'Darfur is secure and stable': Regional Authority head
According to Dr El Tijani Sese, the chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), all areas formerly under controle of the Darfur armed movements in the region are now secured by the Sudan Armed Forces. Tens of thousands of displaced and refugees have returned to their places of origin. Camp leaders strongly deny Sese's report.
Reporting to the DRA Council in the North Darfur capital El Fasher on Thursday, Sese affirmed that the security situation in Darfur has become stable. “The region is now free of security threats. The people are freely moving around.”
The army opened all the closed highways in Darfur, the El Fasher-Kabkabiya road, the road between the South Darfur capital Nyala and Gireida, and the road between Kabkabiya in North Darfur and Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, he added.
Sese lauded the decisions of the governors of the five Darfur states to dismantle the camps for the displaced and transform a number of them into residential districts, as these camps “are not worthy for any Sudanese to live in”.
He pointed to 176,000 displaced families who returned to their areas of origin for seasonal farming this year and an additional 46,000 families who returned to 41 Darfuri villages from refugee camps in eastern Chad.
Several camp elders however described Sese’s speech as “sheer lies, fraud, and deception”.
The spokesman for the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association, Hussein Abu Sharati, strongly denied the figures presented by the DRA chairman. “I wonder if he can present us with a list of names of the villages and localities to which the displaced and refugees allegedly returned.
“We wonder if Sese has not heard of the acts of murder, rape, robbery, and arson committed by militias in Darfur the past few weeks. Is he is living on another planet?”
“The current situation is quite contrary to Sese’s report. This year, Darfur witnessed the new displacement of more than 450,000 people, who fled attacks by government militias on their villages.”
Abu Sharati further explained that the “temporary return of displaced villagers to their areas of origin for farming purposes occurs every year since 2004, one year after the war broke out.
“Unfortunately, the displaced farmers are often forced to return to the camps before the harvest because of vigorous militia attacks.”
Sheikh Yousef Abdelrazeg, the coordinator of the Saraf Umra camps in North Darfur, challenged the DRA head to “take his vehicle from the DRA headquarters in El Fasher for a trip not further than one kilometre. I wonder what he will say then about secure situations in Darfur.
“We wonder if Sese has not heard of the acts of murder, rape, robbery, and arson committed by militias in villages north of Kutum in North Darfur, south of Tabit in East Jebel Marra, and eastern Tur in South Darfur the past few weeks. Is he is living on another planet?”
According to Abdelrazeg, Sese supports the Khartoum regime’s policies “only to keep his job and privileges”.
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