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Mass protest in South Darfur's Kalma camp

February 7 - 2016 KALMA CAMP
Kalma camp women raise a banner saying 'No oppression of civilians and displaced', 7 February 2016 (RD)
Kalma camp women raise a banner saying 'No oppression of civilians and displaced', 7 February 2016 (RD)

Tens of thousands of people living in Kalma camp for the displaced near Nyala, capital of South Darfur, went to the streets today in protest against the ongoing attacks on Jebel Marra, and the April referendum on the administrative status of the region.

Yagoub Mohamed Abdallah, Coordinator-General of the Darfur camps reported to Radio Dabanga from Kalma camp that the “peaceful protesters handed a memorandum to Unamid this (Sunday) morning”.

In the memo, the displaced condemn “the ongoing aerial bombardments and brutal attacks carried out by government forces against the residents of Jebel Marra, and the so-called referendum, which the government intends to conduct in Darfur while the Darfuris themselves have nothing to do with it”.

Abdallah said that the Darfur camp elders will continue to arrange such demonstrations throughout the region in the coming days. “The Darfur displaced will definitely boycott the referendum,” he added.

“The problem lies with those Arabs the Sudanese government imported from Niger, Mali, and Chad, and let them settle on lands that belong to the displaced.”

Ali Abdelrahman El Tahir, head of the Darfur camp sheikhs, told Radio Dabanga after the demonstration that “the peaceful protest challenges the words of the Sudanese second vice-president in December, when he gave the displaced a dead-line of 50 days to return to their villages of origin.

“The people are prepared to live another 50 years in the camps, as long as the reasons for their displacement are still there.”

The sheik stated that “the Arabs in Darfur are an authentic part of Darfur. We all know their traditional home lands and which other plots they own. Most of them are living peacefully together with their African neighbours.

“The problem lies with those Arabs the Sudanese government imported from Niger, Mali, and Chad, and let them settle on lands that belong to the displaced,” he said.

Kalma camp is one of the largest camps in Darfur. In 2014, the camp hosted 163,000 displaced.

 


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