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Displaced refuse to obey Darfur Authority and leave camps

July 31 - 2015 ZALINGEI / EL GENEINA
Latrines at a school at a model village in Ed Daein, East Darfur, which was built and opened by the Darfur Regional Authority on 26 July 2015 (RD)
Latrines at a school at a model village in Ed Daein, East Darfur, which was built and opened by the Darfur Regional Authority on 26 July 2015 (RD)

Displaced people living in Central Darfur state have rejected the project for the voluntary return of the displaced population, set up by the Darfur Regional Authority. “None of the displaced people will return to their home villages, because of the lack of security.”

The coordinator of the Central Darfur camps said that the people refuse the voluntary return offered by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), “because the reasons for their displacement still exist”. He stressed that weapons from the militias should be collected, and criminals should be prosecuted, prior for the mass return of the displaced people. “We need to survive first before having institutions and buildings.

“The DRA is building villages and institutions for the new settlers,” he claimed in an interview with Radio Dabanga, saying the new settlers have been one of the causes of the displacement in Darfur. In the past weeks, Radio Dabanga reported that militiamen and foreigners started to settle in abandoned villages, sometimes protected by militia members, and attacked people who had returned to their areas of origin.

“The Darfur Regional Authority supports those who have expelled us out of our villages.”

The DRA cannot build institutions on behalf of displaced persons, the camp coordinator criticised, and give them to those who have been the original cause of the people's displacement. “This affects our future as the Regional Authority cannot support those who have expelled us out of our villages.

This is not logical, and if they want our support: we are present in the camps.”

This week, the DRA chairman, Dr El Tijani Sese, opened development projects such as model villages and schools in East and West Darfur. On Monday, he announced that camps will be turned into towns where all basic services will be available, and requested the camp leaders' cooperation. Sese also stressed the importance of voluntary return of the displaced persons and refugees.

Food distribution taken over

The Central Darfur camp leader added that the government's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) together with the DRA have a plan to take over the distribution of humanitarian aid inside the camps in the state. “But we do not have confidence in the national organisations because they belong to the [ruling] National Congress Party and the security apparatus... And food which comes from the donors is going into the pockets of individuals, not to the displaced people.”

Speaking for the displaced people, he added: “If the signed peace agreement was just, it would not have created the disagreement that happens between Regional Authority components.”

'DRA has implemented little'

Criticism aimed against the DRA also comes from Dr Amin Mahmoud, a member of the coordinating mechanism for the National Dialogue Committee (known as the '7 +7'). The Authority has implemented only implemented a small percentage of the total development projects within the past four years, he claimed during a symposium on the extension of the term of the DRA, at the National Centre for Media Production on Wednesday.

The prominent Darfuri leader attributed the Authority’s failure in the completion of its projects to the conflicts that broke out, referring to the split of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM, of which Sese was the leader until January this year) into two parties, along with lack of stakeholders’ involvement.

In the same context, Darfuri leader Mohamed Musa Aliyu held the Sudanese government responsible for the deterioration of the conditions in the Darfur Regional Authority. It has now become like “a lion stripped of its teeth”. Musa Aliyu added that the Authority has failed to establish of the Darfur Development Bank with a Qatari capital of 2 billion dollars. It neither conducted a referendum for the people of Darfur on the unity of the region, or division into states.

Sese: 'Tribal conflicts threat peace'

On the other hand, DRA chairman Dr El Tijani Sese stressed that tribal conflicts and the spreading of weapons are the greatest threats to social peace in Darfur. In his address to civil society groups in El Geneina, West Darfur, on Thursday, Sese pointed to the importance of developing a road map in order to disarm armed citizens, especially in the conflict zones.

He said that West Darfur state is one of the most secure states of the province, and called on the citizens to reconcile and promote social stability.

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