Three killed in West Kordofan, towns witness influx of displaced

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Three people were killed in West Kordofan when a group of civilians and gunmen clashed on Thursday. A wave of newly displaced people from South Kordofan has flooded into Um Rawaba and El Rahad towns, owing to a lack of camps.

A witness reported to Radio Dabanga that the situation in El Meiram area, in Abyei and close to the border with East Darfur, is very tense, against the backdrop of the killing. Civilians had assembled a team to rescue cows, which were robbed by a group of unidentified gunmen. Further details of the clash are unknown.

Also in El Meiram, a number of people were beaten by members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). They were robbed of their money, four Land Cruisers and four small vehicles, too.

One of the relatives of the victims explained that RSF members arrested a number of young people south of El Meiram, while they were returning from South Sudan on Thursday. The paramilitary militiamen accused them of smuggling.

“The people in the area strongly denounced the incident, and demanded the immediate expulsion of the RSF from the area,” the relative said.

Wave of displaced to Kordofan towns

In North and West Kordofan, the towns of Um Ruwaba and El Rahad are witnessing a large wave of displaced people coming from Habila, Abu Karshola, and Abbasiya Tagali in South Kordofan. Battles recently took place there between the Sudanese government and the rebel forces of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North.

Several witnesses reported that the displacement wave came as a result of the authorities’ refusal to open camps for the displaced people, which forced them to live in abandoned areas and public squares.

More than 1,500 displaced people now reside in Um Ruwaba, according to the witnesses. The number of displaced who fled from Abu Karshola has amounted to about 2,000, they claimed. Half of them have arrived in El Rahad, while others sought refuge in El Obeid.

This latest civilian displacement comes after an earlier wave of displacement, beginning on 9 March. An estimated 23,600 people fled their homes and sought shelter in other parts of South Kordofan following a surge in government-rebel clashes. According to Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission, some people from this earlier wave of displacement have started to return to their homes in Abu Jubaiha locality. While there is no data available on how many people have returned, HAC has sent teams to verify these returns, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Prior to these latest waves of displacement, there were already more than 88,000 internally displaced people in the eastern corridor of South Kordofan, according to HAC.