Darfur displaced urge UN expert to look into security, services

Displaced people in Darfur whom were visited by the UN expert on human rights in Sudan, affirm that they will not return home, unless security returns to the area, too.

Displaced people living in the camps in Darfur whom were visited by the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, affirmed that they will not return to their home areas, unless they are secure and freed of militias and weapons.

Leaders and sheikhs of the Otash and Dereig camps in Nyala, South Darfur, and the Abu Shouk camp near North Darfur's capital El Fasher, raised their concerns during their meeting with Aristide Nononsi, the UN human rights expert who arrived in Sudan on 13 May for his first mission to the country. They explained their stances to Radio Dabanga.

“People do not and will not return to their homes, unless security is provided, the pro-government militias are disarmed, and the new settlers in the area are expelled,” one of the sheikhs stressed. He also demanded the Sudanese government to compensate the displaced people individually and collectively for their suffering.

In addition to this, the people need to be provided with basic services including health, education, water and electricity,” he said.

The camp leaders stressed the need to achieve thethese conditions to Nononsi, “before we talk or are forced to any voluntary return”.

Nononsi also learned about the shortage of food and housing for the newly displaced at the camps, the sheikh said. “We urged him to look into these issues, and submit them to those responsible for it.”

The UN expert visited Khartoum, where he spoke with a large number of government officials, and North and South Darfur, where he also spoke with a number of displaced.

“Key to [peace and stability] is an appropriate legal framework, institutional arrangements and democratic reforms. I urge of the government of Sudan to renew its efforts in these areas so as to fulfil its human rights obligations,” Nononsi told reporters yesterday.