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Displaced fear agencies applying Sudan voluntary return policy

April 11 - 2013 KUTUM

North Darfur displaced fear that aid agencies may have begun implementing “the early recovery program imposed by the government of Sudan regarding voluntary return”.

“World Food Programme (WFP) has apparently reduced the amount of food for the displaced to force them leave the camps and return to their villages”, Kassab camp’s Sheikh Tahir Ismail was quoted as saying.

He explained WFP’s food rations used to include grains, sugar, lentils, salt, soy, and additional items that added up to 16 kilos of nutriments per person per month.

The amount, Ismail said, has been reduced to 6.75 kilos and it only comprises a mixture of lentils.

Sheikh Ismail is calling upon the WFO and other agencies not to implement the “government’s plan of dismantling camps”. He said the current economic situation is very bad which is worsened by the deteriorating security situation in the area.

Radio Dabanga could not immediately reach the WFP for comments on the declarations of Sheikh Ismail.

Earlier this year, WFP resumed the distribution of food provision to Nertiti camps after a suspension of about one year as the displaced had initially refused to give up their names for registration.

They feared the cards’ registration was a scam of the government to acquire their information and dismantle the camps.

Insecurity

Concerning insecurity around the camp, Kassab’s sheikh attacks are frequently carried out by militias wearing “military uniforms”.

They fire gunshots in the air at random, and terrorize and assault the displaced, he said, adding the situation has worsened due to the “lack of police and legal forces".

Ismail demanded authorities to deploy police forces to Kassab and enforce the rule of law. He blamed UNAMID for not fulfilling its role in protecting the displaced.

Last September the displaced camps of Kassab and Fata Borno witnessed waves of violence following the assassination attempt of the commissioner of Kutum locality.

As a result of Kutum’s unstable situation, North Darfur’s governor declared a state of emergency in the locality and substituted all security organs by the army.

The order was partially lifted earlier this year, and Fata Borno displaced are also complaining about insecurity around the camp.  

File photo: A boy shows his ration cards given to him by the World Food Programme in the Kassab camp (Albert González Farran/ UNAMID)

Related:

North Darfur displaced blame ‘Abu Tira’ forces for insecurity (10 April 2013)

WFP to resume cards registration in Nertiti, C. Darfur (13 February 2013)


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