Sudan Peace Day in North Darfur raises questions amongst displaced

By IAfrica
In Sudan
May 30th, 2014

Government officials will attend the celebrations of Sudan’s National Day of Peace in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, on Saturday. Displaced Darfuri, however, wonder if there is any peace to celebrate.

“Hassan Saleh will address a mass gathering in El Nag’a Square, to celebrate the occasion,” Abdel Karim Musa, the Minister of Media for the Darfur Regional Authority, has announced. The occasion is the third birthday of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), since the government and the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed it on 31 May 2011. The federal council of Ministers declared this day to be an annual national day of peace.

Displaced people sceptical

However, the people who are displaced by conflict and live in Darfur camps, wonder if there is peace in Darfur to be celebrated, and severely criticised the DDPD. “The document is the reason behind the unprecedented deterioration of the situation in the region,” the coordinator of the Central Darfur camp told Radio Dabanga on behalf of the displaced people.

He described the adoption of its signing date as national day for peace, as a serious crime and contrary to peace. “Peace would mean stopping the war, killing, displacement, and all kinds of violence against civilians and displaced people in Darfur.”

He further claimed that that the primary purpose of the visit of the first Vice-President and Dr Tijani Sese, chairman of the LJM, is the great dispute between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the government-supported militias following the recent incidents in El Fasher. On 19 and 20 May, Border Guards and joint security and army troops clashed in El Jebel district in the eastern part of the state capital, which resulted in the deaths of at least four soldiers.

Peacekeepers celebrate in El Fasher

Meanwhile, peacekeepers from the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (Unamid) celebrated the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in El Fasher, North Darfur, on Thursday.

Held under the theme ‘A force for peace, a force for change, and a force for the future,’ the event on Thursday was attended by Unamid Joint Special Representative, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Deputy Governor of North Darfur, along with military, police and civilian personnel, the press release stated.

They held a minute of silence to honour the peacekeepers who had lost their lives, among the parades, cultural activities, and performances of the Zain El Ebideen primary school students.

File photo: A child dances during the celebration of an Open Day in a girls’ school in Abu Shouk camp in El Fasher, North Darfur. The event was organized by Unamid (Albert Gonzalez Farran, Unamid)


Update: Army besieges Border Guards in North Darfur’s El Fasher (20 May 2014)

‘National peace day: when regime is toppled’ (15 November 2012)

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