Displaced people in camps in West Darfur appealed to the US Envoy for Darfur to pressure the Sudanese government to cease air and ground offensive on villages in North Darfur State and east of Jebel Marra. Months of aerial and ground assaults in central Darfur have prompted no public reaction from the US Administration.Ambassador Dane Smith yesterday concluded a five-day visit to Darfur. During his visit to Zalingei, IDPs at camps there were prevented from meeting with him. They wanted to present him a written memorandum. According to the coordinator of camps in Zalingei, the IDPs want the ambassador to prevent the Sudanese government from carrying out its strategy of “peace from within.” The camp leader considered this an approach based on violence. The camps around Zalingei, especially Hamadiya, have been subject to nighttime attacks and assassinations of camp leaders.
The IDPs also asked for the release of the former secretary of Hamadiya Camp, Abdeljalil Adam Abakr, and the sheikh Abdullah Adam Mohamed, who were detained by the government last year.
US officials, in the delegation headed by Ambassador Smith, also visited Orukome village, a “voluntary returnee” village near to Zalingei, according to a statement by UNAMID, the peacekeeping mission that facilitated Smith’s visit. The team also visited El Daein where they met at an UNAMID base with tribal leaders.
Correction: This article initially stated that Amb. Smith was handed the memorandum during his visit to Zalingei. However, Amb. Smith did not actually meet with displaced people in Zalingei. The IDP leader made his appeal indirectly, speaking over Radio Dabanga.