‘Security blocks movement in Kalma camp’: Darfur Documentation Centre
Sudanese security forces in Kalma camp in South Darfur have been ‘conducting searches and arrest operations against individuals suspected of playing a role in organising the public protests against the visit of President Omar Al Bashir to the area last week’. Free movement and inflow of products to the camps reportedly are prevented.
The death toll among the victims of the demonstration near Kalma camp for displaced people on Friday “has now reached nine as more people died due to bullet wounds sustained during the attack”, according the Swiss Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre (DRDC). “The number of victims of injuries that currently need medical attention stands at over 30 people, some of them in critical health conditions.
“At present, the security forces are besieging the main entry points to Kalma camp thus preventing free movement of people to and from the camp.” The documentation centre added that searches by the security service members at the camp gates, the vicinity of Kalma and the marketplaces in neighbouring Bielel and Nyala, resulted in a number of arrests of displaced people.
“The security forces are reportedly terrorising the merchants and transport workers and preventing the inflow of food items and other daily necessities from Nyala and other localities into Kalma camp. The security forces are especially seizing food items such as sugar, millet and sorghum, flour, fuel and medicines.”
The report of the civil society group follows a press statement the centre issued on the day of the deadly incident. Residents of Kalma camp, located near Nyala and with an estimated population of 120,000 people, went to the streets to protest against the planned presidential visit. On the day of Al Bashir’s visit to Kalma, security forces violently dispersed the peaceful demonstrators.
At that time of reporting five protesters were killed and at least 26 wounded. Medical staff of the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (Unamid) intervened and assisted with the treatment of the wounded. Before the peaceful demonstrations started, on Tuesday, representatives of South Darfur camps officially requested Unamid to protect their protest marches.
On Friday, a Unamid delegation met with Sudanese government officials and representatives of the United Nations including the under-secretary general for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the African Union in New York for the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism meeting, to discuss the activities of Unamid.
The Government of Sudan, led by the undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elghani El Naim Awad Elkari, requested details on the establishment of the temporary operating base in Golo, to which the Unamid delegation headed by Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo committed to reply.
Furthermore all parties welcomed the progress made by Unamid in the implementation of the first phase of the mission’s reconfiguration plan.
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