The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), backed by local militiamen, launched a massive attack on villages in the area between Tabit and El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, on Monday and Tuesday. Five villagers were killed, an unknown number were wounded, and ten were abducted. Thousands fled to the wilderness, where they are staying in the open, without food and water, in temperatures close to zero. They are surrounded by militia troops, who prevent them from reaching the camps in the area. Zamzam camp for the displaced, located south of El Fasher, was raided too on Tuesday morning.
On Monday, the government militias stormed villages in the area north of Tabit. A resident of Um Lawta village reported that the attackers shot dead Abdelnabi Saleh Yahya, beat a number of villagers, and robbed them of all their belongings, “even the blankets”.
The next morning, the attacks included the villages of Angabo, Um Sayala, Ala Keifo, Um Gafla, Gallab, and Dolbe, south of El Fasher.
Fleeing villagers told Dabanga that Mohamed Osman Gaga, Ibrahim Baraka, and Abdallah Abdelrahman were killed, and a number of people were wounded. “The militiamen abducted ten people, among them three women, and stole more than 4,000 sheep, more than 3,000 cows, about 350 camels, and 33 donkeys.”
At 6 am on Tuesday, a group of RSF troops in seven Land Cruisers, backed by gunmen on camels and horses, stormed the Zamzam camp, south of El Fasher and robbed the displaced of their money, belongings, and livestock.
“The militiamen surrounded the camp, and blocked all the gates. They then started pillaging the shelters, targeting the newly displaced from East Jebel Marra. They continued plundering until 2 pm.”
At the same time, another RSF group in three vehicles, supported by militiamen on camels and horses raided Donki Faki Ali village, east of Zamzam camp. They beat and whipped the people, before robbing them of more than 15,000 head of livestock. A victim told Dabanga that most of the stolen livestock belongs to the newly displaced people, who fled from East Jebel Marra, the village of Abu Zerega, and Tawila town.
On Tuesday afternoon, the government militias attacked the villages of Geli Gary and Jarjira, located 5 km west of Zamzam camp. “Abdallah Hussein Suleiman and Abdelrahman Rajab were killed,” a fleeing villager informed Dabanga. “They stripped us from all our belongings, and stole hundreds of livestock.”
The massive attacks of Monday and Tuesday led to the displacement of thousands of villagers. “They fled to the wilderness, where they are staying without food and water, surrounded by the Rapid Support Forces.
The militiamen prevent them from reaching any of the camps, which will increases the possibility that they will die of cold and starvation,” a villager who managed to reach Tabit told Dabanga. He appealed to the authorities and aid organisations to “act immediately to save the lives of the people trapped in the desert.
On Monday, the temperature dropped to 3 degrees Celsius below zero in some parts of North Darfur.
The exceptional cold wave is severely affecting activities in the region. The North Darfur state Ministry of Education ordered the closure of the Kindergartens, and delayed the start of the school days to 9:30 am.