Darfur camp residents strongly condemn attack on peacekeepers
Darfur camps' residents strongly condemned the killing of four UNAMID peacekeepers and the injuring of eight others on Tuesday, October 2, as reported by Radio Dabanga.
The Nigerian peacekeepers were attacked by unidentified gunmen in El-Geneina, West Darfur, on their way to the Mission's regional headquarters.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a local camp's leader said the local camps' residents sent their condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured a speedy recovery. In addition, he described the incident as a criminal act, which was strongly condemned and denounced by all the displaced.
“The peacekeepers came to the region to protect the people of Darfur, even though they were not required”, they added.
The leaders and displaced blamed the government of Sudan and its militias for being behind the attack and of similar incidents involving UNAMID and other humanitarian organizations.
The leaders added that the intention of these attacks is to intimidate and block the Mission and expel it from Darfur.
“The government of Sudan repeatedly declared that it does not want these useless forces which are useless in Darfur”, a leader continued.
Leaders claim it is an introduction to the government's plans to dismantle the camps and continue the genocide, as is the case in the region nowadays.
Omda Ahmed Ateem, North Darfur camps' coordinator, stated he holds the UN Security Council responsible for giving UNAMID a weak mandate, stressing its soldiers were not able to protect themselves nor the people of Darfur.
At the same time, he appealed to the Security Council to take the rigorous decision to protect the Darfuri's through diverting the mission's forces from peacekeeping to 'peace enforcement' troops, because there is no peace in Darfur to protect.
He added to Radio Dabanga that even though the number of troops are increasing and the Security Council has issued its 17th resolution on Darfur, so far not even one resolution has been implemented nor has security improved.
Central and West Darfur
The displaced in Central and West Darfur have also condemned the killing of the four Nigerian peacekeepers and extended their condolences to the victims' relatives.
In addition, the displaced accused the government and its militias as the incident took place in El-Geneina, which is under government control.
The displaced added to Radio Dabanga that the government protects the militias in its attempts to obstruct the Mission's work and restricted the Mission in its movement to cover up the crimes committed by the government, which influenced the effectiveness of the peacekeepers.
Camps' residents in West and Central Darfur wonder how the international community can ask the government to investigate the incident and prosecute the perpetrators, while they are committing crimes in Darfur on a daily basis.
More effective measures needed
A Zalingei camp coordinator told Radio Dabanga that the international community should take more effective measures to protect UNAMID and citizens in the affected region. He pointed out that UNAMID police called for an investigation and for the prosecution of the offenders.
Due to the fact that UNAMID police forces do not have detention centers, UNAMID will extradite the perpetrators to the government. At the same time, the government is conducting an investigation while they are responsible for the attack and kidnappings, the camp coordinator added to Radio Dabanga.
The coordinator added that the air strikes and rapes violate all national laws. He continued that this matter is unacceptable, saying “the government, represented by Bashir and the Minister of Defense who are wanted by the ICC, are responsible for covering up crimes committed by the militias and at the same time they ask them to implement justice”.
He appealed to the international community to pay attention to the messages of the displaced people to understand the seriousness of the situation. In his opinion, the security situation has worsened over the past period, especially in North Darfur.
Government of Sudan
The government of Sudan issued a statement condemning the “treacherous aggression” against the UNAMID forces, SUNA (Sudan News Agency) reported.
In the statement, the Chairman of Darfur Peace Follow up Office, Dr. Amin Hassan Omer, affirmed the commitment of the Sudanese government in conducting a thorough investigation into the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.
According to the statement the government of Sudan, in collaboration with UNAMID, is taking all procedures to avoid repetition of such crimes.
Lastly, the government expressed its condolences to the families and comrades of the victims.