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Sudan denies plans to attack S. Darfur IDP camp

November 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese authorities informed the African Union United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) they have no active plans to assault a camp for displaced persons in South Darfur state.

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A woman holds her child in from of a shelter at the Kalma IDP camp outside Nyala in South Darfur on 29 November 2010 (Photo: Reuters)

The resident of Kalma camp, located outside the state capital Nyala, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday that security services in the state prepare to conduct search operations for rebels who allegedly sneaked into the camp. They further said they informed UNAMID of the situation and demanded protection.

In statements released from El-Fasher and New York, the UNAMID said received information about the “alleged intention” of the Sudanese forces to carry out search operations in Kalma camp. It added they demanded local authorities to coordinate with the camp leader and the peacekeeping mission to avoid any tension.

“And that should be carried out respecting human rights and observing international humanitarian law,” said the United Nations.

However when reached by the UNAMID, the South Darfur authorities denied planning to raid the camp which located near Nyala airport and pledged to involve them if there is a need to conduct security operations inside the camp.

“The local authorities have assured their goodwill to cooperate with the Mission in this regard if and when such searches are necessary. Government authorities in Khartoum have also assured that there are no plans at the current time for any such operation in the Kalma camp”.

Historically, the residents of the camp are seen as supportive for the rebel groups. During the first years of the crisis they organised demonstrations when international officials visited the regions and denounced the violence of government militias on civilians.

Also, the South Darfur capital witnessed during the past period a surge of criminal activities by armed gangs triggering the imposing of a curfew from 7pm to 7am in the capital.

Last August within the framework of an emergency order imposed in the state, security forces entered inside Kalama camp in search for weapons. Similar operations were conducted in several IDPs camps in South Darfur including al-Salam, Attash, and Diraig.

In 2008, Kalma residents tried to deny government forces entry into the camp, prompting the latter to use military force and to kill 49 civilians.
The hybrid force said also demanded the residents of Kalma camp to not harbour armed elements.

“UNAMID has also reminded the camp population that harbouring, aiding or abetting offenders who possess weapons contravenes international humanitarian law and that such weaponry should not be stored, handled or trafficked in IDP camps,” the mission emphasised.

(ST)