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Sudan’s PM pledges to address Darfur IDPs plight

Sudan's PM Hamdok flashes victory signs at Zamzam camp outside El Fasher on 4 Nov 2019 (Twitter Photo)
November 4, 2019 (EL-FASHER) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok pledged Monday to address the situation of displaced people and refugees in Darfur, to achieve justice and to clear all the consequences of the armed conflict in the war-ravaged region.

On his first visit to Darfur since taking office at the end of August, Hamdok promised to voluntarily repatriate displaced people and refugees, adding that his government "will not rest until it achieves this task". Also, he promised to hold accountable the perpetrators of attacks and human rights violations.

Upon his arrival, Hamdok visited the camps of displaced persons outside El-Fasher including Zamzam, Alsalam and Abu Shouk to inspect the IDPs conditions and listen to their demands.

He was received with loud cheers from the displaced people of Zam Zam camp demanding justice for Darfur and handing over the former regime leaders to the International Criminal Court.

Also, the IDPs in the three camps called to provide security outside the displacement camps and in agricultural areas, the return of international humanitarian organizations, the payment of collective and individual compensations, to provide basic services for the camps and the establishment of training and rehabilitation centres for the displaced persons.

On Thursday 31 October, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the Darfur peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) for one year, putting aside its initial plan to withdraw troops by the end of June 2020.

The extension was decided upon a request of the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok who stressed the need to align the UNAMID drawdown from Darfur with the ongoing peace process.

Addressing the IDPs of Zam Zam camp, Hamdok stressed the keenness of the transitional government to achieve peace and put it as a top priority.

He said that his government "came to enforce the goals of the revolution: Freedom, Peace and Justice, stressing that the latter implies accountability and retribution from both corrupted and criminals."

"I know your demands even before you say it. We will all work to meet your demands and ensure that normal life returns to Darfur."

He stressed the government’s intention to consider the views and ideas of displaced people and refugees on how to achieve sustainable peace.

"Negotiations on peace were previously held in closed rooms, without accompanying the visions and ideas of the displaced and refugees, and therefore remained uncomplete peace accords and did not stand much," he said.

Negotiations for peace between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), which includes several Darfur armed groups, are scheduled to resume in the capital of South Sudan on November 21.

For his part, the IDPs leader in Abu Shouk and Alsalam camps Mohamed Adam Bosh called on the visiting prime minister to rehabilitate the war-affected areas.

Also, Bosh called for compensating the displaced, taking into account the historical rights related to the land and its uses, in accordance with customs and traditions in the region. Also, he called to expel the new settlers from the land of the displaced persons.

Darfur rebel groups are unanimous on these demands.

However, the holdout Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur calls to repair the consequences of the conflict before to hold negotiations on the root causes of the conflict.

(ST)