MURNEI (28 Mar.) - Eleven displaced women, including two babies, were attacked by pro-government militiamen in their farm near a displaced camp in West Darfur on Thursday. Three of them were critically injured, and one of the babies in the hospital in coma.
Beating the victims with sticks, rifle butts and whips, militants warned them the land was for grazing and not for farming, the head of sheikhs and omdas of Murnei camps told Radio Dabanga.
They burned the winter crops of onions, peppers, tomatoes and okra, and threatened to kill whoever returned to the site, located in Wadi Misa, south of Murnei, the sheikh said. All of the victims were taken to the hospital.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the sheikh affirmed that UNAMID troops stationed in the vicinity “failed” to protect the displaced, despite the “serious” events that took place in the area recently.
The mission’s troops “never met with the displaced to discuss the situation in Murnei, and just stayed at their base eating and drinking”.
In light of the recent events, Murnei's sheikh demanded from the head of UNAMID in El Fasher Aïchatou Mindaoudou to “either expel these troops or replace them”.
Last Tuesday, residents of Murnei staged a mass demonstration around the camp against “threats, violations and abuses” by pro-government militias who are “supported” by authorities.
On the next day, West Darfur’s governor, the local commissioner, and security services met with the sheikh. They offered their protection against militias and asked him to halt the rally, what was allegedly done.
Nevertheless, “unprotected” displaced were attacked by militias after leaving the Murnei camp for the first time since the protests subdued.
The sheikh appealed to the international community to protect the displaced, because “they face many difficulties as nobody helps them”.