Concluding his electoral campaign in the five states of Darfur, President Omar Al Bashir told supporters in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, on Wednesday that the Darfuris do not need to be protected by foreign peacekeepers.
He stressed that Darfur has a long tradition in resolving disputes, pointing out that their customary ways of conflict resolution are taught at the most prestigious American universities.
“Do you need someone to tell you how to find reconciliation between yourselves? Do you need Unamid? Do you need the African Union? Do you need the UN?”, Al Bashir asked hundreds of supporters.
The Sudanese president expressed his sadness over the deaths in recent clashes between Berti and Zayadiya tribesmen in North Darfur, which, he said, are a result of a conspiracy aimed at undermining the election and the country’s stability.
Pledging to return Darfur “as it used to be”, he fiercely criticised the rebel movements in Darfur for hampering development projects in the region.
“Despite the rebels’ claim that Darfur is marginalised, they continuously impede the government's efforts to build schools and dig wells. Instead they are trading the cause of Darfur, following a foreign agenda.”
He said that the rebels will soon be eliminated. “No post will be obtained with a gun anymore.”
The president’s visit to the North Darfur capital was preceded by tight security measures. The town’s Grand Market and the shops at the main roads were shut, a merchant informed Radio Dabanga. He said that men in civilian clothes ordered the shop and stall owners to attend the speech of Al Bashir.
One of the sheikhs of the Zamzam camp for the displaced near El Fasher told Radio Dabanga that most of the camp residents boycotted the visit of Al Bashir, “except for a few people who joined the ruling National Congress Party in an attempt to meet some of their needs”.
He compared the president’s visit to Darfur with “a murderer who visits the cemetery to dance on gravestones of his victims”.