Jildu battle subdues, total displaced decreases in C. Darfur
NERTITI (15 Jan.) - Residents of the Jildu garrison area in West Jebel Marra, Central Darfur, have not heard sounds of gunshots or of government airplanes flying over the region for the last two days, suggesting the battle between the Sudanese army and rebels might have subdued.
This may explain the decreasing amount of displaced arriving at the nearby Nertiti camps, they added to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, 15 January.
Latest reports indicate that displaced fleeing the Jildu garrison area and the central town of Golo, both of which were affected by the recent fighting, diminished from 150 per day to between 75 and 100 per day, according to a sheikh.
However, he told Radio Dabanga that the newly-displaced at Nertiti camps are living in precarious conditions as several are ill and temperatures are dropping in Darfur.
The sheikh stressed that no organization has provided food, water or aid to the Nertiti displaced. Only the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) from the Sudanese government helped them so far by giving blankets to just 800 families, he said.
Last week a United Nations report suggested that more than 30.000 people fled their homes in Golo and Guldo towns because of clashes between government troops and its militias against rebels.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 2.800 people escaped to a camp in Nertiti, which is home to 42.000 displaced persons.
At the same time, the sheikh stated that the conditions of the displaced at the Nertiti camps are “extremely difficult” as the World Food Programme has suspended its food rations provision for over one year now.
Sources claim the food provision was suspended because the displaced had initially refused to be re-registered for the WFP food rations cards because of a “misunderstanding”.
According to the sheikh, Nertiti’s displaced are now willing to cooperate with the cards registration process and he appealed to the WFP to immediately return to the camp and provide them nutriments.
The sheikh stressed that the situation at the site is “dire” as the displaced are waiting for food for a long time now and the camp now counts with many more people.
Fighting in the West Jebel Marra region reportedly broke out on 23 December, when the Darfur rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) claimed to have captured the Jildu garrison, leaving the government with only two strongholds in the area.
According to some testimonies, ground offensives by the government were coupled with aerial bombings of several nearby villages. Dozens have died so far according to several reports, including civilians.
Jildu is an important junction that connects East and West Jebel Marra (prized for its fertile land), located near the central town of Golo.
Last Tuesday, 8 January, Central Darfur’s governor informed UNAMID that “armed groups had taken control of the towns of Golo and Rockero in west Jebel Marra”, a mission’s statement read.
He also said that about 850 families have been displaced and fled to Nertiti as a result of the fighting, while others are believed to be wandering in the mountains seeking safety.
On Wednesday, the Sudanese army denied losing the territory and declared to be in full control of the Jildu garrison area, “despite attempts made by the rebels to capture it”.
The day after, Radio Dabanga reported that residents of Nertiti city were claiming the town had been receiving 150 displaced “every day, for the past five consecutive days”.
They asserted these people were coming from the Jildu garrison and Golo areas.