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One woman killed at IDPs voluntary return village in S. Darfur

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)

July 13, 2018 (NYALA) - A woman was killed and two persons injured by masked gunmen at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) voluntary return village, 25 kilometres south of Nyala, South Darfur State capital.

A former native administrator Issa Salih Abakar told Sudan Tribune that three masked men in early hours of Thursday opened fire at the leader of Digrais village for voluntary return Gibril Ahmed Ali and his family inside his home and fled to an unknown destination.

Abakar pointed out that Ali and one of his children have sustained serious injuries while his wife was killed instantly, saying the wounded have been transferred to Nyala Teaching Hospital for treatment.

He added Salih, who oversees IDPs return programme in coordination with the government of South Darfur, had previously received death threats from unknown persons who oppose the return of IDPs to their original villages.

For his part, the humanitarian affairs official at Darfur’s committee for IDPs and refugees Yacoub Fawzi has held the governor of South Darfur Adam al-Faki responsible for the killing of Digrais leader’s wife.

He pointed out that al-Faki had encouraged the IDPs to return to their original villages but failed to protect them against the armed militias.

It is noteworthy that 2200 IDPs have returned to Digrais from Al-Seraif, Sukli and Al-Salam camps last April. At the time, governor of South Darfur Adam al-Faki vowed to protect the returnees and their property.

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)