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UN, South Darfur discuss IDPs camps permanent planning

December 6, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The government of South Darfur State and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) have discussed the planning of IDPs camps to accommodate residents who expressed a desire to settle permanently starting early next year.

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Women wait to cast their vote at a polling station at the Abu Shouq camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in El-Fasher, in North Darfur on April 11, 2016 (Photo AFP)

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted the South Darfur acting governor Sabeel Ahmed Sabeel as saying the meeting between OCHA and his government discussed plans to transform the camps into residential areas for the IDPs who don’t wish to return to their original villages.

He pointed out that all arrangements have been made to plan the camps for resettlement of IDPs, saying the relevant UN agencies and the national organizations would be genuine partners in implementing the planning of the residential towns.

Sabeel added his government has carried out the initial surveys on Attash, Diraig, Sereif and al-Salam camps, saying these camps are now ready for planning according to the desire of the IDPs.

He added the voluntary return coordination mechanism, which has been formed and is awaiting approval by the Legislative Council, would be responsible for overseeing all voluntary return matters and requirements.

The 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.

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.

However, the displaced complain that the security situation remains the same pointing to the government militia saying they continue to attack them and grab their land.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.

(ST)