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UN Darfur mission fears revenge attack on Hamadiya Camp

July 11 - 2012 ZALINGEI

UNAMID Spokesman Chris Cycmanick confirmed that displaced people killed two men in or near Hamadiya Camp on Saturday. He also confirmed there were ‘further security incidents’ the next day but could not confirm the reports of retaliatory kidnappings because the UN mission had received conflicting information on the incident. He explained that after the killings UNAMID sent a team to interview community leaders about what happened. He said UNAMID is concerned that there will be revenge attacks and is monitoring the situation from its base within a couple of kilometers of the camp.

He added “What we’d received on our initial reports is that two men entered the camp with AK-47 rifles. They were not members of the camp, they had entered the camp with these rifles. We don’t know if they were chased out of the camp because they were stealing something or because of the way they entered the camp and people automatically suspected them of being engaged in criminality. And now we’re concerned about this because we’re concerned that there will be revenge… If there’s a dispute that’s taking place we’re going to do everything we can in a diplomatic fashion to try to solve the situation and where we can in terms of providing patrols of the camp and trying to make sure that the situation is resolved as quickly as possible. Of course we don’t want to see this escalate.”

The government paramilitary Border Guards arrested nineteen (19), raped three (3) women and injured four (4) during an attack on a camp for displaced people in Central Darfur on Monday. The camp coordinator told Radio Dabanga the paramilitary group released ten (10) of the captives the following day but threatened to kill the remaining nine (9) hostages. In a telephone call to the camp coordinator the group threatened to attack the camp for a second time if a ransom of 900 million Sudanese pounds is not paid within 24 hours.

Meanwhile IDPs of Hamadiya camp requested that UNAMID take seriously its mandate to ensure the release of nine hostages taken from the camp by the government militia last Monday. Additionally they requested that UNAMID send convoys to patrol the camp to protect the IDPs from attacks by militias. The coordinator of the Zalingei camps told Radio Dabanga that Fadil Abu Manga, the leader of the hostage-taking militia forces is a former leader of the Border Guards in West Darfur and now leads LJM forces in the area of Jebel Oso, Western Sector. For this reason he put the responsibility on LJM and its leader Tijani Sese. Radio Dabanga tried to reach LJM for comment but could not reach their spokesperson for the time being.

The IDP leader said that three armed men entered Hamadiya Camp on Monday night heading to the food stores of the World Food Programme. The guards at the store fled. The gunmen entered the stores and looked around but apparently did nothing. This incident spread further fear among the IDPs that the camp could be surrounded and attacked.


20120711 NEWS ESH UNAMID web clip.mp3
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