A Sudanese aircraft dropped three barrel bombs near Golo in Jebel Marra, killing one baby and seriously wounding its mother, on Wednesday. The aerial bombardments continued the next two days. In fear of bombardments, civilians are fleeing the mountains to the relative safety of camps in North Darfur and towns in Central Darfur.
Witnesses from Golo, in Rokoro locality, told Radio Dabanga on Thursday afternoon that the bombardment took place 2 kilometres west of the town, at around 5pm. The woman was riding a donkey, her baby strapped on her back. “The Antonov dropped three barrel bombs. An explosive shell hit her and wounded her seriously on the back. Her baby died immediately.”
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.”
An activist in Tawila, North Darfur State, reported that 83 families from villages in Jebel Marra arrived in the town on Thursday. They were accompanied by a convoy of police, Central Reserve Forces, and the commissioner of the locality, after fleeing from the aerial bombardments in their home areas.
The families had gathered in Marar, west of Tawila, from where the convoy brought them to the area for displaced people in Tawila. “There are approximately 21,071 people here now,” the activist said.
“The Sudanese Red Crescent Society has provided food aid to about 17,000 of them. A few have received tents for shelter but the majority still lives out in the open. There's a bad humanitarian situation,” he explained.
The UN's humanitarian office (OCHA) reported that by 7 February, 37,000 newly displaced people sought shelter in North Darfur State: about 6,000 more compared to the figure reported during the previous week. 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.
Approximately 200 families reached Nierteti in Central Darfur from Wednesday until Friday, a source in the area reported to Radio Dabanga. “There are 1,203 displaced families from Jebel Marra, they reside in camps or stay with family members in Nierteti.”
There is a wide range of estimates on the number of newly displaced in the state, OCHA said, and they have gathered in Guldo, Tur, and Daya. Sources that contacted Radio Dabanga on Tuesday claimed that tens of thousands of displaced civilians hide from the attacks high in the Jebel Marra mountains.
OCHA estimates that the number of displaced people, 45,000, currently exceeds the number of displaced by last year's military offensive. The Sudanese army claimed to have regained control of the area from the rebel SLM-AW on 8 February.