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Sudanese security arrests Darfur IDPs after meeting U.S. envoy

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Displaced persons in Sortoni, North Darfur, who sought refuge near UNAMID's Site following clashes between SLM-AW and government forces in Jebel Marra area on 10 February 2016. (Photo UNAMID)
August 1, 2016 (ZALINGEI) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday has arrested at least 21leaders of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the locality of Nirtiti, Central Darfur state following a meeting with the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, said IDPs official

On July 26, the American envoy started a visit to Darfur states to assess the security and humanitarian situation on the ground particularly in Jebel Marra area.

Deputy Chairman of IDPs and Refugees Association Adam Abdalla Idris told Sudan Tribune that the NISS is now making intensive efforts to arrest dozens of IDPs leaders after it accused them of providing Booth with misleading information pertaining to the security and humanitarian situation in the region particularly in areas of east Jebel Marra.

He added that several IDPs leaders have disappeared from sight for fear of being arrested by the NISS, pointing the latter has a list including names of all IDPs who met with the American envoy.

According to Idris, a security source disguised as an IDP has attended the meeting with Booth and submitted a report including details of the meeting to the NISS.

Idris pointed that the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), human rights groups operating in the area and the IDPs have provided identical reports to the American envoy including numbers of those killed in the recent clashes in Jebel Marra besides numbers of the newly displaced persons and the rape incidents.

“The humanitarian situation is at its worst particularly after food and drug supply have stopped besides the lack of blankets and other basic necessities” he said

He added that the American envoy will likely delay his visit to South Darfur state in fear of subjecting dozens of IDPs to harassment and detention by the NISS.

UN agencies estimate that more than 120,000 people have been displaced by the fierce clashes which occurred since last January between the government army and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abel-Wahid al-Nur.

Jebel Marra, which spans over three states including North, Central and South Darfur, is located at a water-rich area that is characterized by mild climate.

On 12 April, the Sudanese army declared Darfur a region free of rebellion following the capture of Srounq area, the last SLM-AW stronghold in Jebel Marra.

JEM CONDEMNS IDPs DETENTION

Meanwhile, the rebel Justice and NEW Equality Movement (NJEM) has denounced the detention of the IDPs in Central Darfur state, demanding the international community and the UNAMID to defend the civilians against what it called “the brutality of the Sudanese security authorities”.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, NJEM spokesperson Adam Abdel-Rahman Yahia said that five IDPs leaders have been detained by the NISS from Jadid market in the locality of Nirtiti following their meeting with Booth.

“The IDPs and the families of the detainees are in a state of acute anxiety and horror in fear of the continued pursuit [by the NISS] against the IDPs leaders and some individuals inside the IDPs camps” the statement read

NJEM warned against the dire humanitarian situation in light of the absence of the humanitarian aid groups, calling on the U.S. government, Amnesty International and all rights group to immediately interfere to locate the detained IDPs and ensure their safety.

It described NISS’s move as a dangerous sign that affirms the continued government violations in Darfur, pointing to the suspicious silence of the international community.

The statement further held the UNAMID responsible for the ongoing events in Darfur, accusing the mission of failing to protect civilians.

(ST)

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