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UNAMID says continuing to protect civilians displaced by Jebel Marra clashes

January 25, 2016 (EL-FASHIR) - The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said it remains engaged with the serious humanitarian consequences caused by the fighting between government army and rebels in Jebel Marra, Central Darfur state.

A UNAMID peacekeeper during a routine patrol in Tawila, North Darfur.(Photo UNAMID/Hamid Abdelsalam)

Intense fighting has been ongoing between the Sudanese army and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel Wahid al Nur in areas west and east of Jebel Marra in Central Darfur since ten days ago.

On 17 January, UNAMID confirmed the heavy clashes between the government army and the SLM-AW fighters in the region and also said that the Sudanese army dropped five bombs at an area north-east of its base in Nertiti.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Monday, UNAMID said “some 8,403 affected civilians, mostly women and children, have taken refuge in the vicinity of the Mission’s Sortoni team site, North Darfur”.

It pointed that according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2,385 people have also been displaced to Tawila, North Darfur.

“The Locality Commissioner of Tawila has appealed to UNAMID and humanitarian actors to assist some 800 people who have been displaced to the Rwanda Internally Displaced Persons camp there,” the statement read.

The mission indicated it is attempting to verify reports of people trapped in areas where combat is ongoing, saying its Nertiti Team Site in Central Darfur on 23 January reported sporadic heavy artillery gunfire and bombings in the Jebel Marra area.

The statement further said the mission is working with the UN Country Team and other national and international NGOs to protect the displaced in Sortoni, Tawila as well as Nertiti and provide emergency humanitarian relief to them.

It called on the warring parties to cease hostilities and stand ready to assist in any efforts to arrive at a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The Sudanese army and its allied militia have been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

According to the UN, 200,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and 2, 5 million chased from their homes.

(ST)