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Darfur camps delegation in Khartoum ‘does not exist’: Camp leaders

May 18 - 2018 ZALINGEI
Newly displaced in Guldo town, Central Darfur (Tearfund)
Newly displaced in Guldo town, Central Darfur (Tearfund)

Coordinators of displacement camps in Darfur have denied having any knowledge of a delegation of displaced people that met with President Omar Al Bashir in Khartoum on Tuesday.

The general coordination of the camps for displaced people and refugees in Darfur made its announcement yesterday. Coordinator of the Central Darfur camps, El Shafee Abdallah, told Radio Dabanga that the delegation – under the name of the General Directorate of Darfur Camps – “had nothing to do with the displaced people.

“The group that met with President Al Bashir is a group that is designed to deceive the international community, the Sudanese and the Darfuri altogether, as well as making trade-offs with issues of the displaced people.”

El Shafee disputed the legitimacy of the new body and claimed that any of the government’s statements about it are mean to “cover-up its violations against the displaced people”. “[The government] believes that the Darfur case is over, and thus exert pressure on critical voices in the society.”

Dismantling camps

The issue relates to the plans to dismantle camps for displaced people and refugees in Darfur and thereby paving the way for the exit of international humanitarian organisations from the region, according to El Shafee.

He warned the international community not to be fooled by the General Directorate of Darfur Camps. “It does not exist within the camps.”

Voluntary return is one of the options which the Sudanese government gives to the people in Darfur who have been displaced by the armed conflict that erupted in 2003. Khartoum plans to transform the camps into residential areas, or integrate them into existing towns.

South Darfur State will withdraw its order to dismantle Kalma camp for displaced people, a delegation of the United Nations Security Council in Darfur was told by the state governor last week.

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