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North Darfur displaced clear: No safety, no return

May 23 - 2017 TAWILA
Women cook meals in the Rwanda camp for displaced people in Tawila locality (Unamid)
Women cook meals in the Rwanda camp for displaced people in Tawila locality (Unamid)

The message of displaced people in Darfur's camps to the international community remains the same: they refuse to voluntarily return home. A delegation of the United Nations Security Council discussed humanitarian and security issues in North Darfur camps on Sunday.

Representatives of the displaced community in Tawila locality called for the disarmament of militias, the expulsion of new settlers in the home areas of displaced people, and the provision of security in these areas, during the meeting with the UN delegation.

Omda Mukhtar Bosh told Radio Dabanga that the delegation from the UN Security Council met with around 50 representatives of the camps in Tawila camps, as well as youth and women. “Under discussion were the security situation, the voluntary return and the humanitarian situation in the camps.

“We assured the delegation that there was no security outside the camps and that the displaced people are subjected to killing, rape, and theft when they go out to collect firewood, straw, or do shopping.”

Reasons for camp residents to refuse to parttcipate in voluntary return programmes by the Sudanese government mostly involve the worsened security situation in their home areas, where militias roam or unknown people have settled on their lands.

“The expulsion of many foreign aid organisations by the Sudanese government badly affected services of education, health and water.”

The camp representatives explained that the displaced people are affected by the reduction in food rations by humanitarian organisations. The food security has deteriorated with the absence of jobs and deprivation of their daily activities of farming and cattle grazing, which is regularly impeded by armed members of militias.

Series of visits

The arrival of the UN Security Council delegation follows visits paid to North Darfur and other states by the African Union, the European Union, and the United States.

The latter wanted to assess the situation on the ground in Darfur to present a full report on the situation in Sudan in July, the month set by the US Government to review the progress in the country and ease economic sanctions and a trade embargo that have been in place against Sudan since 1997.

The Commissioner of Tawila, Adam Yagoub Jadeed told Radio Dabanga yesterday that they also discussed the possible relief of United States sanctions against Sudan. He asked the Security Council delegation to change the mandate of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid) “as it was the Sudanese forces that were protecting civilians, not Unamid, and transferring their budget to development projects. […] The delegation welcomed the ideas that were raised.”

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