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Displaced in Central Darfur reject dismantling of camps

February 4 - 2016 GARSILA
Zamzam camp for the displaced near El Fasher, capital of North Darfur (Hamid Abdulsalam/Unamid)
Zamzam camp for the displaced near El Fasher, capital of North Darfur (Hamid Abdulsalam/Unamid)

The residents of the three camps for the displaced in Garsila, Wadi Salih locality in Central Darfur, have renewed their rejection of voluntarily return to their villages.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a camp sheikh reported that they plan to hold a meeting at the Aradeiba camp on Saturday, together with the camp elders and active residents of the Jedda and Jebelein camps.

“In this meeting, we are to exchange our views and agree on our final standpoint, to prevent internal quarrels and fights as the authorities like to see us do.”

He explained that the displaced strongly reject the dismantling of the camps, as the reasons for their displacement still prevail. “The attacks by militiamen are still ongoing. What makes things worse is that new militant settlers have occupied our villages.”

The camp sheikh said that the Central Darfur government formed a committee of 15 native administration members of the ruling National Congress Party to push and implement the dismantling of the camps.

 “The attacks by militiamen are still ongoing. What makes things worse is that new militant settlers have occupied our villages.”

“They also changed the members of the committee that represents the displaced,” he added. “The displaced however, do not respect any authority that imposes their decisions on them.”

He stressed that the displaced reject any programme related to their voluntary return, unless the janjaweed are disarmed, the new settlers are expelled from their villages, the rule of law has been restored, and a just and comprehensive peace is achieved in Sudan.

Disarmament, development

On Wednesday, President Omar Al Bashir confirmed the need to restore the rule of law in Darfur in a meeting with Dr El Tijani Sese, Head of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA).

Al Bashir and El Tijani agreed to bar civilians from carrying weapons in the lawless region “to avoid the chaos that occurs from time to time, and enhance security and stability in the five Darfur states”.

On 28 December, Second Vice-President Hassabo Abdelrahman said that the government intends to put an end to the displacement in 2016. He gave the displaced Darfuris two options: to return to their residents of origin or accept resettlement. The government will support them in their choice which is to be implemented within 50 days, he said.

“The region is now free of security threats. The people are freely moving around.”

Earlier that month, Sese, affirmed in his report to the DRA Council hat the security situation in Darfur has become stable. “The region is now free of security threats. The people are freely moving around.”

In July last year, Sese announced a new phase of development projects in the region, and urged the governments of the five Darfur states to conduct a survey of land ownership and available lands, in order to resettle the displaced.

He called on the leaders of the displaced to encourage their voluntary return to villages that have been rebuilt with the financial support of Qatar government and other donors. The DRA chairman said that the displaced can also opt not to return to their places of origin, as most of the camps will be turned into town districts.


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