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West Darfur hands over 600 residential plots to IDPs: minister

Refugees who fled the conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region carry belongings home at dusk at Djabal camp near Gos Beida in eastern Chad, June 12, 2008 reu.

June 22, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The government of West Darfur State has distributed 600 residential plots to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in El-Geniena locality.

According to semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC), West Darfur’s Minister of Urban Planning Faisal Hassan Haroun said the voluntary return of IDPs is a top priority for his government.

He pointed out that the first batch of 600 residential plots has been distributed to the IDPs who agreed to return voluntarily, stressing intentions to integrate the IDPs into the cities.

Haroun added West Darfur government has embarked on the rehabilitation of the voluntary return villages to accommodate large numbers of IDPs and refugees returning from the camps.

Earlier this month, Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Ahmed Mohamed Adam stated that the government has no plan to forcibly evicting 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.

However, 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.

In a report released on 5 February, UNOCHA estimates there are about 386,000 returnees in Sudan conflict areas including Darfur and the Two Areas.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)