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UNAMID urges Sudan to investigate IDP camp incident

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September 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The African Union-United Nations joint peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has called on Sudanese authorities to conduct a “full and detailed investigation” on the recent incident which took place at the Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur state capital of Nyala, saying it has no accurate count of the victims.

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A Darfurian woman stands outside a burnt house in Mellit on 25 March 2014 (Photo: UNAMID/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

The deputy secretary-general of refugees and IDPs’ union in Darfur, Adam Abdallah, told Sudan Tribune on Friday that a heavily armed government military force stormed the camp in an “inhumane” manner and randomly opened fire leading to the death of two women, including a lactating mother, and left four children injured.

But the governor of South Darfur state, Adam Mahmoud Jar al-Nabi, on Saturday accused an armed group belonging to the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel-Wahid Mohamed al-Nur (SLM-AW) of involvement in the incident.

In a statement received by Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, UNAMID underscored the need for self-restraint from all parties in and around Kalma IDP camp, reminding them of their responsibility to maintain the “humanitarian nature of IDP camps”.

It expressed concern over mounting tensions inside the camp, saying it continues to talk to camp leaders and government authorities at all levels in order to avoid further violence “which would only weaken Sudanese and international ongoing efforts to achieve peaceful solutions for the Darfur conflict”.

The statement urged IDPs to respect the laws of the country and refrain from criminal acts or acts that could damage peace prospects in Darfur. It also urged authorities to respect national and international human rights and humanitarian laws and refrain from excessive and indiscriminate use of force.

UNAMID reiterated its full commitment to carry out its mandate regarding protection of civilians, vowing readiness to offer support to the government and the IDPs to arrive at peaceful settlement for existing differences between them.

The mission said it was forced to withdraw security reinforcements it dispatched to secure safety of its personnel following gathering of a group of IDPs and destruction of the mission’s societal police station which led to the injury of a peacekeeper.

The statement said that a group of IDPs demonstrated on Friday morning in front of the societal police station for the second time and embarked on digging a trench to block access to the camp.

It further noted that around 400 IDPs had gathered near Baleel commercial market to protest against the government, saying that bullets were fired during the demonstration leading to casualties among protestors.

In 2008, Kalma residents denied government forces entry to the camp, prompting the latter to use military force, which led to the death of 49 people.

Last month, UNAMID expressed concern about the security raids conducted by the government on IDP camps in Nyala and surrounding localities in South Darfur, saying it will make every possible effort to reduce the negative impact of these raids.

The head of UNAMID, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said role of his mission is to “ensure that the activities on law enforcement agencies are carried out without infringement of the rights of innocent civilians, especially vulnerable communities in IDP camps”.

On 15 July, South Darfur governor declared a one-month emergency order in South Darfur state, including a curfew from 7pm to 7am in Nyala.

Last month, the state security committee decided to renew the order indefinitely and called on civilians to hand over any weapons they have in their possession.

(ST)

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