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Thousands of IDPs return to East Darfur: official

Returned families arrive at their original village of Sehjanna near Kutum in North Darfur and greet their relatives on 14 July 2011 (Photo/UNAMID Albert Gonzalez Farran)

June 27, 2018 (KHARTOUM) Chairman of Voluntary Return Commission (VRC) in East Darfur State Faris Madibo said thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to the state.

According to the official news agency SUNA, Madibo said 5382 families, 1291families and 331 families have returned to Yassin, Shiariya and Asalaya localities respectively.

He pointed out that the IDPs returned from Kalma and Otash camps in South Darfur State as well as Zam Zam camp in North Darfur State.

Madibo called on the international community and aid groups to provide food, shelter, water, health and education services for the returnees, pointing to the VRC efforts to provide the basic needs at the voluntary return areas.

He added the government of East Darfur State is making efforts to transfer the IDPs to their original villages, pointing to the security situation in Darfur’s five states is stable.

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)