Security forces on Wednesday arrested the head of the Kanjarde district of the Murnei camp for the displaced in West Darfur. The 127,000 Murnei camp residents had rejected the ‘re-planning’ of the camp’s Kanjarde district and expelled a group of urban planning experts from El Geneina.
A Murnei camp resident told Radio Dabanga that the arrest of Sheikh Khamis Ishag Abdel Moula led to fierce protests among the displaced, demanding his immediate release. On Thursday a committee of 15 camp residents was formed. They will travel to El Geneina to meet the Minister of Urban Planning. The committee will inform the Minister about their rejection of the restructuring plan, and demand the release of Sheikh Moula.
Another sheikh of Murnei camp attributed “what is happening to us” to the West Darfur state’s Ministry of Urban Planning. He warned, via Radio Dabanga, “all those who seek to reorganise the camp and demolish our homes to stay away. We will call on human rights defenders and representatives of Unamid to come to the camp and witness for themselves the collective crime committed against the Murnei camp population.”
A group from the West Darfur Urban Planning Corporation arrived at Murnei camp on Tuesday to restructure the Kanjarde district in the south-western part of the camp. The displaced categorically rejected the plan, and refused the “planning fees” of SDG650 ($113.50) each household was requested to pay,” the sheikh explained.
The sheikh accused the Humanitarian Aid Commission, the police, the security forces, and some omdas, of cracking down the protests by threatening to arrest those who refuse the planning. He called on the authorities to instead provide the displaced with clean drinking water, food, education, and health care.
File photo by Albert González Farran/Unamid
North Darfur’s Abu Shouk and El Salam camps to be ‘restructured’ (30 January 2014)
DRA workshop disappoints West Darfur displaced (28 January 2014)
DRA begins reconstruction programme (3 December 2013)