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Displaced Darfuris appeal to authorities for protection and aid

October 31 - 2022 FARCHANA / EL TINA
Newly displaced receive blankets in North Darfur camp (File photo: UNICEF)
Newly displaced receive blankets in North Darfur camp (File photo: UNICEF)

Eleven Darfuri were injured in Farchana refugee camp in eastern Chad in two attacks during the past week. In neighbouring North Darfur, more than 500 families in the Tina camp for displaced people near Karnoi are in a “dire state” since international aid organisations left one year ago. 

Residents of Farchana refugee camp told Radio Dabanga that 20 armed herders moved their camels onto refugee Hasan Mohamed Ali’s farm by force. 

 The farm was completely destroyed. Arbab Abakar, his son Abdelaziz, and Aisha Abdallah sustained serious injuries and  were transferred to the Abéché Regional Hospital. Three other injured members of the family were treated at the camp’s health centre. 

On their way to the site of the incident, Farchana policemen and five refugees were ambushed by armed herders. The police withdrew after heavy gunfire by the herders, and the refugees were severely beaten. The herders also stole the motorcycles of the refugees. 

The refugees in the five refugee camps in the area, Farchana, Gaga, Kechagen, Bredjing and Treguine, demanded the Chadian authorities to address the security situation that occurred during the last four months. Some of them demanded that the camps be transferred to a safer area.

Attacks on civilians 

Two displaced people were killed, a third was wounded, and a fourth was kidnapped in attacks on farmers by armed herdsmen on October 18 and 19 in Kutum, North Darfur.  

Following deadly attacks on two Darfuri living in the Gaga refugee camp in eastern Chad in August, sources complained about repeated attacks on refugees in the area, and requested the international community “to urgently intervene to provide protection and security”. 

In the past, there used to be clearly marked pasture tracks and traditional tribal procedures for the compensation of lost crops, but this changed during the regime of Omar Al Bashir. The regime supported the ‘Arab' herding tribes in the region, whilst looking down on non-Arab ‘African' farmers. 

Arab tribesmen were recruited by the previous regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir to join the Janjaweed militias. Al Bashir employed these Arab militias to repress a revolt over ethnic marginalisation in the region, mainly targeting non-Arab African farmers in what became known as the Darfur Genocide. Many of these farmers still live in camps for the displaced. 

Aid withdrawal 

In Tina camp for displaced people, the suspension of humanitarian aid agencies from the camp for over a year is causing suffering. Displaced persons from the camp said that the withdrawal of organisations led to the lack of education and health services. They reported the spread of malaria, especially among women and children. 

Three smaller camps near Karnoi, and camps in Kabkabiya and Saraf Omra are in a “dire state,” they said, calling for urgent intervention by humanitarian aid agencies. There are “seriously ill people that could not be transferred to the El Tina Hospital” as their vehicles have broken down and there is a shortage of fuel. 

In January 2020, Sudan called upon international humanitarian aid organisations, including those expelled during the deposed Al Bashir regime, to return and carry out their operations without restrictions.

On the occasion of its exit at the end of 2020, United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo said that “Darfur is just beginning to change. The transitional government is just taking over now. [..] I say to the people in Darfur: Hang in there. The beginning is done. There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

According to a recent report published by the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), Sudan’s growing acute food insecurity, recent flooding, and mass displacement as a result of intercommunal conflict, have led to Sudan being classified as a country in ‘crisis’.


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