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North Darfur displaced: No voluntary return in current climate

October 5 - 2016 ZAMZAM CAMP
Displaced at Zamzam camp near El Fasher in North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)
Displaced at Zamzam camp near El Fasher in North Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)

The displaced of North Darfur’s Zamzam camp say that voluntary return to their areas of origin is out of the question under current conditions.

On Tuesday sheikhs, youths and women’s unions of the camp, which lies south of the North Darfur capital of El Fasher, met with an international delegation to discuss the security, food, and health situation in the camp, as well as voluntary return.

The delegation included representatives of the US embassy in Khartoum, a representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Director of the World Food Programme (WFP).

The Coordinator of Zamzam camp told Radio Dabanga that the displaced confirmed to the delegation that there is no question of voluntary return. He said that the displaced could only begin to consider voluntary return once they are provided with security and services. He also insisted that pressure be brought to bear on the Khartoum government to stop bombing and killing civilians.

He highlighted that there is a chronic shortage of medicine and food. He explained that deliveries of medicines reach the camp once a week through a system of permits from the security services, and demanded that this system be cancelled. This will allow life-saving medicine to be delivered on a more regular basis with fewer administrative delays.

“It is only once there is peace and security in Darfur that we can consider returning to the villages and homes from which we have been displaced,” he concluded.

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