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Displaced stage demo against war, referendum in Central Darfur

February 5 - 2016 ZALINGEI
Demonstrators, all displaced people from the camps, in Zalingei, Central Darfur, on 5 February 2016 (RD)
Demonstrators, all displaced people from the camps, in Zalingei, Central Darfur, on 5 February 2016 (RD)

Displaced people from three camps in Central Darfur State staged a peaceful demonstration on Friday, condemning the aerial bombardments and shelling by government forces on areas and villages in Jebel Marra that have caused the displacement of large numbers.

As of 31 January, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that 44,700 people (31,000 in North Darfur and 13,700 in Central Darfur) have been displaced by the government's offensive. 

The demonstrators from Hassahissa, Khamsa Degaig, and Hamidiya camps in Zalingei locality also denounced the holding of the referendum on the administrative status of Darfur, planned to be held in all states next April.

The demonstrations started at 10 am, the coordinator of the Central Darfur camps told Radio Dabanga. The people from the three camps met in the courtyard of the old airport in Zalingei, and carried banners, with 'halt all air strikes and the ongoing genocide in Jebel Marra' and anti-referendum slogans written on them.

The protesters handed a memorandum to the director of the African Union-United Nations hybrid Mission in Darfur (Unamid) in Zalingei, to the head of the human rights section in Unamid, and to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also based in Zalingei.

The memo denounced the Sudanese government's deployment of militias that attack civilians, burn their villages, and cause mass displacement.

“The demonstration was peaceful and broke up peacefully, without the intervention of security forces,” the coordinator said.

Student demonstrations against the fighting in Jebel Marra were violently dispersed by security forces on Monday.

Photos by RD correspondent in Zalingei

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