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Chadian rebels accused of intimidating civilians in North Darfur

News and Press Release
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December 19, 2009 (KHARTOUM) - Chadian rebels are accused of looting livestock and intimidating civilians in North Darfur state after being deployed by the Sudanese government in one of the state locations. The violence triggered the displacement the residents from the areas.

The Governor of North Darfur state deployed some thousands of Chadian rebels belonging to the rebel URF at Al-Sayah over 100 klm from Al-Fasher the state capital, resident, who declined to be named from the Area told Sudan Tribune yesterday.

The heavy presence of the rebels at Al Sayah stirred anger among the local population who accused the fighters of looting houses and aggressing women. One resident reached by telephone said their poor resources (water and food) do not allow them to receive their important number.

He said they arrived with 700 vehicles and estimated their number of 5000.00 fighters. He also said civilians evacuated women and children from Al-Sayah to protect them from the Chadian fighter.

Mohamed Yahia Al-Sidiq, one of traditional leader of the Barti ethnic group who inhabit the location told Al-Sahafa daily newspaper they held a meeting with the Governor Mohamed Yussef Kibir demanding him to remove the rebels but he rejected their demand saying they are there in accordance with an agreement with Ndjamena providing to remove rebels far from the border line.

However Mohamed Adam Bakheit, the deputy chairman of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) told Sudan Tribune that the URF elements are at Al-Sayah as part of a plan by the Sudanese government to protect Al-Fasher from an eventual attack.

He added similar deployments of the Chadian rebels have been observed in other areas.

Bakheit said these soldiers are from URF which include Mohamed Nouri and Timan Erdimi as well as other factions.