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Militiamen gather, terrify Central Darfur displaced

July 24 - 2015 AZUM LOCALITY
Location of Azum locality in Central Darfur (Wikimedia Commons)
Location of Azum locality in Central Darfur (Wikimedia Commons)

Crowds of militiamen have gathered north of Hamidiya camp in Central Darfur since four days, terrifying residents that they will come under their attack soon.

The camp coordinator revealed to Radio Dabanga that the militiamen often fire shots into the air, leading to panic inside the camp near Wadi Azum and Dar.

He explained that the reason for their gathering possibly leads back to a killing during the theft of a vehicle by other militiamen in Zalingei three weeks ago. The vehicle belonged to the Popular Defence Forces. They chased the culprits, shot dead one of them, and managed to restore their stolen vehicle.

As a response, the militiamen sent a delegation to the Central Darfur government, demanding the payment of blood money for their lost comrade. However, the delegation was arrested. This has sparked their comrades to gather north of Hamidiya, the coordinator said.

On Wednesday, he met with the commander of the AU-UN joint Mission in Darfur (Unamid) in the camp, to explain the residents' fear of assaults by the gathered militiamen. Many think that the situation will escalate over conflicts between the state's power centres, regarding the formation of a new ministerial council.

“We are not a party to this conflict,” the coordinator of Hamidiya told Unamid and Radio Dabanga. “We called on Unamid to do its part and patrol inside and outside the camp in order to protect the displaced people.”

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