A convoy of UNAMID on its way to Abu Delek, southeast of El-Fasher in North Darfur, was reportedly intercepted by the Sudanese Popular Defense Forces (PDF), Radio Dabanga has learned on Wednesday November 7.
The convoy was on its way to the area to verify reports on a battle between the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and pro-government militia which allegedly took place in the region on October 17 of the current year, sources told Radio Dabanga.
A local source disclosed that the militants stopped the Mission’s convoy, consisting of 9 vehicles, at approximately 1.5 kilometers outside of Abu Delek. The source added that the militia leader pointed arms (dushka’s) at the convoy and ordered his troops to search all of the Mission’s vehicles.
The militia leader allegedly threatened to ‘kill all those belonging to a certain ethnical background’, the source stated and added that the militants started searching the vehicles and interrogation of passengers. According to the source, the militants asked passengers about their ethnical backgrounds and family names.
The search of the vehicles and interrogation of passengers convinced the convoy to return to El-Fasher, sources added to Radio Dabanga.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, UNAMID confirms deploying a civilian military team to Sigili and Abu Delek areas to verify recent reports of alleged violence.
On the way to Abu Delek area, the statement reads, the verification team was stopped by members of the Popular Defense Forces, who insisted on searching the 9-vehicle convoy. The convoy decided to postpone the mission to Abu Delek and return to El-Fasher.
Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Aichatou Mindaoudou urged the Government of Sudan to swiftly conduct its planned investigation into Sigili incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The verification team found the village of Sigili completely deserted, with apparent signs of abrupt departure, the press statement reads. It was added that several signs of destruction of housing and property, killed animals, and burnt houses were observed. Additionally, ammunition was found at different sites across the village.
Photo: Attahi Mohammed Sigit, sheikh of Sigili village, North Darfur, shows UNAMID staff members the destruction occurred in the village on Friday 2 November - Photo by Albert González Farran - UNAMID