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Displaced contradict Sudanese envoy’s statement to UN

January 15 - 2017 NEW YORK / DARFUR
Sudan's Permanent Envoy to the UN, Ambassador Omar Dahab (UN)
Sudan's Permanent Envoy to the UN, Ambassador Omar Dahab (UN)

According to Sudan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, the situation in Darfur improved considerably in 2016. The Darfur displaced refute his words.

In a statement presented before the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday on the joint UN and AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid), Ambassador Omar Dahab pointed to the efforts of the Sudanese government to expand security and stability in Darfur, and curb the activities of the rebel movements.

He stated that the considerable improvements in the security, humanitarian, and political situation in Darfur last year, and the provision of basic services to the villages of voluntary return, encouraged more than 300,000 displaced Darfuris and refugees to return to their places of origin.

The displaced in Darfur however strongly refute Dahab’s statement. A camp elder in Central Darfur cited the ongoing killing, rapes, and robberies the Darfuri people have suffered for more than a decade “at the hands of army and militia forces of the Khartoum regime, the latest being the Nierteti and El Geneina massacres”.

Most of the displaced Radio Dabanga talked to challenged the Permanent Representative to the UN to identify the areas where the displaced and refugees returned to.

Attacks on civilians

On 31 December, a day after a soldier of the Sudan Armed Forces was found dead near Nierteti in Central Darfur, army troops attacked Nierteti town. Two school students were killed by stray bullets, and many people were injured.

Policemen who tried to protect the people were also wounded. Another armed force reportedly stormed the market of Nierteti, and a third group raided the Northern Camp for the displaced. Both groups robbed the people of their mobile phones, belongings, and goods.

El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, witnessed fierce fighting on 5 January, when a group of 17 local paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces and the Border Guards attacked the home of a man accused of stealing livestock, and shot him dead. Five people who attempted to flee the shooting were killed as well. The police intervened but had to withdraw after one of them was injured.

“The Khartoum regime has ignited the wars in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile. Khartoum is the one refusing peace, not the Darfuri resistance forces.”

Sanctions

Dahab also called on the international community to pressure the Darfur rebel movements to seriously enter the peace negotiations. He further urged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Abdelwahid Mohamed El Nur, the head of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement “for boycotting all dialogue and negotiation initiatives”.

El Nur responded by pointing to the Sudanese government. “The Khartoum regime has ignited the wars in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile. Khartoum is the one refusing peace, not the Darfuri resistance forces,” he told Radio Dabanga.

“The Khartoum regime is the one that declared war against the Sudanese people and denied them freedoms all over the country. The criminals led by Al Bashir and his assistants wanted by the International Criminal Court are the ones that need to be sanctioned,” he said.


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