Aerial bombardments left 11 people dead in North Darfur

Jebel Marra/Nierteti/Tawila, February 15, 2016 (SSNA) — Eleven people were killed and five others wounded in aerial bombardments in Darfur’s Jebel Marra from Thursday to Saturday.

“The people were sleeping already at 11 pm on Friday when an Antonov of the Sudanese Air Force dropped its barrel bombs at Buri, south of Guldo,” a villager told Radio Dabanga on Sunday.

The bombs destroyed six houses, a school, and a mosque. In the vicinity of Golo, in Rokoro locality, the Air Force dropped about 36 barrel bombs from Thursday until Saturday, witnesses reported. They doubted whether there were casualties, as all the residents of villages around Golo “have already fled to the foothills and mountain caves”.

They told Radio Dabanga that the Air Force did not stop one day or night since the beginning of the military offensive against the holdout armed rebels in Jebel Marra on 15 January. A listener in Nierteti, Central Darfur, said on Friday that he witnessed dozens of trucks and vehicles carrying Sudanese soldiers and militiamen coming from Zalingei and Kass, on their way to western Jebel Marra. “The aerial bombardments have continued, too.” The Sudanese Air Force has reportedly destroyed at least 20 villages by barrel bombs in the area of Golo in Jebel Marra since the start of the offensive on rebel strongholds.

The thousands of displaced who have managed to flee the aerial bombardments in Jebel Marra arrived in Tur, in the west of the mountains, and Nierteti in Central Darfur, on Monday. On the roads, some are forced to pay ‘tolls’ to armed men on the way to the camps. Starting this month, Radio Dabanga has received multiple reports of militiamen demanding tolls on the roads in Tawila.

According to the United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA), the UN and partners have distributed food relief and other humanitarian aid to 38,000 civilians in three locations in North Darfur. This includes 21,690 people in Sortoni, 14,000 in Tawila and 1,186 in Kabkabiya. More people are on their way to the Unamid team site in Sortoni, according to the displaced people there. Humanitarian workers have not yet been able to verify the numbers and needs of thousands of displaced in Tur and Nierteti.

The UN calls for a cessation of hostilities and is urging all parties to the conflict to allow international humanitarian workers to reach displaced people in Central Darfur, said Marta Ruedas, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, on Monday.

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