Protests against violence in Darfur
The Peace Support Committees Coordination organised a protest vigil in Khartoum yesterday against the ongoing violence in Darfur. Displaced living in Kalma camp in South Darfur resumed their sit-in, demanding that the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) will not be withdrawn at December 31.
During the vigil held in front of the Republican Palace in Khartoum, representatives of the group submitted a memorandum about recent human rights violations in Darfur to Mohamed El Taayshi, the member of the Sovereign Council tasked with the coordination of the peace process. They referred to the recent killing of civilians in South, West, and North Darfur, and the targeting of farmers and displaced by militants.
The memo called on the transitional government “to take immediate action to maintain security in Darfur, protect citizens and property, arrest those involved in crimes and bring them to a fair trial”.
The Peace Support Coordination holds the transitional government responsible for the continued violence, and demand “the acceleration of the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, especially the security arrangements protocol, including the establishment of a disarmament mechanism”.
El Taayshi addressed the protestors and affirmed that “the transitional government bears full responsibility for protecting people in conflict areas and the whole of Sudan”.
“The implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement is the only guarantee for the establishment of security, stability, development, and sustainable peace in the country,” El Taayshi said. “Collecting weapons is a key issue that will definitely contribute to stopping the violence and the killings.”
He confirmed that the Juba Peace Agreement, signed by the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance in the South Sudanese capital on October 3, provides for the formation of a security force of 12,000 soldiers to protect the people in Darfur. He stressed the need to build “a unified national army with a single combat doctrine”. Both the armed rebel movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement and the Sudanese Armed Forces are supposed to form this unified national army.
A video of El Taayshi addressing the protestors can be seen has been posted on Facebook.
In South Darfur, residents of Kalma camp for the displaced resumed their sit-in in front of the site of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Saturday.
They demand that the United Nations Security Council reconsider its decision to end the mandate of the mission on December 31. They also call for disarmament and the removal of settlers from Chad, Niger and Mali from their lands.
These settlers occupied land that the displaced had to leave. During the regime of ousted President Omar Al Bashir, herders from countries west of Sudan were invited to inhabit the areas where Darfuri farmers used to live. They torched many of the deserted villages. Militias such as the Rapid Support Forces, set-up by the Al Bashir regime, protected these settlers in Darfur for years.
Displaced people from other camps in the region participate in the sit-in. In Kalma camp live more than 100,000 people. It is one of the largest camps in Darfur.
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