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Broad call to boycott Darfur referendum

April 10 - 2016 DARFUR
Displaced residents of Kalma Camp near Nyala take to the streets to protest President Al Bashir's re-referendum visit to the region (RD)
Displaced residents of Kalma Camp near Nyala take to the streets to protest President Al Bashir's re-referendum visit to the region (RD)

The displaced people, native administration leaders, activists and civil society forces have called for the population of Darfur to resist and boycott the referendum to be conducted on Monday.

They have called for people to stay at home and not to recognise the results of the referendum “which are known in advance”.

In North Darfur, activist Zahra Abdelnaim called on the citizens of Darfur to boycott the referendum and not to go to the polls on Monday.

She told Radio Dabanga that “the government has already identified the outcome of the referendum in advance,” and called on the public “to expose and resist the lies and tricks of the government”.

In Central of Darfur, civil activist Halima Eisa told this station that “the people of Darfur have boycotted the registration campaign, but the government has registered their names from payrolls and some old records”.

Eisa urged them to express their boycott by various means such as staying at home or visiting relatives.

Seriousness

From East Darfur, civil rights activist Mahmoud Jarelnabi told Radio Dabanga that the citizens are ready to boycott the referendum, and are aware of its seriousness.

“Activists are calling on all citizens to boycott the referendum, not to go to vote, and stay in their homes while the world witnesses the falsehood of the alleged referendum.”

From West Darfur State, activist Kubra Abakar Ismail has confirmed that the citizens of the state have boycotted the referendum registration. “This led the state government use employee lists and hold a specific workshop for rigging the results of the referendum.”

Religious leader Sheikh Younis Matar, called on Darfuris in villages, nomadic settlements, rural areas, cities and camps of displacement and refugees “to go out in rejection, protests and boycott of the referendum and not to recognise its results,” which he said, “are known in advance”.

New settlers

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, he described the referendum as “aiming to turn the ownership of the province over to new settlers bought from west Africa”.

Omda Ahmed Ateem, Coordinator of North Darfur camps has also called on the people of Darfur to go out in marches and demonstrations to condemn and boycott the referendum and not to recognise its outcome.

He said that “the Khartoum regime wants to use the referendum to falsify the will of the people of Darfur, who have been adhering to the unity of their province, which has deep roots in history.”

He added that “the regime wants to legitimise the division of the province to enable the new settlers to reside on the lands of indigenous people.”

Tribalism

Dr El Walid Adam Musa Madibo, development expert and consultant in modernisation and global affairs’ development, has called on all the people of Darfur to resist the referendum “because it aims to divide Darfur and legalise tribalism”.

He called on all the Darfuris to express their rejection and boycott of the referendum through several methods, including staying indoors during voting days and to raise their voices to express their rejection of the referendum.

Abu Obeida El Khalifa, assistant for Political Affairs to the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Minni Arko Minawi (SLM-MM), said “the aim of the referendum is to divide the province along ethnic lines in order to blur and the fragment the historic tribal rights in hawakeer”.

Conspiracy

He called on the people of Darfur, political, social, and native admiration leaders “to confront and resist the conspiracy which aims to drag Darfur back to the war”.

He said that “the referendum is not a priority, but security, peace, stop of the war and return of displaced persons and refugees to their original villages and compensating them is the priority”.

On Friday, the governors of the states of Darfur have announced that their their governments are ready for the success of the administrative referendum which will begin on Monday.

They have called on the citizens of Darfur to exercise their right to vote.

The governors have described the tour of Darfur by President Al Bashir last week as “a beginning of a new phase.”


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