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January 28, 2011

With focus on Southern Sudan, look what's happening in North, South and West Darfur!!

Sudan army bombs north Darfur, threatens to burn down UN AU Peacekeeping base
On Jan 27, the Sudanese forces (SAF) carried out an aerial bombardments in north Darfur.
Sudanese Army threatened to "burn down" a base of the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in the area.

On Wednesday, SAF forces resumed bombardment of Tabit area, which prevented a UNAMID's verification team from accessing the area, the hybrid operation said today.
The mission further reported that at 06:00pm approximately 200 SAF soldiers, on 40 vehicles, surrounded the mission's base in Shangil Tobaya and the adjacent makeshift camp.
The commander of SAF forces, who detained four people in the area, initially said they were there to persuade displaced persons to return to their homes. Moreover, the SAF commander later threatened to "burn down" the makeshift camp and the UNAMID site if the peacekeepers continued to interfere. UNAMID said SAF forces had eventually left after its peacekeepers held their grounds.
The standoff between SAF and UNAMID comes at a time when the mission faces international calls to act as aggressively as its mandate authorizes it to act in protecting civilians.
Members of the UN Security Council on Wednesday received a briefing via a video link by UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari and later criticized the Sudanese authorities for curtailing the mission's right to access areas in the region.
"UNAMID is a Chapter 7 mission, with a robust protection of civilians mandate. And the United States view and the view of many members of the Council, as expressed today and on numerous previous occasions, is that we expect UNAMID, as one of the UN's largest and most costly operations, with one of the most robust mandates passed by this Council, to be very active and, when necessary, aggressive, in fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians," said United Stated Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice.

Internally Displaced Persons from Darfur told Sudan Tribune that the recent violence displaced thousands of people -..
A female teacher from Tabit reached by Sudan Tribune after their arrival to Zamzam IDPs camp near El-Fasher said since the bombing of 25 January, the villagers, 17000 families, fled to Zamzam, and Rwanda camps near Tawilla.
"People are homeless in the valleys and roads as the army block the roads," she said, adding "this is the new policy of peace".
A local chief from Al-Salam IDPs camp told Sudan Tribune that the Sudanese troops burnt down seven villages in the area located south-west of El-Fasher on the period of Saturday to Tuesday of this week. Oumda Atem Osman said the army detained 80 people from Abu Zarka area in north Darfur. He further said their belongings and properties were looted by the militiamen who attacked the villages jointly with the army.
He further deplored the position of the peacekeepers on the ground adding that in the areas of Tawilla and Korma the militiamen seized the harvest of farmers but the UNAMID members were unable to stop them.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) today denounced the growing violence against civilians in Darfur and urged the international community to not forget Darfur by focusing only on the independence of South Sudan.

UN EVACUATES CRS WORKERS IN WEST DARFUR AFTER THREATS More than a dozen Catholic Relief Services aid workers were evacuated from an area of Western Darfur to the Khartoum on Jan. 21 with the help of the United Nations after receiving "indications of threats." In all, 13 international and national aid workers were escorted out of outlying sections of El Geneina near the border with Chad at the request of Sudanese officials.http://www.uscatholic.org/news/2011/01/un-evacuates-crs-workers-western-darfur-after-threats-reported

UN PEACEKEEPERS movements RESTRICTED in South Darfur
Source: United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur(UNAMID)
26 Jan 2011
Two UNAMID patrols from the Mission's Graida team site, located 100 kilometers south of Nyala, South Darfur, were denied access yesterday by Sudanese Government Forces at two different check points.

Khartoum is assembling military units and beginning to transfer them to Darfur Radio Dabanga reported on Jan 27 http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/8908.
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