The newly appointed governor of North Darfur, Mohamed Arabi, visited the Abu Shouk and Zamzam camps for the displaced yesterday. He discussed the issues that people in the camps face with native administration leaders and representatives of the youth.
Mohamed Adam, one of the omdas (community leaders) in Abu Shouk, called on the governor to dismiss the humanitarian aid coordinator in the area, expel illegal settlers from land that belong to displaced and refugees, and form an emergency committee to protect the farmers during the current rainy season.
He and other native administration leaders further demanded the return of relief organisations expelled by ousted President Omar Al Bashir when he was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2009. They pointed to the deterioration of health and education services, and the lack of food and safe drinking water in the camp. Many students, they said, dropped out of school because their families can not afford the school fees.
They stressed that job opportunities must be created for young people in the camps. The displaced must also be represented in the state government. They urged the new governor to stay away from partisanship, tribalism and nepotism.
The coordinator of Zamzam camp also called for protection of the displaced farmers. He pointed to the recent killing of a camp resident on his farm in Abu Deleig, and the kidnapping of three displaced farmers near Shangil Tobaya. "We hoped that security would spread throughout the country after the fall of the regime, but we were surprised by the deteriorating security conditions”, he said.
In his address to the displaced, the governor of North Darfur pledged to protect the agricultural season. He called this “one of the priorities of both the federal and the state government”.
The state government will appoint three new heads for the Abu Shouk, Zamzam, and Otash camps in El Fasher locality. They will be selected by the displaced themselves.
The North Darfur governor also visited Kutum locality on Saturday, where he pledged to address all legal obstacles in achieving justice for the people killed during the July 13 attack on the sit-in in Fata Borno.
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