the incident to the regular forces in Shangil Tobaya and Tabit and said that military forces took action to chase the perpetrators in the area.

In South Darfur, two coal plant workers were killed in East Fallujah in Jebel Marra, South Darfur.

People from the area told Radio Dabanga that three armed men on camels attacked the workers and shot them dead. They explained that the relatives of the dead have reported the incident to the regular forces in the area.

UNITAMS statement

The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) also published a statement to say that it is "gravely concerned by the significant rise in tribal and intercommunal violence, resulting in the unfortunate loss of civilian lives and livelihoods, most recently in Tawila, Dar Es Salam and Sortoni, Kabkabiya localities of North Darfur and Jebel Moon, West Darfur".

"Reports indicate that scores of people have been killed and many others injured in fighting between Arabs and Misseriya Jebel in Jebel Moon on 17 and 19 November, with tens of villages burned and some 4,300 people reportedly displaced, many to eastern Chad. We are also alarmed at reports of rape committed against women and girls as well as reports of 20 children missing", the statement read.

UNITAMS further reminded the Sudanese authorities "that their responsibility to protect civilians is not diminished despite the current political situation".

West Darfur violence history

Darfur has a long history of strife between Arab herding tribes and non-Arab African herders or sedentary farmers, including the Masalit in West Darfur.

Arab tribesmen were recruited by the previous regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir to join the Janjaweed militias. Al Bashir employed these Arab militias to repress a revolt over ethnic marginalisation in the region, mainly targeting non-Arab African farmers.

During the war that followed, at least 300,000 people were killed and over 2.5 million were displaced according to the UN.

In late December and again in April, hundreds of people were killed in attacks on the West Darfur capital El Geneina and the adjacent Kerending camps as Arab tribesmen targeted Masalit people. Thousands of people fled their homes.

Many militant Arab herdsmen who committed the violence reportedly drove in RSF vehicles. In July, attacks on Misterei, south of El Geneina, left dozens of people dead. The attackers torched a third of the town. Thousands of people fled.

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