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Upsurge of Violence in North Darfur
September 10, 2004
On August 25, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team identified a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Galap town, south of El Fasher, where around 4,000 IDPs had found refuge. The people reported to have been there for four months and have received no assistance so far. After an evaluation of their needs, the team planned to return the next day to bring aid. However, activities had to be cancelled for security reasons.
“When we arrived at Galap on August 27, we found the IDP camp no longer existed,” explains Paula Farias, MD, project coordinator for MSF in El Fasher. “It had been bombed and unexploded ordinance and empty shells as well as clothes with blood were scattered all over the place.”
Only eight people remained on the spot. According to them, people fled towards Zam Zam and the surrounding mountains. Some wounded had been transferred to Thabit town, southeast of Zam Zam, and others were taken to the mountains.
“We then headed to Thabit to provide war surgery,” adds Dr. Farias. “There were 15 injured people, some of them needing to be transferred, but rejected it fearing reprisal.”
Since then, people have returned to the IDP camp at Galap town and MSF is about to start supplementary feeding activities there.
Fleeing to the mountains
MSF activities south of El Fasher were cancelled once more on August 28, again for security reasons.
On August 29, the team arrived in Thabit to provide war surgery to the wounded of the previous attack. They were then informed to go to Nejorti, a town to the south of Zam Zam, which had been attacked the day before. On the road between Thabit and Nejorti, the team identified a new IDPs settlement with 30 shelters. Most of them came from Galap.
When the MSF team arrived at Nejorti, the town was still burning. According to the remaining people, attacks and lootings took place the day before. No deaths were reported and MSF team did not see major injuries on the spot. Most of the people, however, had fled to the neighboring mountains.