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Unamid condemns violent confrontations in Kalma camp, South Darfur

April 19 - 2019 ZALINGEI
A Unamid patrol at Kama camp (File photo)
A Unamid patrol at Kama camp (File photo)

The African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid) has released a statement strongly condemning recent violent confrontations between two rival youth groups in Kalma Camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur state, which occurred on 13 April 2019, and called upon all the displaced to respect humanitarian principles and not to engage in violent acts.

Radio Dabanga reported on Wednesday, clashes within Kalma camp for the displaced, near the South Darfur capital Nyala, on Sunday left 14 people dead, the acting governor of South Darfur, Maj Gen Hashim Khalid confirmed. The death toll has since climbed to 16 as two people subsequently succumbed to their injuries.

The dead reportedly include a humanitarian field worker, with 17 injured.

A statement from the Mission headquarters in Zalingei reads: “In response to these violent confrontations, Unamid immediately deployed its Police who created a buffer between the two rival groups thereby diffusing this situation and preventing further harm to civilians. Unamid Police also provided First Aid assistance to the injured and increased its patrols in the area. The Mission will soon dispatch an Integrated Team to the area to further engage with traditional leaders in the IDP Camp and local authorities to prevent a recurrence of such tragic incidents in the future.

“The Mission reminds all protagonists involved that IDP camps are considered humanitarian space which should be free of weapons, where displaced people must not be subjected to threats, harassment, attacks or harm. Such actions could constitute a grave violation of international humanitarian law.”

'Any internally displaced person found carrying a weapon and using it, is no longer viewed as a civilian but is seen as a combatant and as such loses humanitarian protection provided to civilians' – Unamid

The Unamid statement warns: “Any internally displaced person found carrying a weapon and using it, is no longer viewed as a civilian but is seen as a combatant and as such loses humanitarian protection provided to civilians.”

The Mission calls upon all displaced people to respect humanitarian principles and not to engage in violent acts:

“While the prime responsibility of protecting civilians rests with the government of Sudan, Unamid shall continue to collaborate with the relevant IDP leaders and government authorities on protecting civilians and engage with them regarding this matter at all levels. The Mission urges tribal and local community leaders to encourage their community members to solve their differences in a peaceful and cooperative manner,” said Jeremiah Mamabolo, Unamid Joint Special Representative.

Unamid continues to monitor the situation and is taking appropriate measures, in line with its protection of civilians’ responsibilities as mandated by the United Nations Security Council, the statement concludes.


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