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N. Darfur to transform IDPs camps into permanent residential areas

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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 13, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The government of North Darfur State said it would embark on planning IDPs camps to accommodate those who are willing to stay permanently and integrate into the local community.

The Sudanese government seeks to dismantle IDPs camps that have been established in areas around the capitals of Darfur’s five states since the eruption of the armed conflict in the region.

It has set a number of options for IDPs, including resettlement in the area where they are, or in another area according to their desire.

On Tuesday, the governor of North Darfur State El-Sherief Mohamed Abbad Sumuh met with a delegation of the leaders of Abu Shouk camp.

The meeting discussed the voluntary return of IDPs and the reconstruction of the return villages as well as the provision of basic services for the returnees.

Sumuh stressed his government seriousness to enhance security and stability, praising efforts exerted by the camp’s leaders to resolve problems of the IDPs.

For their part, the camp leaders briefed the governor about the overall situation in the camp and the challenges facing families there.

Last week, the Sudanese government denied plans to forcibly evict the IDPs camps in Darfur region a move that would be a gross violation of the international humanitarian law.

Despite the relative security in Darfur region and the deployment of the government troops across the region, the existence of displacement camps remains the symbol of the 2003 insurgency that displaced over 2.5 million since 2003.

Sudanese officials described the camps as “a hideout of the outlaw groups” who take hostage civilians and prevent them from returning to their areas of origin. Also, in the past they declared plans to dismantle it.

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.

In a recent report released on 5 February, UNOCHA estimates there are about 386,000 returnees in Sudan conflict areas including Darfur and the Two Areas.

(ST)

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