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Darfur camp residents complain of attacks, poor services

February 19 - 2017 MURNEI / MERSHING
Class in Abu Shouk camp in North Darfur (Nasser Nasser)
Class in Abu Shouk camp in North Darfur (Nasser Nasser)

Residents of West and South Darfur camps for the displaced are suffering from rampant insecurity and deteriorating services. They are calling for protection from Unamid, as the police is reportedly not able to combat the attacks by the militiamen in the areas.

“Militiamen living in districts neighbouring the camps in Murnei assault any displaced person who goes out to collect straw or firewood,” the coordinator of the Murnei camps in West Darfur told Radio Dabanga.

“In addition, they drive their camels and cattle into our farms, and stop us from driving them off by force of arms.”

The coordinator of the three Mershing camps for the displaced in South Darfur reported that the area is increasingly witnessing beatings and robberies by militiamen of displaced straw and firewood collectors.

“The authorities cannot apply the law on these militiamen who publicly challenge the police,” he said. “Only Unamid may be able to provide protection to the displaced.”

Health care

The Mershing camp coordinator further told this station that there are only two health centres in Mershing locality. “They are administered by assistant doctors who are lacking knowledge and experience.

“The authorities cannot apply the law on these militiamen who publicly challenge the police. Only Unamid may be able to provide protection to the displaced.”

“Moreover there exists a severe shortage of medicines. If there are, they are unaffordable. Most of the displaced people do not have a health insurance because of the high fees. The annual fees exceed SDG 400 ($ 61).

About 90 percent of the people living in West Darfur’s Murnei camp have no health insurance.

“If a person is ill, he has to pay SDG 10 ($ 1.53) to see a doctor at the Murnei Hospital, ”the camp coordinator said. “In case the doctors prescribes medicines, they cannot afford the soaring market prices, also because they lack sources of income.”

Schooling

The Murnei camp coordinator as well pointed to a lack of schools. “There are five basic schools and one secondary school in the camps that host about 40,000 displaced people together.

“Apart from overcrowded classrooms, the students suffer from a severe shortage of teachers, seats and desks, and school books,” he reported.

Many children in Murnei camp are out of school as well. “They cannot afford to pay tuition fees,” the coordinator explained. “The schools themselves lack almost everything. Most of the teachers are volunteers.”


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