Surge of violence in North Darfur
13 September 2004
On August 25, an MSF team identified an IDP camp at Galap town, south of Al Fasher, where around 4,000 IDPs had found refuge. The IDPs reported having been there for four months and have received no assistance so far. After an evaluation of their needs, the MSF team initially planned to return the next day to provide 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," explained doctor Paula Farias, General Co-ordinator for MSF in El Fasher. "It had been bombed and UXOs [unexploded ordanances] and empty shells as well as clothes with blood were scattered all over the place." Only eight people remained at the location. 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," said 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 Al Fasher were cancelled once more on August 28 - once again for security reasons. On August 29, the team arrived in Thabit to provide war surgery to the wounded from the previous attack. They were told to go to Nejorti, a town to the south of Zam Zam, that 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 population, 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 population, however, had fled to the neighbouring mountains.