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Sudan’s Bashir orders to establish decent housing for Darfur IDPs

Sortoni IDPs camp has a population of 23,000, the vast majority of whom came in early 2016 when fighting started in Jebel Marrah mountains.(Photo MSF)

June 30, 2018 (KHARTOUM) The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir has instructed governors of Darfur’s five states to develop appropriate housing plans for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

On Thursday night, al-Bashir met with Darfur’s native leaders at the Guest House in Khartoum.

He stressed the importance to enable the native administration to carry out its roles including resolving conflicts, strengthening ties among the various communities and supporting voluntary return.

Al-Bashir called for developing housing plans for the IDPs, saying these plans should ensure the provision of basic services including health services, electricity and water.

For their part, the native leaders demanded the government to protect the nomadic tribes and improve farming and irrigation services in Darfur.

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)