Home | News    Tuesday 26 March 2013

Darfur rebels seize 31 internally displaced persons

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March 25, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – A rebel group seized 31 displaced people at gunpoint on Sunday, who were travelling to a refugee conference under the escort of UN peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region.

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FILE - A peacekeeper shows a United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) armoured personnel carrier (APC) that was damaged following an ambush on October 17, as it awaits further investigation at the UNAMID base in Kutum October 22, 2012 (Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID/Handout)

According to a statement from the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), a convoy of three buses was transporting the internally displaced persons (IDP’s) when they were stopped by armed men wearing military uniforms in seven jeeps with mounted guns.

UNAMID said the IDP’s were forcibly taken to an unknown location, despite opposition by peacekeepers.

The incident occurred about 6.20pm (local time) between the Arga crossing point and Kass locality, a border area between Central and South Darfur states.

Rebel leader Abdel Wahid Mohammed al-Nur, who heads a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AW), later confirmed his group was responsible for the attack.

In comments made to Radio Dabanga, he claimed the arrests were legitimate, saying the group were mostly government security agents posing as civilians. He told the station he had evidence, including documents and ID cards, proving those arrested were not genuine IDPs.

The claims apparently contradict comments made by Nur and quoted by AFP that the arrests were a “big mistake”.

“I gave (an) order to release these people, civilians, immediately”, he said, according to AFP.

CONFLICTING REPORTS

There remain conflicting reports about the circumstances of the attack and the fate of the 31 people taken into custody.

UNAMID said no official sources from the Sudanese government had confirmed their release, and the agency has been unable to contact any of the displaced people to independently verify the reports.

UNAMID said it was “sparing no effort to ascertain the current situation of the IDPs”, who were en route from Zalingei, in Central Darfur, to attend the two-day conference in the South Darfur capital Nyala to discuss the situation of IDPs and refugees, including the issue of voluntary return.

“UNAMID condemns this incident and stands ready to escort the IDPs to [the] Nyala conference, and to provide any other assistance”, the agency said in its statement.

The group was being escorted by UNAMID at the request of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), which is sponsoring the event ahead of the upcoming Donors’ Conference in Doha.

The chairman of the DRA, Tijani Sissi, condemned UMAMID peacekeepers following the latest incident for handing over the displaced people “without the slightest resistance”.

In his opening speech on Monday at the Koral Hotel in Nyala where the conference is being held under heavy security, a visibly angry Sissi suggested that the mission had strayed from its core mandate of protecting civilians and was now in need of protection itself.

He went on to day that UNAMID is now a burden on Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Darfuri people. Similar criticism came from Sudan 2nd VP Al-Haj Adam Youssef who was in attendance at the conference,

AFP confirmed more than 270 IDPs from across Darfur had safely reached the meeting venue, along with around 70 refugees, mostly from neighboring Chad.

NOT THE RIGHT TIME

The DRA’s decision to host the conference sparked widespread criticism in the lead-up to the event, with refugees in Chad and several leaders from IDP communities within Sudan refusing to attend, saying now was not the right time to hold talks given the tenuous security situation on the ground.

Critics also questioned the logic of inviting refugees to a summit on voluntary return when murders, rapes, displacement and banditry continue to undermine any hopes for peaceful resettlement in the region’s abandoned villages.

The UN estimates that 1.4 million people are still living in camps a decade after rebel groups took up arms against the Sudanese government seeking greater freedoms and an end to northern Arab dominance.

(ST)

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  • 26 March 2013 07:19, by Jalaby

    Those Darfourians gangsters are nothing but true bandits and thugs who target the soft and innocent civilians people to abduct them and then later ask for ransom and food to set them free!!
    What type of revolutionaries fighters are those people?! what Darfourians people right they’re fighting for while they abduct and terrorize Darfourians people?!

    repondre message

    • 26 March 2013 09:20, by Big Boy

      Dear Jalaby
      Welcome back,where have you been? we missed ur fake comments here!some one told me that, you are from new born Nation in S,Sudan, But you are pretending to be an arab....anyway enjoy ur hiding identity,But one day we’ll kick you in ass wherever you may be truth me.

      repondre message

    • 26 March 2013 09:36, by Kalo

      You are lair fake arabs-Jalab,those people were security personnel not idps civilians as mention,we have full evidents.
      By Kalo,the song of Nuba.

      repondre message

  • 26 March 2013 07:29, by Kalo

    What did those idps want to do?instead of taking up their arms against Janweeed,they stayed in the camps shouting through the radio Dabanga about raping and knapping by Janjweed,Abutaira poice and Arishudud,all in all, we have information and evident confirmed that those people were security personnel from the NCP government not idps.
    By Kalo the song of Nuba.

    repondre message

    • 26 March 2013 10:16, by Nibs

      I don’t care whether they are civilians or government security personels. What is the mandate of UN troops in darfur if people can be snatched away from them? Those UN forces are in Africa for salaries, not human protection. They’re causes of wars in Africa. They incite ethnic animosity, if there is peace in Africa, they’re jobless. I would encourage African leaders to kick them out.

      repondre message

    • 26 March 2013 11:03, by Agar madong

      @@@@@@@@ who ever call him self jalaby you are lucky to fight with Darfurian suppost you were fighting Dinka Agar madong you would have gone back to where you come from .

      repondre message

      • 26 March 2013 13:14, by Oppressor

        Well done Nibs this is the spirit we must kick them out:
        But look at this idiot " Agar madong " who’s tank mind loaded with hate he dosn’t understand peace always look for WAR to loot money funny Scamp..

        repondre message

  • 26 March 2013 16:08, by 4Justice
  • 27 March 2013 04:50, by Nyamnyam

    Cmdre Jalaby, all time long, I thought u were an intellectual, but from ur last comments, I have changed my opinion about u. U r no more less that Hitler.

    repondre message

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