Western Sudan’s Darfur area is still scene of rape and banditry, UN mission says

27 December 2005

With both Sudanese Government and rebel troops violating the ceasefire agreement, the security situation in the Darfur provinces is volatile as banditry and looting are reported in the area, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said today.

With both Sudanese Government and rebel troops violating the ceasefire agreement, the security situation in the Darfur provinces is volatile as banditry and looting are reported in the area, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said today.

In South Darfur, militia activities seemed to have increased, with several reported attacks on villages having been reported, according to UNMIS. Harassment, beating and even killing of internally displaced people (IDPs) grazing their cattle outside their camps have continued to be reported, along with allegations of rape and attempted rape of women and girls by Sudanese Government elements in Tawila, North Darfur.

Eleven vehicles of the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) reportedly attacked South Darfur’s Marla last week Monday and Tuesday, leaving five people dead and four wounded in what was perceived by some to be retaliation for the Sudanese Government attacks on Bajo on 13 December and on Duwana on 18 December, UNMIS said. Two Sudanese Government helicopter gun-ships were observed patrolling over Marla on Saturday.

Meanwhile, armed men suspected to be SLA fighters ambushed a Sudanese Government army administrative convoy on its way from Nyala to Rockero in Rokoro District, South Darfur. Fourteen army troops were reportedly killed and 18 wounded. The attackers stole the soldiers’ rations and money.

After the attack by “armed elements” on Abu Sarouj, Chad, and on Chadian opposition groups last week, the security situation in West Darfur remained tense, UNMIS reported.

The leader of the National Movement for Reform and Development raised concerns by repeating threats to attack the African Union (AU) and the UN if their peacekeeping troops moved in and around West Darfur’s Jebel Moon area. No UN or other humanitarian presence has remained around Jebel Moon, where the those rebels are said to be present, UNMIS said.