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Central Darfur displaced reject model villages

August 27 - 2015 RONGA TAS
Model services hub in Arara, Beida locality in West Darfur, opened in June 2014 (Fellowship for African Relief Sudan)
Model services hub in Arara, Beida locality in West Darfur, opened in June 2014 (Fellowship for African Relief Sudan)

The more than 30,000 residents of Ronga Tas camp for the displaced in Central Darfur's Azum locality reject the moving of schools and health centres from the camp to model villages constructed by the Darfur Regional Authority DRA).

On Wednesday the coordinator of the Central Darfur camps told Radio Dabanga that the state government closed two basic schools, a secondary school and a health centre in the camp on Tuesday.

“This is the first step towards the dismantling of the Ronga Tas camp which is part of the DRA plans to force all displaced in Darfur to move to model villages it constructed with the financial support of Qatar,” he said.

The coordinator demanded the Central Darfur governor, Jaafar Abdelhakam, to pressure the state Ministries of Health and Education to reverse their decision.

He explained that the displaced prefer to remain in the relative safety of the camps until a just and comprehensive peace is reached. “They are afraid to return to their villages in the current insecure situation, and are more than willing to return after the militiamen have been disarmed and the new settlers expelled.

“Unfortunately the government and the DRA are moving towards the dismantling of the camps by preventing aid organisations access to the camps, in order to force the displaced to leave.”

He described the step as “criminal” and called on the international community to intervene and protect the displaced.

The residents of Ronga Tas camp have been resisting plans to remove them to model villages since December 2013. In January 2014, a number of camp sheikhs were detained for instigating the displaced against the new villages.

On 28 May last year, the camp was attacked by a group of armed men, allegedly members of the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) that signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur with the Sudanese government in 2011. Both LJM and DRA strongly denied any involvement in the attack.

A Ronga Tas camp sheikh told Radio Dabanga at the time that the attack came because the displaced and camp administrators had rejected “model villages”.

The DRA opened the first five 'model villages for voluntary return', at a total cost of $30 million financed by the State of Qatar, in West Darfur in June 2014.


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