Whatever happened to Darfur? Still going on, random headline from today: Thousands displaced in attack on more than 35 villages in South Darfur

Part of a destroyed village in Darfur (file photo)

More than 35 villages burned to ashes, and dozens of civilians were killed in attacks by troops of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the area of Hijer Tunjo, southeast of Nyala, South Darfur, on Thursday and Friday. Thousands of villagers found refuge in camps near Nyala, thousands of others are still trapped in the desert.

A sheikh who fled Hijer Tunjo told Radio Dabanga, that he, together with about 5,000 “extremely exhausted” villagers, had arrived in Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala locality on Friday.

“At least 4,000 “Hemeti militiamen” (RSF) in Land Cruisers approached the area of Hijer at about 1.30pm on Thursday. They started to shoot, killing about 31 villagers instantly, and wounding 23 others, as far as I could count them. The real death toll is unknown, because all the people fled, leaving Hijer Tunjo village completely deserted. So far 31 names are known of the people killed in Hijer on Thursday.”

“Those militiamen looted the houses and set fire to them. They seized more than 20 women and girls, and raped them. The women and girls are still missing. Also there are thousands of villagers still trapped and hunted down in the desert, after they had been robbed of all their belongings, and fled. Large numbers of people sought refuge in El Salam camp in Beilel locality. Others fled to Kalma camp in Nyala locality.”

“After those Rapid Support Janjaweed burned down 35 villages in the area of Hijer Tunjo on Thursday, they continued on Friday, and set fire to the villages of Um Gounja, Tani Deleiba, Tukumari, Himeida, Barka Tuli, Afouna, and other villages…”

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All journalists have been kicked out of Darfur, and mostly out of Sudan itself.   News is gathered by citizens on the ground  and is distributed with the help of Westerners.  Radio Dabanga covers Darfar:

As of 15 November 2008, Radio Dabanga came on air: a radio station by Darfuri for Darfuri. Since 1 December 2008, news and information broadcasts were commenced and we are currently broadcasting two and a half hours of daily programming. If you are interested in listening to Radio Dabanga, check our frequencies or search through our broadcast scheme and radio archive.

Radio Dabanga is a project of the Radio Darfur Network, a coalition of Sudanese journalists and international (media) development organizations, supported by a consortium of international donors, humanitarian community organizations and local NGOs. Radio Dabanga is conceived, operated and facilitated by Free Press Unlimited in the Netherlands.