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South Darfur tightens security around voluntary return villages

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An overview of the IDPS camp at Sortony, North Darfur, where a large number of people have fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area on 20 November 2016. (UNAMID An overview of the IDPS camp at Sortony, North Darfur, where a large number of people have fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area on 20 November 2016. Photo UNAMID)
July 22, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - South Darfur government has tightened security measures around voluntary return villages following the killing of the leader of Digrais village, 25 kilometres south of the capital, Nyala.

On 12 July, three masked gunmen killed the leader of Digrais village Gibril Ahmed Ali and his wife and injured two of his sons at their home.

The government of South Darfur on Sunday said it has arrested four suspects in the killing of Ali and his wife, stressing the incident wasn’t driven by any tribal or political reasons.

In press statements on Sunday, Darfur Commissioner for Voluntary Return, Taj al-din Ibrahim al-Tahir said authorities have deployed large troops at voluntary return areas particularly Digrais to protect the returnees and enable them to carry on their ordinary life.

He stressed the governor of South Darfur and the security committee have exerted every possible effort to capture the perpetrators, saying four suspects have been arrested.

Al-Tahir added his commission and the security committee would continue to protect the returnees and secure their stay in their villages instead of the IDPs camps.

For several years, the government sought to dismantle IDPs camps that have been established in areas around the capitals of Darfur’s five states after the eruption of the armed conflict in the region.

However, Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Ahmed Mohamed Adam last month stated that the government has no plan to forcibly evict the camps, but has set a number of options for IDPs, including resettlement in the area where they are, or in another area according to their desire.

Since the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in July 2011, the government constructed several villages and vowed to support IDPs who return to their home areas.

But IDPs representatives in several camps say they refuse to return to their areas before the disarmament of the armed militias and the evacuation of their land from the newcomers.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.

(ST)

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