Sudan FM lambasted following ‘displaced returnees’ comments, violence persists across Darfur

Displaced women and children in Zamzam camp near El Fasher, North Darfur (File photo: UNAMID))


Leaders in Darfur’s displacement camps denounced comments made by the acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Ali El Sadig, who said in a speech earlier this week, “the war in Darfur had ended” and “the displaced had returned to their villages”.

The community leaders lambasted the minister’s speech as “completely baseless”. They demanded that the “minister visit the camps himself”, to ascertain just how “desperate conditions are in the displacement camps”.

One of them told Radio Dabanga, that the speech was an “expression of the totalitarian views” of the disbanded National Congress Party, of former dictator Omar Al Bashir.

The Darfur displacement representatives stated that “attacks, rampages, and systematic killings by various armed groups” have persisted across camps in Darfur, due to the “complete absence of security”.

North Darfur

At least two people were killed, and several others were injured, following a reported armed attack on Thursday, in the Meleisa village in Saraf Omra, North Darfur. The events led to many women and children being displaced, fleeing to the neighbouring village of Nimra.

Villagers told Radio Dabanga that gunmen launched an attack on the village, killing Abdelmajeed Yagoub (30) and Mohamed Bahar (35), as well as burning most of the village.

They added that the attack was “an act of revenge”, due to an armed man being killed for his alleged participation in an armed looting operation earlier that day, wherein Meleisa villager, Khalil Sembi, was injured.

Locals told Radio Dabanga, the armed assailants gathered from the dead gunman’s family to then “launch an attack on the village”.

Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Reform Council announced their condemnation of the attack, and warned the authorities of a “looming inter-communal violence, if the authorities did not intervene”.

In a statement, the movement described the attack as barbaric, and appealed to locals “to resort to the voice of reason and law”, so that “region does not slip into a new civil war”.

The Darfur Bar Association also condemned the attack, stating that it was a “barbaric retaliatory attack”, and demanded that the North Darfur state government prosecute the alleged perpetrators.

South Darfur

Two soldiers were killed and a third was wounded in an ambush by an armed caravan on Thursday, near Manawashi on the El Fasher-Nyala Road, South Darfur.

Locals told Radio Dabanga that the group of gunmen, who were on board two Land Cruisers and a fleet of motorcycles, looted two carts carrying sugar that were protected by a nearby military garrison.

They added that at least 30 vehicles left the garrison in Manawashi to track down the alleged perpetrators.