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UNAMID calls for collaborative approach to disarmament campaign in Darfur IDPs camps

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November 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Saturday has called for adopting a collaborative approach to collect illegal arms from Darfur IDPs camps.

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Kalma IDP Camp, near South Darfur capital Nyalan patrolled by Unamid on 11 August 2010 (UNAMID photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran)

Last August, the Sudanese government launched a six-month disarmament campaign to eliminate weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur region.

The authorities say the spread of weapons among the rival tribes in the region is one of the main causes of Darfur’s instability.

Ahead of the beginning of the forcible phase of the disarmament campaign, Sudanese government forces on Thursday surrounded Kalma camp, the largest IDPs camp in South Darfur, for some time before to withdraw.

Government officials point to the presence of arms in Kalma camp. Also, they speak of the presence of rebel supporters in the camp, saying they are connected to the rebel leaders.

“UNAMID peacekeepers on the ground during the incident reported that more than 100 government military vehicles, including trucks with mounted weapons and armoured personnel carriers, briefly entered parts of the camp,” said UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah Mamabolo in a press release on Saturday.

“While UNAMID acknowledges the significance of the ongoing arms collection exercise, it regrets the entry by the Government forces to Kalma IDP camp was not coordinated with the mission to avoid any potential tension and violence,” he added.

UNAMID called on the Sudanese government and the IDPs to work with the Mission “in a collaborative way in order to advance the weapons collection campaign.”

It pointed out that the Mission would continue “to engage with government authorities and Kalma IDP camp leaders in accordance with its protection of civilians mandate”.

Last month, three Kalma residents were killed and dozens of others injured by the police during a visit of the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir to the area. The IDPs forced the state government to move his public meeting far from the camp.

The governor of South Darfur, Adam al-Faki, had previously ordered the search of Kalma camp to arrest gunmen who opened fire on regular forces, killing three and injuring six others.

(ST)

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