Sudanese military officials have stated that suspected Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdul Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) rebels attacked a security forces position in the Jebel Marra region of South Darfur on Monday, September 28. The attack near the village of Baldong was reportedly repulsed, although it is currently unclear whether either side suffered any casualties in the incident.
Security operations are likely in the Jebel Marra area in the medium term, bringing an increased risk of further rebel attacks on military facilities and government interests in the region.
Although levels of violence have decreased since the signing of a peace agreement roadmap in early 2016, tensions remain high in Darfur, and the region continues to present a range of significant security challenges. The ceasefire has reduced the level of violence in the region since 2016, but disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration successes have been limited, and multiple armed groups continue to operate in the region. Persistent violence and instability coupled with the widespread availability of firearms have also created an environment conducive to armed banditry, while persistent communal tensions have often resulted in unrest and clashes between rival armed groups. Following recent violence, a state of emergency was declared in the Darfur region due to escalating violence and unrest in July.
Although most rebel groups under the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition initialed a new peace agreement with the government in August, which is expected to be ratified in the coming days, Abdul Wahid al-Nur's SLM faction has refused to engage in the peace process. The SLM-AW has continued to mount an insurgency campaign in the Jebel Marra area since rejecting the initial peace roadmap in 2016. Although most attacks have involved rebel fighters and security forces, the violence has continued to have a major impact on local communities, with a number of villages allegedly being destroyed in government offensives causing thousands of civilians to flee the area.
Travel to the Darfur region should be limited to operationally-critical requirements due to persistent outbreaks of violence and risk from criminal activity. Those in the region should closely monitor developments in their own particular area of operations through a range of multi-source intelligence advisories and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
The security environment in western Sudan remains complex. Travelers are strongly advised to seek security consultation on a trip-by-trip basis and subject any required travel in the region to a rigorous localized threat assessment prior to deployment.
Copyright and Disclaimer