darfur attackSudan (MNN) — The latest bloodshed in Darfur, Sudan killed at least 470 people and forced tens of thousands to flee. More people were displaced in the first month of 2021 than all of last year, according to the UN.

(Photo courtesy of a Christian leader working in the region)

Violence is reportedly connected to last month’s withdrawal of UN peacekeepers. A Christian leader* working in the region says armed militants went on a rampage for days at the end of January. Militants kidnapped and tortured this believer’s brother, and are demanding a large ransom.

Dozens lost their lives and at least 60 people were wounded during one round of attacks in southern Darfur. Approximately 3,000 villagers fled to the Marrah Mountains to escape armed militia.

Initially a haven, the mountains became a prison.

“The armed militias are still controlling all areas,” the leader says. “The wounded [are] not able to reach hospitals due to the militias’ control of the main roads.”

Aid agencies spent weeks trying to reach survivors with food, water, and medical care. As a result, displaced people were forced to care for each other the best they could.

“We, as displaced persons, bear full responsibility [for our community’s survival],” the leader says. At the same time, they’re constantly on the lookout in case militants decide to come after them again.

Militants forced women and children to flee with whatever they could carry at the time. (Photo courtesy of a Christian leader working in the region)

Ask the Lord to protect this believer and his family as they care for people in Jesus’ name. Pray also for peace.

“Due to the difficult conditions, we were not able to list the names [of dead and wounded people]. There are missing persons who have not been counted, including my brother,” the leader says.

“The government of Burhan and his deputy, Muhammad Hamdan Dagloa Hemedti, are responsible for all these crimes.”

*–Name withheld for security purposes.

Header image depicts the charred remnants of a village in southern Darfur. (Photo courtesy of a Christian leader working in the region)