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Sudan’s VP reiterates determination to close IDPs camps in Darfur

December 28, 2015 (EL-FASHER) - Sudanese Vice-President Hassabo Abdel-Rahman has urged the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Darfur region to choose between two option, adding that his government is determined to close their camps next year.

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A group of women build a shelter in Kalma camp for internally displaced people in South Darfur on 9 March 2014 (Photo: UNAMID/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

In its latest assessment of December 2015, the UN agency for refugees, UNHCR, estimate that there are some 2,174,000 IDPs in Sudan, but did not give a specific figure for their number in Darfur.

But analysts agree that over million and half persons are living in the different camps in western Sudan since the start of the conflict in 2003. Also, there are some 400,000 people fled their areas between January and August 2014 as result of tribal clashes and attacks by government troops on rebel positions.

In a speech delivered before the representatives of former rebel groups and IDPs in El-Fasher, North Darfur on Monday, the vice-president said Darfur has "completely recovered from the war and is now looking forward to achieve a full peace, stability and development".

"IDP camps represent a significant and unfortunate loss of dignity and rights of citizens in their country" he said and called on the displaced "to choose within no more than a month between resettlement or return to their original areas".

He further reiterated his government’s commitment to take all the measures and do the needful to achieve this goal, stressing that "the year 2016 will see the end of displacement in Darfur".

Abdel Rahman told the meeting that he has just ended a visit to Karnoi and Tina areas in North Darfur, adding the two areas which were affected by the conflict have totally recovered.

He said his visit with a big delegation to the two areas "is a message sceptics in the fact that security and stability are back in Darfur".

Darfur IDPs continue to complain of sporadic attacks by gunmen in different areas in the region, saying they belong to government militia groups.

The government officials since several years say they are resolved to close the camps in Darfur considering it as bastions for rebel supporters

Regional and international mediators continue to broker peace talks between the government and holdout rebel groups.

In the last meeting organized last November by an African Union mediation team the two parties failed to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement. as the two groups participating in the process demand to political discussions but the government refuses their request asking them to join a political framework agreement signed in Doha by several groups since July 2011.

(ST)