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You are here: Opinion Analyses The Avalanche of Violence Continues to Accelerate in Darfur

The Avalanche of Violence Continues to Accelerate in Darfur

International responses range from superficial to non-existent, a powerful signal to Khartoum about the consequences of its ongoing war against civilians

By Eric Reeves

October 11, 2012 (SSNA) -- The disappearance of Darfur from the international agenda now seems complete, perversely at the very moment when the region may be facing its most dangerous season of violence.  As I argued two months ago, what we are seeing is a sharp rise in the levels of all forms of violence, imperiling many hundreds of thousands of civilians. Such increasing violence makes a mockery of claims by the UN and African Union that their joint mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has achieved sufficient improvements in human security on the ground to permit a substantial draw-down of military and police personnel.  The all too conspicuous truth is that UNAMID is being quietly phased out because it is massively expensive and yet has failed miserably.  Indeed, the grim reality is that UNAMID cannot even provide security for its own forces, as was again demonstrated in the tragic deaths of four Nigerian members during a patrol last week—in an attack that occurred only two kilometers from a regional military base of operations in el-Geneina (West Darfur) and quite near check-points controlled by regime-allied forces. 

The U.S. State Department issued a statement about these deaths, and used the occasion to express concern about increasing violence in Darfur, thus directly contradicting the claims expressed by officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operation, senior UN humanitarian officials, and the AU.  This statement echoes an excessively restrained, not to say inaccurate assessment of several weeks ago by the chief U.S. diplomat with responsibilities for Darfur, Dane Smith:

"In comparison with 2011 it seems to me that the security situation in Darfur has deteriorated somewhat compared to last year, and there are particular concerns about North Darfur that lead me to think that the situation there is less stable than last year. [ ] I mentioned a particular insecurity in North Darfur and the areas adjacent to Jebel Marra which of course include South Darfur and central Darfur as well. West Darfur is relatively stable although there are some problems with criminality there." (Interview with Radio Dabanga, September 21, 2012) (all emphases in this text have been added)

[It should be noted that the Jebel Marra massif lies in the center of Darfur, and stretches across the borders of the three Darfur states, including West Darfur.  Here it should also be noted that "Central Darfur" is drawn essentially what was formerly West Darfur.  Thus it is disingenuous to speak of "Central Darfur" without acknowledging that it comprises for the most part towns and territory that was formerly part of West Darfur (e.g., Zalingei, Nertiti, Rokoro, Bindisi, Garsila, Umm Dukham, Mukjar, Wadi Saleh—the latter three particularly notorious as the sites of some of the worst ethnic slaughters early in the genocide). "Central Darfur" came into existence by Khartoum's administrative fiat of last year, and without the consent of Darfuris; it represents pure political expediency, in which the U.S. seems only too happy to participate. See UN OCHA map for "Central Darfur."]

The State Department declares that the U.S. is "deeply concerned by the sharp deterioration in security in North Darfur and parts of Jebel Marra."  But while welcome despite its belatedness, the statement still uses language that simply does not capture the scale of violence or insecurity in Darfur, including West Darfur, which does not enjoy the security Smith suggests ("West Darfur is relatively stable").  Moreover, the State Department nowhere mentions the extremely heavy fighting in eastern Darfur, recently analyzed in considerable and authoritative detail by the Small Arms Survey.  Authors Claudio Gramizzi and Jérôme Tubiana find that "late 2010 and the first half of 2011 saw a significant offensive by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and militias, backed by airstrikes and aerial bombardments, targeting both rebel groups and the Zaghawa civilian population across a broad swathe of eastern Darfur" ("Forgotten Darfur: Old Tactics and New Players," July 2012). 

"...the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and militias, backed by airstrikes and aerial bombardments targeting both rebel groups and the [non-Arab] Zaghawa civilian population across a broad swathe of eastern Darfur."  Why does this assessment not figure in the statements by Dane Smith or the U.S. State Department?  Do they not find the research credible?  Do they have alternative sources of on-the-ground research and reporting?

Moreover, neither Smith nor the State Department includes in their assessments the continuing large-scale military violence involving the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and SAF in other parts of Darfur and the Kordofan states.  And contrary to Dane Smith's ill-informed claim, violence in West Darfur, where the killing of the UNAMID troops occurred, continues to be the scene of ongoing atrocity crimes, the vast majority committed by Khartoum-allied militia forces; it is a region in which reports of attacks on civilians—including murder, rape, and assaults on displaced persons camps—are too numerous to report in their entirety (see below and my August 12th account).

To be sure, the U.S. says much more than we have heard from the UN and African Union.  Former special joint representative to UNAMID Ibrahim Gambari declared at his retirement party last month, “I am gratified to note that barely 31 months on, all the objectives I set out to meet have largely been met." This obscenely disingenuous self-congratulation grows out of Gambari's earlier assessments of human security in Darfur:

• In September 2011, Gambari claimed that, “as a result of a drop in ‘acts of aggression between the government and armed groups many residents are returning to Darfur.’ According to him there have been 70 percent fewer confrontations between the two sides from January to July in the restive western region of Sudan and one million people appear to have left camps for the displaced.” (Radio Netherlands International, September 14, 2011)

• In the same interview, Gambari put his claim in even more tendentious fashion:

“Our figures have shown that the number of armed attacks in all three Darfur states has fallen by as much 70 percent over the past three years, which has resulted in more displaced people returning to their homes.”

All of this is nonsense, of course, and depends exclusively on the excruciatingly limited data accumulated by UNAMID, which has regularly been denied access to most of Darfur during Gambari's entire tenure—in particular to scenes of atrocity crimes such as the civilian massacre at Tabarat, North Darfur, in September 2010.  Moreover, the number of those newly displaced during Gambari's time in office—well in excess of 500,000 civilians—is far greater than the number for those Gambari and the UN tendentiously claim have returned to their homes.   Nor does Gambari mention the more than 250 confirmed aerial attacks on civilian targets in greater Darfur.  But we have heard such self-celebration as Gambari offers before—from his African Union predecessor, Rodolphe Adada of Congo:

“‘I have achieved results in Darfur. [ ] There is no more fighting proper on the ground.’ ‘Right now there is no high-intensity conflict in Darfur. Call it what you will but this is what is happening in Darfur—a lot of banditry, carjacking, attacks on houses.’” (Agence France-Presse [Khartoum], August 27, 2009)

This claim from 2009 was then—and now—preposterous, but the AU seems little concerned with truth when the issue is Darfur. Indeed, the accounts by Gambari and other UNAMID officials have been sufficiently persuasive that the AU declared, in a document on Sudan that emerged following an Addis meeting of February 2, 2011, “the personal and unwavering commitment of President Al Bashir to sustaining peace between northern and southern Sudan and do all he can for the early resolution of the crisis in Darfur.”

It would be difficult to construct a statement more perversely mendacious.  Of course the UN has chimed in with its own foolish and destructive assessments:

• In an interview with Radio Dabanga (May 20, 2012), the spokesman for UNAMID, Christopher Cycmanick, “described the security situation in Darfur as ‘relatively calm.’”

• "We are seeing a 'trend of decreasing overall violent incidents in Darfur.'"  (UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Georg Charpentier, January 20, 2011)

• In early January 2011, Charpentier, declared: “UN humanitarian agencies are not confronted by pressure or interference from the Government of Sudan.” [Georg Charpentier, in a written statement to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting] (January 7, 2011).

• And indeed the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has made its own contribution to the gross and expedient distortion of Darfur's realities. Hervé Ladsous—head of UN peacekeeping operations—announced on June 24, 2012 that UNAMID would be reduced substantially over the next 18 months (UNAMID is the world’s largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation).  Ladsous, who has proved exceptionally weak in his position, offers as explanation little more than a statement that the reduction “would be implemented ‘during the next 18 months to reflect the reality on the ground and to streamline the overlapping functions between military, police and mission support components.’” The only phrase of significance here is the claim that a decision to reduce the size of UNAMID reflects an assessment of “the reality on the ground.”  This is again gross mendacity, meant to conceal the catastrophic failure of UNAMID to fulfill its mission.

• For his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has decided that in his quarterly reports on Darfur he need no longer address the epidemic of rape and sexual violence, or the relentless onslaught of aerial attacks targeting civilians.  This tells us all too much about his seriousness in reporting on Darfur's agony.

Reporting what is the case

Amidst such mendacity and expediency, we are fortunate that Human Rights WatchSmall Arms Survey, and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting have made important contributions to our limited understanding of conditions in Darfur.  But it remains the case that Radio Dabanga provides the only continuing, detailed accounts of the human security issues and atrocity crimes occurring on a daily basis throughout the region.  What follows is a compendium—from the past two months—of violent incidents and their effects on humanitarian conditions, which are rapidly declining because insecurity restricts the movement and access of relief organizations evermore severely. 

This reporting should be read in the context of Darfuri responses to the farcical "Doha Document on Peace for Darfur." Although supported by the U.S., the UN, the European Union, the African Union, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Conference, it has been overwhelmingly rejected by Darfuri civil society, on the ground and in the diaspora.  Here it is worth noting that Khartoum has abided by none of the terms of the July 2011 agreement.  Indeed, well known facts oblige Dane Smith to acknowledge as much in his interview with Radio Dabanga:

"…even though the structures [of the Darfur regional authority] are in place, there are other aspects that really made no progress. There has been no contribution by the government [in Khartoum] to the Darfur reconstruction and development fund; although the special prosecutor [for atrocity crimes in Darfur] is there and I have met with him and his staff, the courts for Darfur has not been set up—the terms of reference have not been written, it is not operating. There is nothing yet on compensation, nothing yet on disarmament of militias, nothing yet on the issue of land—all of which are very important to the solutions on the problems in Darfur. And so I think I have to say that, regretfully thus far there have been no tangible benefits for the IDP’s." (Interview with Radio Dabanga, September 21, 2012)

The same assessment was warranted in the wake of the equally meaningless "Darfur Peace Agreement" (Abuja, Nigeria), signed by Khartoum in May 2006—and also supported and celebrated at the time by the U.S., the African Union, and the European Union.

What does a survey of reports from Radio Dabanga over the past two months reveal?  What forms do ethnically-targeted violence and destruction presently take?  The following dispatches are organized by category (it should be noted how many of these dispatches are based on "eyewitness" reports and extraordinarily replete with details: names, locations, dates, ordnance used, and casualties following from assaults):

[1]  murder and large-scale attacks on displaced persons camps and towns;

[2]  aerial attacks on civilian or humanitarian targets;

[3]  rape and sexual violence, directed against both girls and women;

[4]  violence disruptive of humanitarian relief and contributing to an increase in malnutrition and morbidity levels;

[5]  conflict between Khartoum's Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), as well as its militia allies, and Sudan Liberation Army elements of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF);

Notes: 

• Again, I have preserved the longstanding divisions of Darfur into three administrative areas: West Darfur, South Darfur, North Darfur—divisions introduced by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party for political purposes in 1994, but extended even further last year to create two additional administrative areas: East Darfur and Central Darfur. This is a deliberate effort to weaken Darfur politically and create confusion; thus I have used only the three previous administrative designations, at times supplementing Radio Dabanga's geographical designations in brackets.

• I have also highlighted in bold italics the "dateline" for events and attacks from West Darfur in light of the complacent U.S. characterization of this area as "relatively stable"; other regional designations appear simply in bold.  The phrases "pro-government militia," Khartoum's brutal militia force, the Abu Tira (Central Reserve Police), border guards (yet another of the regime's paramilitary forces), and uniformed gunmen have also been highlighted, as have coordinated deployments of SAF military assets—including Antonov bombers—with militia elements.

 Radio Dabanga reporting is weakest from the eastern regions of Darfur, which makes the new and extensive report from Small Arms Survey ("Forgotten Darfur: Old Tactics and New Players," July 2012) all the more important.

• These dispatches, although representing only the past two months, are collectively much too voluminous for emailing or web-posting purposes.  They have been very significantly edited, and many telling details have perforce been elided.  Most often edited out are the inevitably desperate demands—more often pleas—for help from UNAMID and the international community.  Each such demand or plea should be unbearably shaming, and yet they are all too clearly falling on deaf ears.

FROM RADIO DABANGA

Full text at http://www.sudanreeves.org/?p=3473

[1] Murder and large-scale attacks on displaced persons camps and towns:

• Pro-government militia accused of carrying out attack in South Darfur

MERCNJ, South Darfur (7 August 2012) - One Internally Displaced Person was killed and another was injured today in Mercnj locality, South Darfur. Sources say pro-government militia are responsible. A relative of the fatal victim informed Radio Dabanga that about 10 armed men opened fire against a traders' vehicle that was traveling from Jabra market to Mercnj. The gunmen were riding camels and wearing military uniforms.

• IDP shot dead by pro-government militia in Al-Hamidiya camp

ZALINGEI, West Darfur (10 August 2012) - A pro-government militia killed a displaced person by the name of Abdel Kareem Gamrrudeen Ahmed, from Al-Hamidiya IDP camp on Friday. He was shot to dead inside his farm. One of Zalingei camp coordinators told Radio Dabanga that a pro-government militia opened fire on Gamrrudeen Ahmed, IDP, inside his farm next to the campThe farm is located at a distance of about 200 meters from a SAF station.

• Attack in Abu Zereiga market leaves 1 dead and 9 injured

ABU ZEREIGA, North Darfur (13 August 2012) - Recent attacks by armed groups in Abu Zereiga, North Darfur left one person dead and nine injured. The armed groups were accompanying a trade convoy from El-Fasher to Nyala. The victim's relative told Radio Dabanga that the armed group was traveling with a pro-government militia. The pro-government militia attacked civilians in the Abu Zereiga locality.

• Sudanese Central Reserve Forces attack Zam Zam camp market

ZAM ZAM CAMP, North Darfur (14 August 2012) - Forces from the Abu Tira looted on Monday evening a market at the Zam Zam IDP camp, North Darfur. Several people are injured. One of the victims told Radio Dabanga that Aboutirh elements, supported by pro-government militia, were driving three vehicles and intensively fired in the air before surrounding the Mazalat market in West Zam Zam. They closed all entrances and exits of the market and attacked everyone left inside.

• Third day of clashes in Mellit, North Darfur

MELLIT, North Darfur (16 August 2012) - Witnesses informed Radio Dabanga that renewed clashes took place today in Mellit, North Darfur. Mellit locality's commissioner said six people died since the beginning of the clashes three days ago. According to witnesses, Abdel Rahman and Hassan Abdullah got severely wounded during today's clashes in Mellit and were brought to the local hospital for treatment. [ ] The commissioner of Mellit locality, Mohamed Osman Ibrahim, announced today that six people died and 15 got injured since the beginning of the clashes three days ago.

• Pro-government militia accused of abducting IDPs in West Darfur

SIRBA, West Darfur (16 August 2012) - Sources informed Radio Dabanga that nine displaced people were abducted from the Bir Degig camp, in Sirba locality, West Darfur on Tuesday evening. They said pro-government militia carried out the abductions. A victim's relative told Radio Dabanga that dozens of pro-government militia, driving vehicles and riding camels, raided the Bir Degig IDP camp and abducted the nine IDPs.

• Tabit market attacked by government troops, killing several citizens

TABIT, North Darfur (18 August 2012) - Dozens of people were killed and injured on Friday at the market of Tabit, 30 kilometers south of El-Fasher. Citizens were beaten and shops and properties were looted by Abu Tira troops, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. Abu Tira troops and the Sudanese army surrounded Tabit's market from four different angles after Friday prayers, driving a convoy of Land-cruisers. They fired shots in the air with heavy machine guns, which resulted in killing and injuring dozens of people. [ ] Some witnesses say the death toll is about 15 and others say more than 20 people were killed, leaving dozens missing. [ ] Tabit market is one of the largest local markets in the area of East Jebel Marra.

• Three homes looted in Kassab camp, North Darfur

KUTUM, North Darfur (21 August 2012) - Witnesses accused pro-government militias of looting three displaced persons' homes at the Kassab camp, near Kutum in North Darfur on Tuesday. A victim's relative informed Radio Dabanga that three armed men infiltrated the Kassab camp at two o' clock on Tuesday morning and looted three camp residents' homes at gunpoint.

• Herders attacks injure 12 in Nysa, Central Darfur

NYSA, North Darfur (22 August 2012) - Witnesses informed Radio Dabanga that twelve villagers from Nysa, North Darfur, got severely injured due to attacks of herders on Tuesday. [ ] According to a victim's relative, herders riding camels and horses attacked the people in Nysa, a village 5km west of Garsela, Central [formerly West] Darfur locality. [ ] The witness affirmed that instead of agreeing on a compensation, the herders attacked random people from the village using batons, wires and rifle butts. He added the victims were insulted with racial slurs.

• Fatta Barno activist: no camp security

FATTA BARNO, North Darfur (30 August 2012) - An activist from the Fatta Barno camp in North Darfur told Radio Dabanga that about 7,000 camp residents are currently living under harsh circumstances, facing scarcity of food and of medicine. He added that neither UNAMID forces nor the Sudanese police are currently protecting the camp.  The Fatta Barno and Kassab camps suffered several attacks from militias in the past month. Radio Dabanga reported on 9 August that UNAMID promised to provide security for both camps. The activist from Fatta Barno described the circumstances at the camp as “disastrous”, adding that the camp is now under the control of militias. He explained that a third wave of Fatta Barno's residents is on the verge of fleeing the camp due to the problems above.

• One dead and eight injured near Kutum

KUTUM, North Darfur (5 September 2012) - Eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that on September 5, Osman Kasham, was shot dead in a small valley called Ouweja, near Kutum in North Darfur. They added another eight people got injured when border guards opened fire against their vehicle. According to a relative of Kasham, the victims were ambushed by border guards when traveling back from Disa to Kutum

• State of emergency announced in Kutum

KUTUM, North Darfur (5 September 2012) - A source informed Radio Dabanga that on September 5, the government of North Darfur announced a state of emergency in Kutum and El-Waha localities. [ ] Several sources informed Radio Dabanga that the Abu Tira burned the police headquarters of Kutum town on Wednesday morning. They said Abu Tira forces also stole weapons and seized two vehicles.

• Pro-government militia kill 2 and injure 2

GARBASSI, South Darfur (6 September 2012) - Witnesses accused pro-government militias of killing two people and injuring another two in Garbassi, East Jebel Marrah locality in South Darfur on September 6. They added the militia also looted properties and livestock from the village.

• Kabkabiya: at least 8 killed by gunmen

KABKABIYA, North Darfur (11 September 2012) - On September 11, Radio Dabanga was informed about separate attacks by gunmen around Kabkabiya locality, North Darfur. Witnesses affirmed that three incidents took place, leaving eight dead and several injured. [ ] According to witnesses, the first incident took place in the Uri mining area, where five people got killed and several got injured.  The second incident, according to witnesses speaking to Radio Dabanga from Kabkabiya, took place in an area called El-Hara, north of Kutum.  They said three people died when gunmen opened fire against them.

• Looting and shooting in Zam Zam

ZAM ZAM CAMP, North Darfur (13 September 2012) - Residents from the Zam Zam camp in North Darfur accused the Abu Tira of looting a market on September 13, Radio Dabanga was informed. [ ] According to witnesses, four Abu Tira elements entered the Mazalat market via its four different gates and began firing in the air to scare street vendors, and shop and cafe owners. They said people fled in fear and others managed to find places to hide at the market. Residents said Abu Tira forces looted shops and people. 

• Series of robberies in Forbranga

FORBRANGA, West Darfur (13 September 2012) - Residents from Forbranga, a town in West Darfur, complained to Radio Dabanga about a series of night robberies and looting they have been experiencing since September 9. They said groups of two to six gunmen are responsible for the attacks. Sources said the gunmen, wearing military uniforms, have been looting homes, shops, the market, and different parts of town for the past few days.

• Four people killed in Mellit  

MELLIT, North Darfur (16 September 2012) - At least four people were killed in Mellit, North Darfur, on September 15 during an attack by unknown gunmen. The gunmen were said to have fired RPG shells on the area. Radio Dabanga was informed by a witness that an armed group fired two RPG shells from an unknown destination at around 9 pm on Saturday evening. [ ] The witness revealed that the first shell killed four people, among them a primary school child. He stressed that three victims died on the spot. Their names are: Osman Ezzeldeen Ali Karam El-Deen, Rashed Ahmed Ali and Mohamed Saleh. The fourth victim, Hafez, died as a result of his injuries in El-Fasher. The witness added that the gunmen targeted the club to cause a maximum number of losses.

• Two young men killed in Zalingei

ZALINGEI, West Darfur (16 September 2012) - An armed group attacked four young men in Zalingei, Central [formerly West] Darfur, on September 15. A witness informed Radio Dabanga that the four gunmen, believed to be pro-government, opened fire on the young men inside their home, in the 'Hay el-Mowazafeen' (staff district) in Zalingei. He explained that the attack killed both Salah Idris, a water seller, and Bella, a bakery worker.

• Abu Tira troops clash in Zamzam camp

EL-FASHER, North Darfur (24 September 2012) - Abu Tira troops clashed in Zamzam camp firing heavily in the air near the camp's market on September 23. According to eyewitnesses, the heavy gunfire from Abu Tira troops led residents and shop-owners to flee from the market, resulting in significant losses for traders of meat and vegetables in particular.

 Pro-government militia carries out series of attacks

TABIT, North Darfur (24 September 2012) - Pro-government militia were accused of looting a market and homes in Tabit, North Darfur, in addition to beating and looting citizens near the town over the weekend. [ ] They added the militia, wearing military uniforms, looted Tabit's market and stole money from passersby. Witnesses pointed out the gunmen, driving 35 vehicles, carried out the attacks in front of the town's army commander. [ ] The army commander claimed army officers could intervene and control these militias, according to a source. He added the army commander explained this pro-government militia only follows orders from Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Mohammed Hussein, in Khartoum.

On their way to El-Fasher, the militia was accused of looting a box truck carrying 15 civilians on Saturday afternoon, a victim told Radio Dabanga. He added the soldiers insulted and severely beat the passengers, which included a renowned sheikh called Suleiman Abu Donga, 75 years old. The victims had attended a funeral at Zam Zam camp.

• Sheikh killed by gunmen in North Darfur

DAR-EL-SALAAM, North Darfur (26 September 2012) - An armed group killed an elderly sheikh in the market of Jaaour, Dar-el-Salaam locality in North Darfur on September 25. A relative of the sheikh told Radio Dabanga that a local pro-government militia, led by omda Mahdi Mohamed Hassan, raided Jaaour market at about three o'clock in the afternoon.  In addition to looting, the militia engaged in beating a number of civilians. It was said that the gunmen selected their victims based on their ethnical backgrounds.  The relative explained that the militia leader, omda Mahdi Mohamed Hassan, beat and tortured the elderly sheikh, Taher Khamees who is over 70 years of age, and tied him to the back of the vehicle dragging him along until he died from his injuries.

[W]itnesses confirmed that all crimes committed southeast of El-Fasher in the past period, in particular in the regions Sag el-Na'am and Abudeek, were committed by militias led by omda Mahdi Mohamed Hassan.  The witnesses noted that even though these crimes, carried out by local militias, were committed under the watchful eye of the local and state authorities, they did not engage in any attempts to end the series of violent crimes in the region.

• Government-linked militia commits massacre in North Darfur: witnesses

September 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - heavily-armed militia group linked to the Sudanese government has attacked and killed 87 people, including children and women, over the last three days in North Darfur State, eyewitnesses said. According to the witnesses, government-backed militias groups riding on four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an unusual amount of heavy arms wreaked havoc between September 25 and September 27, in Hashaba area of Kutum locality in North Darfur State. The witnesses said that the assailing groups destroyed properties, blocked main roads and killed 87 people including women and children. More than 60 people were also injured in the attack and are being treated in the hospital of Al-Fashir.  A local official in Hashaba, Abdella Rifa, said the militias burned and depopulated three villages in the suburbs of Hashaba, including Khashim Al-Wadi village, Um La’ota village and Tabaldia village.

The official painted a grim picture, [ ] saying that the displaced population is living under dire humanitarian conditions and there are no available paramedics to treat the wounded. Rifa blamed the Jangaweed militias for carrying out the “barbaric attack” and held the government responsible for the incidents. [ ] Rifa said that the leader of the Jangaweed” militia that carried out the attack is called Al-Nur. He also said that the group moved to attack from their base in Damrat Al-Quba. According to Rifa, they knew beforehand that the militia was going to attack and they informed the authorities including the governor of the state, Mohammed Osman Kibir, “but they did nothing.”

Kutum locality has been the scene of increased violence and revenge attacks targeting certain ethnic groups since the assassination on August 1 of a district commissioner affiliated to Arab ethnic groups. In early August, militia groups attacked a local IDP camp in the area, killing 21 people and displacing more than 30,000 people, according to local NGOs. Violence in Darfur has generally surged along ethnic lines in recent months despite a recession in fighting between the government and the rebel groups who took up arms in 2003 accusing it of marginalizing the region.

• More than 2,000 people fled Hashaba attacks

MELLIT, North Darfur (30 September 2012) - It was reported that more than 2,000 people who fled the recent attacks around Hashaba have arrived to Ba'ashim area, north of Mellit, North Darfur, on Sunday. [ ] Witnesses said these people are suffering from fatigue, adding that they barely ate or drank anything during the three days they traveled. [ ] They added that the 2,000 people who arrived in Ba'ashim represent only one fourth of the victims who fled the Hashaba attacks. Most of the victims fled to Dar Zaghawa, north of Hashaba and others fled to El-Fasher, sources pointed out. According to witnesses accounts, Hashaba and surrounding villages saw intense aerial bombardments on September 26 and 27. In addition, pro-government militias were also accused by sources of invading the area during the same period. The attacks allegedly resulted in more than 80 people dead or injured around Hashaba area, sources told Radio Dabanga.

• Sudanese army shoots inside Hamidiya

ZALINGEI, West Darfur (2 October 2012) - A Sudanese army patrol heavily fired shots inside Hamidiya camp in Zalingei, Central Darfur [formerly West] Darfur, just past midnight on October 2. A Zalingei camps coordinator told Radio Dabanga that a Sudanese army convoy stormed the camp and fired in the air for about 45 minutes. The army, stationed north of the camp, targeted blocks 1, 2, 3 and 7 during the shootings, he added. The heavy shooting caused panic and horror amid the camp residents.

 Displaced man attacked in Shaddad camp

SHANGIL TOBAI, North Darfur (2 October 2012) - An internally displaced person from Shaddad camp in Shangil Tobai, North Darfur, was attacked over the weekend by three gunmen riding camels, eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga. [ ] The witnesses told Radio Dabanga that such assaults against residents of Shaddad camp happen often when they leave the camp. They said gunmen commonly attack, beat and rape them, and loot their properties.  Another displaced person from Shaddad told Radio Dabanga about the food shortage camp's residents are facing, on September 30. He pointed out that, although the World Food Programme (WFP) resumed the distribution of small amounts of food at the camp after a four-month stop, thousands did not receive anything. The displaced said that 11,000 people, who are food card holders, did not receive any food and that 13,000 people’s names have disappeared from the list during the cards’ renewal process. Sources said the food rations only lasted 15 days.

 Daily gunmen assaults in Bilel

BILEL, South Darfur (2 October 2012) - Residents of the Gudd Alhaboub area, in Bilel locality east of Nyala, in South Darfur, have complained about daily assaults by gunmen in the area on October 1. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga the last attack happened on September 30, in which five women were whipped and beaten in five separate incidents. They added that one of these women was stabbed and that two others had their heads shaved by the perpetrators. According to witnesses’ reports, gunmen riding horses and camels, often attacks residents from the area on roads and farms, adding that especially women are targeted. Residents told Radio Dabanga that only last week more than 10 assaults against them took place.

• Hashaba attacks: almost 300 victims

HASHABA, North Darfur (4 October 2012) - According to a survivor, between 250 and 300 people got killed or injured following last week's attacks in Hashaba, North Darfur. The survivor Ishaaq Adduma Adam Ishaaq, who got seriously injured, told Radio Dabanga he witnessed the burial of 168 victims, from September 28 until October 2. He added that there are still tens of bodies lying in the vicinity of the battlefield that have not yet been buried. Ishaaq, who previously owned a water supply tank in the area, said that hundreds of people who fled Hashaba are still wondering around valleys, mountains and deserts. He suggested the people who fled Hashaba, hiding mostly around Jaira, Anka, Amorai, Guadara, Baashim and Umm Sidr, could die soon due to thirst/starvation.

The source also told Radio Dabanga that at about 10:45am on Tuesday, gunmen coming from several different directions attacked the area. They were riding horses, camels and Land Cruisers, he added. According to Ishaaq, just about 15 minutes after the gunmen attack, an Antonov plane bombed the area. He said these attacks lasted four days, from Tuesday to Friday. Ishaaq also reported that gunmen attacked three different markets on Tuesday. He saw at least 25 people being killed, at least 10 who got injured and several other seeking refugee inside wells. According to the source, the markets in Kutum, El-Fasher and Zanga Zanga were attacked and looted, explaining he witnessed everything from Kutum. Ishaaq said some of the fatal victims are: Idriss Abbeker and his son, the Imam of the mosque, the Sheikh of the Kutum market Haji Ibrahim (70 years old), Abdul Latif Musa Ishaaq, Magdah, Mariam, and Fatima Ishaaq, from El Fasher.

[2] Aerial attacks on civilian or humanitarian targets:

• Hundreds displaced due to bombings in North Darfur

JEBEL MARA, North Darfur (6 August 2012) - Hundreds were displaced from east Jebel Mara to Tawila locality, North Darfur. According to a witness, this is the result of the Sudanese Armed Forces'  intensive bombing on east Jebel Mara throughout the week. One of the fugitives said that dozens of people, including a large number of women, children and elders, are still in open fields, forests and valleys. They have no food, no medicine and no shelter. He added that after the bombings pro-government militias chased and dragged the people out of their homes and plundered their livestocks.

• SAF bombed several areas west of Jabal Marra and Abu Hamra

JABAL MARRA, North Darfur (6 August 2012) - Eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that the SAF have bombed the areas of Jabal Heraiz, north Shangil Tobay, Wadi Mirra, Abu Hamra and Tangararah [North Darfur] for three consecutive days. The witnesses added that the bombings resulted in the death of numerous livestock and the injuring of a young mother. Many people reportedly fled the area and left their farms behind. [ ] Most of the shells fell in agricultural and grazing areas, resulting in the loss of large numbers of livestock and citizens leaving their farms behind.

• Fourth day of SAF bombing in East Jebel Marra

EAST JEBEL MARRA, South Darfur (8 August 2012) - Eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that an Antonov plane bombed the areas of Hillat Ahmed, Hillat Abaker, Um Kadaldal, Kabka, Lourtik and Trungfawi, South Darfur. In addition, villages southeast of Tabit and the area south of al-Malam in South Darfur were also bombed. This is the fourth day of bombings in the area.

• SAF bombings in East Jebel Marra

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (20 August 2012) - Sources told Radio Dabanga that SAF bombed East Jebel Marra, Darfur region, on Sunday and Monday. According to them several citizens were killed and wounded. Witnesses said that dozens of cattle also died due to the heavy shelling by the SAF. They added that yesterday between 8am until 1pm an Antonov airplane was circling above East Jebel Marra and dropped dozens of bombs. The following places were hit: Crawfla, Dali, Masalit, Venka and Dubbo. [A] victim informed Radio Dabanga that citizens fled the affected areas and are now hiding in valleys and mountains in the surroundings. [ ]  The witness said that the SAF is performing air strikes around this region for two months now (July and August).

• SAF planes flying low over Mershing IDP camp, South Darfur

MERSHING, South (26 August 2012) - An activist from Mershing IDP camp in South Darfur revealed that two Sudanese Air Forces (SAF) planes flew over the camp several times on Saturday August 25. The planes were flying low, as if they were preparing to drop bombs. Several IDPs fled to neighboring valleys and forests. Three women in Mershing IDP camp suffered from miscarriages caused by fear and panic.  

• SAF aerial bombings kill four people

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (11 September 2012) - Witnesses informed Radio Dabanga that on September 11, four civilians were killed in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, as a result of aerial bombings. They said an SAF Antonov airplane flew above the area for about two hours before dropping a total of 10 bombs. Onlookers informed Radio Dabanga that the fatal victims include a woman and a child. They said the 10 bombs were dropped by the SAF in an area about one kilometer east from Fanga market, East Jebel Marra. The names of the fatal victims are: Saleh Abker, 70 years old; Mohammad Yaqub, 50 years old; Mariam Yehia, 60 years old; and Ahmed Saleh, 12 years old. [An eyewitness] added that the shelling and killings on the ground have been going on for two months.

• Bombings in North Darfur; two incidents, 13 dead

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (19 September 2012) - On September 18, 13 people died in two separate incidents took place between Zam Zam and Tabet. Radio Dabanga was informed that both accidents were caused by bombs dropped by the SAF. In the first incident, 11 people traveling in two vehicles were killed when both cars were shelled, onlookers reported. They said that one of the vehicles was carrying 10 passengers, eight of them died and the other two survived. The second vehicle was carrying two passengers and the driver, according to witnesses. They said all of them died and the car was completely destroyed. On Wednesday witnesses affirmed that SAF bombings killed a nine-year-old girl and left her mother in critical condition. [ ] Another farmer was killed by an SAF bomb while working in his land in the same area.

• More bombardments in East Jebel Marra

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (24 September 2012) - A MiG plane dropped shells near a bore-hole in the Torta region east of Fanga, East Jebel Marra locality, North Darfur, on September 24. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that MiG planes bombarded the areas of Hillat Wad Ali and Tangarara, Wadi Marra and Torta areas. The shelling caused residents to flee and seek refuge in neighboring farms. [A] resident from East Jebel Marra described the humanitarian conditions for the locals as 'very bad'. He told Radio Dabanga that the residents in this area live in constant fear of aerial attacks as well as fear of renewed clashes or militia attacks.

• Hashaba area hit by aerial attacks

HASHABA, North Darfur (27 September 2012) - Hashaba area was hit by an aerial attack on September 26, according to news reports from Kutum locality, North Darfur. The aerial attack was carried out by fighter helicopters and dense smoke could be seen rising from the town's market, witnesses told Radio Dabanga. Other reports mention that several people were killed and injured by the attack. At the time of the attack, pro-government militias engaged in widespread looting in the region.

• SAF bombings kill three people

EAST JEBEL MARRA (27 September 2012) - Three people were killed, among them a three-year-old child, when the area of Fanga was struck by an aerial attack from the Sudanese Air Forces on September 25. The SAF planes dropped six shells in the Fanga area of East Jebel Marra.

• Bombings continue in Hashaba, 60 died so far

HASHABA, North Darfur (28 September 2012) - Sources from Hashaba, Kutum locality, North Darfur, reported seeing clouds of smoke rising from nearby villages on September 27, after the Sudanese air force bombed the area. Since Wednesday, 60 civilians have died and more than 50 got injured, Radio Dabanga was informed. A source added that hundreds are missing. A farmer from Hashaba told Radio Dabanga he saw a MiG plane bombing the area at about 11am on Thursday and the nearby Khashm valley being shelled at about 6pm the same day. [ ] They also asked that pro-government militias are disarmed and that perpetrators are brought to justice to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands. A local leader called the recent events a “genocide,” stressing that action against it must be taken on both local and international levels.  He also said that the Sudan Revolutionary Front must overthrow the regime in Khartoum.

• [More bombing of civilians in North Darfur]

TABIT, North Darfur (28 September 2012) - Witnesses from west Tabit, North Darfur, reported that the villages of Tangarara, Tabaldia, and Humeida, were exposed to air strikes on September 28. [ ] Radio Dabanga was informed by witnesses from the area that the bombardments came after a battle, which took place on Thursday afternoon in the same area between government forces and Sudanese Revolutionary ForcesThe witnesses said that the bombardments caused residents to flee towards the farms as the bombardments caused the burning of about 150 acres of agricultural land. According to reports from the area, the fire is still spreading.

• East Jebel Marra air strikes leave four dead

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (3 October 2012) - Sheikh Joma'a Saleh, and his three sons, Hawa, Adam and Abdullah, were killed when an Antonov aircraft dropped three bombs at approximately 30 kilometers west of Tabit in North Darfur on October 3. The bombings led to the killing of sheikh Joma'a and his three sons as well as the death of a number of livestock. The witnesses confirmed to Radio Dabanga that aerial bombardments resumed on Wednesday evening in the area north of Katoor village. [ ] The shelling resulted in fires as well as the death of a number of livestock. Nearby residents fled from the area.

• Bombings in East Jebel Marra “highly toxic”

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (4 October 2012) - According to eyewitnesses, the recent aerial attacks in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, were not executed by an Antonov airplane but by a Sukhoi fighter jet. They explained that a Sukhoi carries highly explosive and toxic weapons, which they believe are internationally banned. Radio Dabanga reported about the shelling on October 3. Eyewitnesses reported that the recent bombs injured several farmers, who are now suffering of diarrhea, neck and limbs swelling and rashes. The population of East Jebel Marra appealed to human rights' organizations and to the UN to send a fact-finding mission to the area and investigate the poisoning amongst residents. [ ]

According to sources, two MiG airplanes bombed Mount Selo Kndua, near Shangil Tobai, North Darfur, on October 4. [ ]  A citizen who survived the shelling, Abdo Saleh, told Radio Dabanga his livestock were killed. He added that, despite repeated appeals to the international community, East Jebel Marra is constantly targeted by aerial attacks. Saleh described the events as “genocide” and stressed that there is no peace in Darfur.

[3] Rape and sexual violence, directed against both girls and women

• Rape and widespread looting in Kutum

KUTUM, North Darfur (19 August 2012) - An armed group raped a young girl Saturday in the village of Koure, 5 kilometers south of Kutum in North Darfur. A relative of the victim told Radio Dabanga that six armed men attacked the village of Koure on Saturday and fired shots at the 17-year old girl when she struggled to fight them. They raped her alternately. After the rape they started widespread looting of citizens' possessions and livestock. A relative of the rape victim told Radio Dabanga that the girl was taken to Kutum hospital on Sunday to have three bullets removed from her neck, chest and thigh. UNAMID was informed about the incident.

• More than 20 women and girls raped at Kassab camp

KASSAB CAMP, North Darfur (22 August 2012) - Hiba Abbaker Mohammed, President of the Federation of Women at the Kassab camp, North Darfur, revealed to Radio Dabanga that pro-government militia raped more than 20 women and girls at the camp during three days of attacks in the beginning of August. During the interview, Mohammed said the militia had besieged the Kassab camp for three days in the beginning of August and that dozens of camp residents are missing. She added the pro-government militia raped, murdered, beat, tortured and insulted several people in public.

An 80-year old woman living in Kassab camp was also interviewed by Radio Dabanga. She affirmed that this is the worst Eid al-Fitr of her life and that due to the series of violent events at the camp the celebration lost its meaning. The woman said a relative of hers died and another five are missing. She stated, however, that the pain of losing a relative is not comparable to seeing close friends being raped in public in front of her own eyes. She said she would rather die than seeing those girls and women being raped.

• Young girl raped by gunman in Zalingei, Central Darfur

ZALINGEI, West Darfur (23 August 2012) - An unknown gunman raped a young girl from El-Hamidiya IDP camp in Zalingei, Central [formerly West] Darfur on August 22. [An armed man] took the child in the direction of Wadi Azoum and she was released on  August 23. Traces of abuse and torture were found on the girl's body. A Zalingei camps coordinator told Radio Dabanga that UNAMID took the girl to the International Medical Corps center (IMC) for treatment, however IMC representatives informed UNAMID they were not authorized to treat rape victims, according to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) law. The hybrid mission decided to take the girl to Zalingei hospital. At the hospital UNAMID was asked to provide form 8, which requires registering a report with the police. On their turn, the police claimed not to have authority to register rape reports.

(NB: this perverse refusal of police to respond—on "Catch-22 legal grounds"—to the most violent instances of sexual assault has been the experience of virtually all those seeking justice in such cases—ER)

• IDPs from El-Amiriyah camp attacked and raped

KABKABIYA, North Darfur (25 August 2012) - An armed group attacked four displaced persons and raped two, from El-Amiriyah IDP camp, east of Kabkabiya in North Darfur. [ ] Among the victims were an under-aged girl and an elderly woman. [ ] The relative mentioned to Radio Dabanga that the incident was reported to UNAMID as well as the police. UNAMID stated that the victims will be treated for their injuries on August 26, as the hospital is closed until then.

• Two women abducted from Mornei, West Darfur

MORNEI, West Darfur (26 August 2012) - Two displaced women were abducted by an armed group from Mornei IDP camp in West Darfur on August 26. A family member of one of the victims told Radio Dabanga that four gunmen on horses attacked six women from Mornei IDP camp on Sunday evening. The women were on their way back to the camp from the nearby agricultural areas.

• El-Hamidiya: woman attacked by 7 gunmen

EL-HAMIDIYA, West Darfur (30 August 2012) - A witness from the El-Hamidiya camp in Central [formerly West] Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that seven gunmen attacked a woman inside her farm on August 29. A relative of the victim said she was beaten until she fainted and taken to a Zalingei hospital for treatment. According to the witness, Kaltom Mohamed Mansour was attacked by gunmen who were wearing military uniforms. Mansour's relative blames pro-government militia for carrying out attacks in the Locality. The relative said he found Mansour inside her farm, located north of the El-Hamidiya camp. He added perpetrators beat her with sticks and whips until she fainted and that he reported the incident to UNAMID. The head of community policing from the El-Hamidiya camp, Ahmed Jomaa Nujila, told Radio Dabanga that UNAMID did not fulfill its promise to patrol the camp, despite having a station inside it. According to him, UNAMID had agreed to patrol especially women who go collecting firewood and when they go working in farms. [ ]  He added UNAMID directs residents' reports about assaults to the Sudanese police before they handle the complaints.

• Twelve rape cases in Bir Dagig camp in one week

SIRBA, West Darfur (1 September 2012) - Bir Dagig IDP camp in Sirba Locality, West Darfur registered twelve cases of rape in the last week [August 24 - 31]. A camp representative told Radio Dabanga that four gunmen in military uniforms attacked three displaced persons on August 26. The displaced were working in a farm east of the camp in the Marini area when they were attacked and raped. The camp representative said there was an eighth-grade schoolgirl among the victims. He added that another group of five armed men attacked three displaced persons in Rinj area when they were chopping wood. Among the victims were two girls of 15 and 16 years old. On August 28, militants on camels and horses attacked four displaced persons working on a farm in Sirtenmij area, east of the camp. They attacked and raped the four women, among them a breastfeeding mother with a three months old baby and a thirteen-year-old girl.

• Kassab camp resident raped

KUTUM, North Darfur (3 September 2012) - Gunmen raped a displaced woman from Kassab camp in North Darfur, on September 2, after assaulting and beating her severely. A camp resident told Radio Dabanga the armed men attacked four displaced women, while they were collecting firewood. Three women managed to escape and the fourth, carrying her baby, was captured by the gunmen. The woman was beaten severely before she was raped.

• Police rape girl in Darfur camp

BISSINDI CAMP, West Darfur (4 September 2012) - Eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that an element of the popular police (neighborhood police) raped a 15-year old displaced girl from Bissindi camp, Central [formerly West] Darfur, on September 2. The girl's relative told Radio Dabanga that the element of the popular police was armed and he raided the girl's home at 11pm on Sunday. He added the men intimidated the girl's family, took her away and raped her. He said he found the girl the next morning on the outskirts of the camp.

• Elderly woman raped in Nertiti, West Darfur

NERTITI. West Darfur (10 September 2012) - Sources told Radio Dabanga that pro-government militia raped a 70-year old woman from camp Nertiti in Central [formerly West] Darfur on Saturday, September 8. They said she was attacked by two men and was brought to Nertiti hospital for treatment. According to a relative of the victim, she was attacked when collecting firewood somewhere about two kilometers south of the camp.

• Kutum area: 4 women raped and 4 injured

KUTUM (12 September 2012) - Onlookers said that on September 11, two pro-government militia raped a woman and a child from Kassab camp, North Darfur. They added that two other women were beaten repeatedly by the men when trying to escape. A camp's activist and a resident said the victims were on their way to work in the morning on a farm outside the camp when the two men, wearing military uniforms, attacked them. They claimed the men, on camels, belong to the Abu Tira. The sources said that two women managed to flee, after being severely beaten by the men, and the other two victims were raped by both men. Radio Dabanga was told that the Sudanese military forces and UNAMID brought the victims to a Kutum hospital for treatment. Also on Tuesday, sources told Radio Dabanga that the same pro-government militia assaulted two displaced women inside their farms, near Kassab camp. [ ]

When speaking to Radio Dabanga on September 9, sources accused border guards and the Abu Tira of raping two women in Wadi El-Naam and El-Sudd areas, northeast of Kutum. They added that besides attacking the women, border guards and Abu Tira forces looted local citizens' properties and destroyed their livestock.

• Gunmen rape 15-year-old girl

ZALINGEI, West Darfur (23 September 2012) - Two gunmen, said to belong to a pro-government militia, raped a 15-year-old displaced girl from Hamidiya camp [West Darfur], on September 22 in the area of Gondarsi, north of Zalingei in Central [formerly West] Darfur. A Zalingei camp coordinator told Radio Dabanga that four displaced women were collecting firewood as they ran into two gunmen who threatened them with weapons.

•Armed group kidnaps displaced woman

KUTUM, North Darfur (28 September 2012) - An armed group kidnapped a displaced woman and broke the hand of another displaced woman from Kassab camp, Kutum locality in North Darfur on September 28. Kassab camp sheikh, Taher Ismail, told Radio Dabanga that an armed group on horses and camels appeared on Friday and attacked a number of displaced women near the camp. On the other hand, Sheikh Taher Ismail revealed the emergence of a new phenomenon in the region. He explains that youth groups drive around the camp, attacking women and looting citizens. The sheikh considers this phenomenon a verification of the lack of security and stability in the camp as well as a return of the attacks and looting in an even more dangerous form.

• Two women raped in East Jebel Marra

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (5 October 2012) - Eyewitnesses said that a 12-year old girl and a 28-year old woman were raped near the village of Suu Sawa, in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, on October 5. They told Radio Dabanga that members of the Sudanese armed forces were behind the attacks. Witnesses said a convoy of 13 vehicles belonging to the government forces, which was coming from El-Fasher, drove towards a well at about 3pm where some women were fetching water. Sources recounted that while some forces just stood on the side laughing, others approached them and said they had orders to rape all women suspected of having links with the rebels.  The soldiers added that everyone in the area, including the rebels, should die and that their bodies must be disposed, sources continued.  The incident took place about 15km north of Kunjara area, in East Jebel Marra, where the government troops have a base.  Local residents also blamed Al-Khadi, a pro-government militia leader, for inciting all the crimes and violations in the area. They said he is the “eye of the government” and should be brought to the ICC, in The Hague.

• Attacks against women rise in Hamidiya

HAMIDIYA, West Darfur (5 October 2012) - Displaced women living at Hamidiya camp in Zalingei, Central [formerly West] Darfur, have complained about the rise of pro-government militias' assaults against them recently, Radio Dabanga has learned on October 4. The women said that dozens of them were attacked in the past two weeks, adding that the last attack happened on October 3, against a woman and her daughter.

• Gunmen rape 18 year old woman

KASSAB CAMP, North Darfur (10 October 2012) - Two gunmen raped a young displaced woman in Kassab camp, North Darfur on October 10. A witness told Radio Dabanga that the gunmen arrived on camels and attacked five displaced women when they were on their way back to the camp from nearby farms. The gunmen seized one of the displaced, an 18-year-old woman, and raped her several times.

[4]  Violence and disruption of humanitarian relief, contributing to an increase in malnutrition and morbidity

• Diseases spreading rapidly in Darfur IDP camps

NYALA, South Darfur (23 August 2012) - Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Darfur complain about rapidly spreading diseases such as malaria, typhoid, skin conditions and diarrhea, especially among children and the elderly. The diseases spread in all IDP camps in Darfur, due to lack of medical treatment and the stagnant water in which flies and mosquitoes breed. A medical source warned for an epidemic of several diseases and added that there is a lack of campaigns to fight malaria and environmental health issues.

• 30,000 people face lack of doctors in Al Riyadh camp

EL GENEINA, West Darfur (28 August 2012) - Radio Dabanga was informed today that more than 30,000 residents from the Al Riyadh camp in El-Geneina, West Darfur, face a serious humanitarian crisis. According to a camp's activist the three most serious issues are a lack of security, a lack of water and a lack of medical services. The activist informed Radio Dabanga that there is only one health center in the camp that counts more than 30,000 residents. In addition, he said, there are no medicines, no nurses and no midwives available at the camp. The source said this situation arose after June 2011 when the Government of Sudan expelled medical international humanitarian organizations from the camp.

 NGO headquarters looted in Tawila

TAWILA, North Darfur (31 August 2012) - An armed group looted the headquarters of a foreign NGO in Tawila Locality, North Darfur on August 30. Radio Dabanga was told by a witness that the pro-government gunmen wore military uniforms and drove three Land Cruisers. First the gunmen cut the telecom wires and then moved on to attack the headquarters of one of a foreign NGO.

• Ongoing looting in Kutum

KUTUM, North Darfur (9 September 2012) - Adam Mohamed Zakaria was severely injured during an attack by unidentified gunmen in Dalal village, west of Kutum in North Darfur on September 8. A relative of the victim told Radio Dabanga that the gunmen, on camels and horses, attacked Zakaria's home with the purpose of looting. When Zakaria tried to fight them, he was shot in his mouth and shoulder. [ ] In a separate incident, an armed group looted the office of the 'Zakat Chambers' in Kutum on Saturday.

• UNHCR vehicles looted

EL-GENEINA, West Darfur (9 September 2012) - An armed group looted two vehicles from UNHCR headquarters in El-Geneina [West Darfur] on September 7. An eyewitness told Radio Dabanga the armed group, believed to be pro-government, attacked the UNHCR headquarters early Friday morning. The armed group attacked three guards at the headquarters, tied their hands with ropes and guarded them. Then they seized two new Land Cruiser vehicles, from inside the yard, forced the guards to climb into the vehicles and fled. [ ] The witness said that attacks on vehicle-owners has become a widespread phenomenon, despite the presence of the Sudanese army and police at the main gates and entrances of El-Geneina.

• Diseases spreading rapidly in Darfur

EL-FASHER, North Darfur (16 September 2012) - Health Minister of the Darfur Regional Authority, Osman El-Bushra, revealed the spread of diseases such as leprosy, scabies, tuberculosis, night blindness, river blindness, malaria, schistosomiasis and typhoid among the population of Darfur. He attributes the spread of these diseases to malnutrition, poverty, a lack of health and therapeutic institutions, and the deteriorating security situation in the region.

 Gunmen loot NGO offices in Mornei, West Darfur

MORNEI, West Darfur (18 September 2012) - Unidentified gunmen attacked offices of international aid organizations located at the Mornei campWest Darfur, on 17 September, a witness told Radio Dabanga. He said that millions of Sudanese pounds (SDG) and other equipment were stolen.

• New wave of displacement

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (19 September 2012)

The aerial bombardments in East Jebel Marra led to a new wave of civilian displacement from cities and villages to IDP camps, camps leaders from Dali and Rwanda told Radio Dabanga. They said that 87 families arrived in their camps, located in Tawila locality [North Darfur] between Saturday and Wednesday this week. [ ] In addition, they said the condition of these families is critical. Children have no clothes and there is no availability of shelters or medicine for these people, as the camp is also lacking these items.

• Deteriorating security conditions in Dreige camp

DREIGE CAMP, South Darfur (25 September 2012) - Residents from the Dreige camp in South Darfur, are complaining about the deteriorating security conditions, a camp's representative told Radio Dabanga on September 24. He explained that residents are suffering repeated attacks from the Abu Tira stationed near the camp. The camp's youth representative said Abu Tira forces often assault the displaced persons, explaining that looting and random air shootings are common practices. [ ]  The youth representative also informed Radio Dabanga that 5,000 names of the displaced from Dreige camp are missing from a cards' registration list that began last June.

 Widespread diseases in Saraf Omra

SARAF OMRA, North Darfur (2 October 2012) - Citizens from Saraf Omra locality in North Darfur, said several diseases are spreading among them, adding that medicine and health care are scarce at the locality. They suggested the situation is becoming so prevalent that it is difficult to find a household without a sick patient. Sources told Radio Dabanga the most common diseases are conjunctivitis, diarrhea, cough, malaria and allergies. Local citizens noted the area has no hospitals or doctors, but only health centers run by assistants.

• Health conditions deteriorating in Darfur camps

EL-GENEINA, West Darfur (3 October 2012) - Displaced persons from camps in Central and West Darfur have complained to Radio Dabanga about diseases, such as malaria, diarrhea and abdominal pain spreading rapidly. In addition, they complained about the lack of available medication as well as the rising prices of medicines. A number of displaced from El-Geneina, Mornei and Bindessey camps told Radio Dabanga that the rapidly spreading diseases caused the death of several children and elderly so far. Camp Bindessey leadership disclosed the death of six children between y September 23 and October 1.

• 16 deaths in Kendebe camp, West Darfur

KENDEBE CAMP, West Darfur (8 October 2012) - A Kendebe camp activist, in West Darfur, announced that 16 displaced persons have died in the past few weeks due to different kinds of disease. He explained that many doctors prescribe medications that must be purchased from the market, instead of providing it to patients, adding that most displaced cannot afford buying medicines.

Many of the following dispatches from Radio Dabanga are confirmed, if without comparable detail, by Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and other news-wire services. 

[5]  Conflict between Khartoum's Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and militia allies and rebel groups

• Sudan: Armed Clashes Stoke Darfur's Upsurge of Violence (Sudan Tribune)

NYALA, South Darfur (15 August 2012) - Heavy firefighting erupted on Tuesday's night between an unknown armed group and government forces in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur State, in the latest sign of increased insecurity in Sudan's western region. Eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune that the armed clashes took place around midnight in Al-Sika Hadid or railways neighborhood where unknown gunmen "dressed in military uniforms" exchanged heavy fire with government forces, sparking a great deal of panic among residents. South Darfur State and its capital Nyala, the largest town in the region, have been witnessing a state of security breakdown in recent weeks.

• Continued Clashes Between SRF and Sudanese Army
EAST JEBEL MARRA (10 September 2012) - According to sources from East Jebel Marra, clashes between the Sudanese army and Sudan Revolutionary Front troops have been ongoing since September 7. East Jebel Marra residents said the fighting was concentrated around El-Aradib El-Ashara area, which is now under SRF control. A resident told Radio Dabanga that government forces were able to evacuate 85 bodies and 25 injured soldiers in large trucks. The resident disclosed that the troops forced the area's residents to assist them in lifting the bodies onto the trucks. He added that a number of injured soldiers were not evacuated yet and that a number of the injured soldiers are minors (16 and 17 year olds). Some of the underage soldiers are suffering from mental illness and wander around the area.

• Sudan army and SRF clash

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (19 September 2012) - Heavy clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan Revolutionary Front took place between Tabet and Khazan Tinjur, in East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, on September 19, according to witnesses. The [SRF] spokesmen added that SAF troops were on their way to Al-Aradiba Lashara when they were attacked by the SLM and LJM. They said the joint forces seized several weapons and ammunition from the SAF, forcing them to flee to Khazzan Tinjur and Tabet. Victims who fled their villages in east Tabet due to the SAF bombings informed Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that the Sudanese army is carrying out a retaliation campaign against them.

• Dozens killed in clashes between government and rebels

HASHABA, North Darfur (25 September 2012) - A series of clashes between the Sudanese government and rebel movements left dozens dead and injured since 20 September, according to reports. Radio Dabanga was informed these clashes took place around Hashaba area, Kutum locality, North Darfur.

Witnesses from Hashaba and surrounding villages told Radio Dabanga that border guards and the Sudanese air force carried out attacks in the area on Tuesday, leaving dozens dead and injured. Local residents who fled Hashaba, said that at about 10:30am Antonov airplanes dropped a number of bombs in the area. They added that border guards, coming from three different directions, stormed the area right after the bombings killing and injuring even more civiliansResidents from Hashaba area, reported that two farmers were killed by a pro-government militia on September 20. They told Radio Dabanga this militia was acting under the leadership of Alnour Ahmed.

  •  Darfur rebels kill dozens government troops

EAST JEBEL MARRA, North Darfur (28 September 2012) - Adam Saleh Abkar, spokesman of SLM-Minnawi announced that joint rebel troops killed and injured dozens of Sudanese Armed Forces soldiers and pro-government militia troops. The clashes took place between Tabit and Shangil Tobai, East Jebel Marra, North Darfur, on September 27.  Onlookers said that a fierce battle between the SAF, supported by pro-government militias, and the Sudan Revolutionary Front began at 5:30pm on Thursday and lasted until sunset. They added that both sides used heavy weapons. [ ] Eyewitnesses near the battlefield, reported seeing clouds of smoke and government jet fighters flying above the area, caused much panic among residents.[ ] Abkar asserted that the attacks from Thursday are a revenge for all civilians who died in East Jebel Marra and in Hashaba recently.

                             ***

How seriously does the UN take these reports? 

Even as these massive and fundamentally indiscriminate attacks on civilians continue in Darfur, the UN remains mute—nothing comes from UNAMID, the Security Council, or the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.  Instead, the focus is on two mortar attacks on Kadugli (South Kordofan) by the Sudan People's Liberation Army-North, fighting on behalf of the beleaguered and deeply endangered people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, both of which have now endured over a year of well-reported, relentless aerial attacks designed to destroy agricultural production.  At the same time, the Khartoum regime denies all humanitarian assistance to people now starving to death.

UN Condemns Attacks in South Kordofan (Sudan Tribune, October 9, 2012)

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za’tari, condemned the "indiscriminate mortar shelling" by the Sudanese rebel in Kadugli. "This attack on civilian and UN premises is reprehensible and constitutes a violation of International Humanitarian Law," said Mr Al-Za’tari in a statement issued on Monday.

A UNICEF official told Reuters that one or two shells landed inside the compound of the international organisation.

Indeed, Agence France-Presse (Khartoum, 11 October 2012)  reports a level of outrage by Ali Al-Za'tari that has been nowhere in evidence from the UN for months:

"The United Nations condemned the attack, calling it an indiscriminate and reprehensible act, particularly after a rebel shell landed in the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) compound but failed to explode. [ ] [Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, spokesman for the ethnic and religious-minority Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N] said the insurgents regret any civilian casualties that may have been caused by the shelling of Kadugli. 'We are trying to defend them,' he said of the town's residents.  'We regret that,' Lodi said. 'We are very sorry if there is any loss, a single one.'"

Such regret, indeed such acknowledgement has never been forthcoming from Khartoum, despite its many years of deliberate attacks on civilians in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, South Sudan, and Darfur.

[ Eric Reeves is author of the forthcoming Compromising with Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 – 2012, at CompromisingWithEvil.org ]

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