Displaced condemn South Darfur state for camp raids
Photos taken during the military raid in El Salam camp for internally displaced people in South Darfur last Tuesday show that elements of the army, Rapid Support Forces, and police forces (‘Abu Tira’) searched the camp and vehicles and forced a number of people to lay on the ground. The United Nations has commented on the raid, stating that weapons are not allowed in camps for displaced people.
The Association of Displaced People and Refugees of Darfur condemned the state of South Darfur on Sunday for searching El Salam and Dereig camps and arresting a number of camp residents, under the pretext of the illegal presence of weapons.
The association decided to suspend or temporarily close the school classes in the camps, fearing more attacks and inspections by military forces, during a seminar held in Kalma camp. It was attended by leaders of the camps and communities. They demanded from the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission (Unamid) and humanitarian organisations to immediately stop the attacks by the government and its militias in Darfur’s camps.
‘Unamid not responsible’: Chambas
The displaced of Darfur hold the UN Security Council and Unamid responsible for the military raid on El Salam, Abu Sharati, spokesman for the Association of Displaced people, told Radio Dabanga. He stressed that Unamid is responsible for protecting the displaced.
The head of the peacekeeping mission, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said that that the Sudanese government carries the responsibility for providing security in Darfur. “The UN is only here to ensure that law, order, and justice are maintained according to due process of law,” Chambas commented on the military raid during a press conference in Khartoum on Monday.
He expressed hope that camp residents can understand that possessing and carrying weapons is not allowed in the camps under international humanitarian law. “It’s a responsibility of the camp leaders to ensure that no one is using these camps to keep weapons or to hide weapons.”
Chambas added that the mission will continue to engage with the Sudanese government, in accordance with its own protection of civilian mandate. Unamid will also “continue to educate camp leaders what is permissible in these camps and what is not”.
75 displaced arrested
El Salam camp leader, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya, confirmed last week to Radio Dabanga that more than 75 displaced people were arrested and taken to the military court, and 23 people sustained various injuries as a result of beating and whipping. He claimed that the joint military forces stormed the camp with more than 150 vehicles in search of vehicles belonging to the armed movements, and families of rebels. “They did not find anything in the camp.”
Last Thursday, a military force stormed Dereig camp, searching “offenders of the new security measures”. They detained a number of residents, a listener said.
According to spokesman Sharati, the search for criminals, motorcycles, vehicles without number plates, and weapons in camps in Bielel locality, was done “under the pretext of the new emergency measures issued by the Governor of South Darfur state”. “But in fact the main objectives of this attack is terrorising the camp population, and the dismantling of the camp.”
Photo above: El Salam camp residents are forced on the ground, surrounded by elements of the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, on 5 August 2014, in South Darfur state (local photographer)
Photo above: Displaced people are forced on ground by SAF, RSF during the raid in El Salam camp.
Photo above: Police forces, known as Abu Tira, search vehicles in El Salam camp.
Photo above: Military elements pose with their weapons in El Salam camp.
Military raid on South Darfur’s Dereig camp (11 August 2014)
Military raid on South Darfur camp ‘a farce’: Sheikh (7 August 2014)
Military raid on South Darfur’s El Salam camp (5 August 2014)
Strict security measures in South Darfur capital (28 July 2014)