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Darfur's displaced share concerns with US envoy

Donald Booth, Special Envoy for Sudan (file photo)
Donald Booth, Special Envoy for Sudan (file photo)

United States special envoy for Sudan Donald Booth visited displaced populations in Nierteti, Tawila and El Fasher as part of his visit to Darfur where he assessed the humanitarian situation and gauged the opinion on the national peace efforts.

On Wednesday, Booth met a group of displaced people from the Nierteti camps in Central Darfur in the headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid). The twenty elders, women and youth were asked them about their opinion on the ongoing peace process, the Darfur referendum that was held last April, the activities of humanitarian organisations and the work that Unamid does.

A member of the committee informed Radio Dabanga that the displaced people told Booth that the killings, rapes, arrests and torture by the government and its militias and the occupation of their land by new settlers are still ongoing. They called for security and stability and the new settlers to be expelled from their lands.

They told Booth that they find Unamid incapable of protecting itself, “let alone protecting the displaced people. Their work is confound to the writing of reports.”

Finally the committee complained about the shortage of aid organisations in the camps and that there are not enough education services. The displaced demanded authorities to reconsider the inventory process of the monthly food rations cards that are provided by the World Food Programme.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gareebullah El Khidir, told reporters that his ministry has arranged to develop a programme of meeting those parties interested in the Darfur file with Donald Booth. EL Khidir added that the US envoy is very interested in the displaced people who have fled from their villages in the recent fighting in Jebel Marra.


The US envoy also visited Tawila in North Darfur, where he met with the leaders of displaced people in camps on Thursday. They informed Booth that security is missing in the area and claimed that the population is trapped by gunmen in the camps. Farming has become difficult as armed herdsmen and nomads occassionally raid the farms.

The leaders said that there is a lack of health services, as there is only one health centre that belongs to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) organisations that is unable to cover the entire population's needs.

El Fasher

Also on Thursday, Booth met with representatives of civil society organisations in the North Darfur capital El Fasher, to discuss the current situation in Darfur, the peace process and today's challenges in the region.

In turn the representatives criticised the marginalisation of the Darfuri civil society organisations, and complained that regional and international stakeholders in the peace process in Sudan do not listen to them.

They also criticised the West for abandoning Darfur, despite the security and humanitarian situation going for the worst and the focus on pressure on the armed rebel movements to sign a peace deal. “But when they do so, we are abandoned without follow-up of implementation of the deal,” a representative complained to Radio Dabanga.


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