Sudan Outcry over increasing violence in Darfur as villages are burnt to the ground

The Giving Hope For Them and Save the Children have called for an immediate de-escalation of violence in Jebel Moon, West Darfur, Sudan as attacks against civilians set six villages ablaze this past week.

The violence forced more than 12,500 people to flee their homes, seek refuge in nearby mountains, other villages, or across the border in Chad. At least 35 people were killed, including two Sudanese aid workers, in a first attacked from 5th to 6th of March and a subsequent assault on 10th of March according to the Sudanese Doctors’ Committee.

Save the Children and other aid agencies have been forced to suspend activities in the locality due to the high risk to aid workers. This has left thousands of families without life-saving humanitarian support, including food assistance, health services and shelter.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 68,500 people live in Jebel Moon locality, out of which more than 46,600 people are in need of life-saving support, including shelter, food assistance and water. Around 20 percent of the population is at risk of hunger, while medical services are extremely limited. The violence is putting the lives of many mothers and children who urgently need assistance at greater risk and is further compounding the suffering of the more than 250,000 internally displaced people in West Darfur state.

“We are devastated at the loss of life in this latest wave of violence, the killing of innocent civilians and aid workers in the line of duty. Children exposed to violence can suffer from long-lasting psychological trauma and are exposed to severe physical risks,” said Arshad Malik, Save the Children’s Country Director in Sudan. “This violence is preventing families from receiving the most basic of services. Save the Children had been running a mobile health clinic and child protection programs in Jebel Moon, but due to the violence, we had to suspend our operations, leaving hundreds of people without adequate medical assistance. We urge the authorities to immediately intervene and allow for safe passage of humanitarian assistance.”

“For the third time in just six months, villages in Jebel Moon have been razed to the ground,” said Will Carter, Country Director for the Giving Hope For Them in Sudan. “Violence is escalating beyond local disputes and engulfing entire areas across Darfur. These senseless attacks not only claim lives, but also force thousands of people to flee from their properties. Civilians are barely protected, vulnerable to intense violence. Authorities and the international community must act fast to provide safety for civilians and allow for free and unfettered humanitarian access.”

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