Displaced in Darfur

More than two million people have fled their homes since the conflict began.

Aisha’s husband was killed in the conflict and her village burnt to the ground

Millions of people have fled their homes since the conflict in the Darfur region in western Sudan began in 2003.

The United Nations estimates that 2.1 million people are internally displaced, many of them living in one of 130 officials camps across region.

Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall went to the Jebel Marra mountain range in western Darfur where more than 40,000 displaced people live in remote areas with little access to humanitarian aid.

It is a camp for the displaced unlike others in Darfur. It is never seen by the outside the world, never reached by a humanitarian organisation, deep in the mountains and under rebel control.

In video

Mohamed Vall meets 
some of the familes that have fled the violence

More than 1,000 people, mostly women and children, arrived at the camp on foot  during the last two months, fleeing the fighting between anti-government fighters and the military.

They shelter under sticks and straw and forage in the woods to survive.

“The people who attacked my village killed two of my nephew and my uncle and my father,” Khadija Jebel told Al Jazeera.

“They stole our animals and clothes, they even took my kitchen utensils and the food I cooked.

“They burned out house and I came here looking for a safe place.”

Medical aid

This morning they received their first medical aid. The vaccines are donated by the Red Cross but the doctors are rebels.

United Nations and non-governmental organisation camps are only a few milles from the camp but many of the displaced still choose this place.

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Some people say they prefer the safety of the so-called liberated areas while others say they would rather depend on themselves than go through the endless procedures needed to secure aid.

Late in the day rain threatend the little camp and the families take flight once again, seeking shelter wherever they can.

One woman stays behind. Lost and alone Aisha wanders the camp. She is just 25 years old, her husband id dead and her village is gone.

“I don’t know who attacked us but they wore dark uniforms and green clothes, and they had military vehicles,” she said.

“My husband used to cut wood and sell it and bring us food but they killed him and burnt our village. We escaped to the mountains and started looking for food.”

Aicha lives on one meal of lentils a day in a hut she built by herself. She is exhausted but she cannot rest because her children are sick and their stomachs are empty.

Every day Aisha hikes to the summit of the mountain driven by the hungry cries of the baby on her back. She collects firewood to sell and buy the family one more meal. 

Source: Al Jazeera

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