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IDPs’ protests force South Darfur to move al-Bashir’s rally away from their camp

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Residents of Kalma camp in South Darfur State protest against the planned visit of President al-Bashir to their camp on 20 September 2017 (ST Photo)
September 20, 2017 (NYALA) - Protests by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kalma camp outside Nyala have forced the South Darfur government to move a rally organised to receive President al-Bashir to a site at two kilometres from the crowded camp.

A security official told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that a local security committee had held a number of meetings, which ended with a decision to shift the rally of the President who is scheduled to visit Kalma camp on Friday.

The source which is not authorised to talk to the press said the public meeting will be held at a square near Alsalam School in the district of Belil instead of Kalma camp as a result of the protests held by the IDPs who refuse al-Bashir’s visit, pointing that the State Governor Adam al-Faki has been informed of the arrangements to secure the visit.

The governor of South Darfur said in a press statement on Tuesday that the arrangements had been completed to visit Bashir to Kalma camp.

The source added that some residents of the camp support Bashir’s visit, but that the threats by others forced them not to show that support, stressing that a large number of displaced people come to welcome al-Bashir with Belil residents.

The IDPs at Kalma camp staged demonstrations around the camp for the second day on Wednesday and they are expected to take to the streets of the camp on Thursday as they announced a three-day protest to against the presidential visit. Some IDPs also dug trenches around the camp to prevent anyone from entering the camp which is transformed to a popular neighbourhood 14 years after the start of the crisis.

The state security committee held a lengthy meeting chaired by the Governor Adam al-Faki to assess the security measures to make the visit a success after changing the site of the presidential rally.

For his part, IDPs spokesperson, Hussein Abu Sharati told Sudan Tribune that any attempt by the government to approach the camp Kalma will be the second episode of the series of "genocide" committed by al-Bashir’s regime.

He pointed out that the masses of displaced people are fully prepared for confrontation and resistance, pointing out that they have no readiness to receive a president who is "accused of committing crimes against them."

Abu Sharati stressed that they did not meet with the governor to arrange the reception, calling on the state government to receive Bashir away from the IDPs.

DO NOT REPEAL SANCTIONS

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, Yagoub Abdella ( Forre) the Chief Coordinator of Darfur IDPs and Refugees, called on Congressmen and activists to press President Donald Trump to not cancel the economic embargo on Sudan next October.

"We call on the U.S. Congress members, Human rights groups and activists to oppose the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan. We appeal on the U.S. administration instead to impose additional sanctions on Sudan regime and take perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and human rights violations to justice, instead of rewarding the criminals through the lifting of sanctions," Forre said.

"Al-Bashir’s visit to Darfur is coinciding with the visit of Sudan’s Foreign Minister, the Janjaweed-diplomat Ibrahim Ghandour to the U.S. to lobby President Trump’s administration for a permanent lifting of economic sanctions against the genocide regime of Khartoum," he further said.

He vowed to continue their peaceful demonstrations in Kalma camp to reject al-Bashir’s visit to the IDPs camp describing it as " a grave insult to survivors of genocide as he is suppose to be seen in Hague".

Also, he called for an international intervention for humanitarian purpose in Darfur saying the government and its janjaweed militiamen are "accelerating the genocide to its last phase"

(ST)

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