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‘Limited agenda’ as AU ambassadors meet Darfur displaced

May 18 - 2017 EL FASHER
The head of the AU delegation, Ambassador Katende Mull of Uganda (blue suit) and the Governor of North Darfur, Abdul-Wahid Yusuf (speaker) address the press after their talks in El Fasher on Tuesday. (Amin Ismael / Unamid)
The head of the AU delegation, Ambassador Katende Mull of Uganda (blue suit) and the Governor of North Darfur, Abdul-Wahid Yusuf (speaker) address the press after their talks in El Fasher on Tuesday. (Amin Ismael / Unamid)

Yesterday a delegation of 15 ambassadors of the African Union Peace and Security Council met with leaders of the displaced in Darfur, however, the leaders were warned not to discuss certain subjects, or talk to Radio Dabanga and other media, on pain of immediate arrest.

According to a statement by El Shafie Abdallah, coordinator of displaced persons of Central Darfur, the meeting in Nierteti focused on voluntary return, its encouragement and the security situation which the delegation said it has improved, this besides the displaced persons’ need to intervene to persuade Abdel Wahid to join Peace and encourage them to accept the new government.

Abdullah that they told the delegation that voluntary return cannot take place in the absence of security, stability, spread of militias with the existence of what he called “occupiers in the lands of the displaced, absence of justice and unfairness to the victims”.

He said in his statement that the delegation did not address the government attacks on Jebel Marra since January 2016 and the use of chemical weapons in Jebel Marra, in spite of the Amnesty International’s issuing of report with evidence supporting that.

He said that the displaced persons responded to the request of the African Union Peace and Security Council delegation to intervene to convince Abdel Wahid that they have nothing to do with Abdel Wahid who has a military political organisation that has to be addressed through its institutions and not through the displaced person.

He said the displaced leaders also told the delegation that Unamid's departure from Darfur at this time would lead to a disaster to be shouldered by the African Peace and Security Council.

They stressed the need for the mission to remain, to be strengthened and activate its mandate so that it can perform its duty to protect civilians in Darfur.

Press caution in North Darfur

In North Darfur, sheikhs, women, and youth representatives of Shadad and Naivasha camps in Shangil Tobaya said that the Commissioner of El Salam locality, the military garrison commander, and the locality police chief and Shartai of Shangil Tobaya, Adam Abakar met them before meeting with the delegation of the African Peace and Security Council on Tuesday and threatened to arrest any one of them immediately should they talk about the security situation or to the media, especially to Radio Dabanga.

They instructed them to only talk about basic services such as water, health, education and food, as well as the demand planning of the two camps.

They said that Shartai Adam Abakar expelled six of the camp leaders from the venue at Unamid headquarters before the meeting even began, and threatened to arrest anyone who talks about the security situation.

Delegation of Ambassadors

Speaking to the press in El Fasher on Tuesday, the AU delegation head, Ambassador Katende Mull of Uganda, said that the visit was to assess the overall situation in the area, the Darfur Peace Document, its impact on the situation on the ground, identify governmental efforts to improve the environment in the areas for the displaced so that they can return to their areas of origin, and learn about the form of cooperation between the government and Unamid and see what the government needs to support peace.

He said during his meeting with the governor of the state in Nierteti, that the African Union will continue to support the peace efforts in Darfur until full stability is restored in the region.

The governor of Central Darfur, Jaafar Abdel Hakam, called on the Security Council and the African Peace Council to exert more pressure on Abdel Wahid Mohammed El Nur to respond to the calls for peace.

The delegation also met with the displaced persons at camp Sortony and discussed with them voluntary return and peace.

Kalma camp

At camp Kalma in Nyala in South Darfur, the Association of Refugees and Displaced Persons appealed to the international and regional community, donors and humanitarian organisations to stand with Darfur displaced persons and refugees and assist them with the provision of the needs of Ramadan in the coming days.

On Wednesday Hussein Abusharati, the spokesman for the Association of Refugees and Displaced Persons, told Radio Dabanga that displaced persons in the camps are suffering severely due to the severe shortage of the relief stuff provided by the organisations.

He appealed to the humanitarian organisations, the United Nations and donors to stand with the displaced persons in Darfur camps and provide them with assistance, especially with regard to the upcoming month of Ramadan.

He pointed out that the displaced women find difficulty to get water.

Abusharati also pointed to the deterioration of health in the camps amid the spread of fevers and diarrhoea with the acute shortage of medicines and health staff.

He appealed to the Federal Ministry of Health to stand with the displaced persons and protect them from the risk of spread of diseases in the camps, especially cholera.

Also he pointed to the spread of fires in the camps, pointing to the burning of more than 1,500 homes and shelters from April to May.


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