El-Geneina, Zalingei — Ambassador Dean Smith, US special envoy in charge of Darfur, said the US continues to support the DOHA Agreement, according to camps' coordinators. Smith made this announcement after holding separate meetings with different camps' representatives on 11 and 12 September in West Darfur, Radio Dabanga was informed.
The special envoy met with representatives from 10 camps in El-Geneina at the Ardamata camp, and with representatives from the Hamedia camp, near Zalingei, a camps' coordinator said.
Ardamata camp, El-Geneina
According to a source, Ambassador Smith added the US has encouraged the Darfuri armed movements to articulate their political objectives for Darfur with reference to the Doha Agreement.
El-Geneina representatives held the meeting with Ambassador Dean Smith on Tuesday, 11 September. During the meeting, they complained about the decline in security, the spread of weapons and about the presence of pro-government militia in West Darfur, stated Ardamata's leader. They added that security no longer exists around camps and stressed they are victims of looting, rapes, kidnapping, detention and assaults, also inside their farms.
Different sources present at the meeting informed Radio Dabanga that camps' residents expressed their disbelief in the Doha Document and demanded the improvement of security in the area.
Radio Dabanga was informed that the displaced requested that militias are disarmed and that settlers are expelled from their lands. According to the source, these are essential steps to be taken before peace can be established and residents said they will not voluntarily return to their areas of origin under the current circumstances.
In addition, residents said the scarcity of food, water and health services is sharply increasing, especially after aid organizations left the camps, the source said.
El-Geneina leaders described the meeting with Ambassador Dean Smith as good and constructive.
Hamedia camp, Zalingei
Hamedia camp's residents said that a change in the regime in Sudan is the only way that problems will be solved in the country, a source said. They demanded that the US supports a change of regime in Sudan, to which Ambassador Smith stressed it is up to the Sudanese to change governance in Sudan, as a Zalingei coordinator told Radio Dabanga.
A Zalingei camps' coordinator said the displaced believe that a comprehensive solution for Sudan lies in the change of regime in Khartoum. Besides, residents expressed their support that this change is brought through the consolidation of opposition parties together with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), as pointed out by the source.
During the meeting on 12 September, residents from Hamedia asked the US to exercise more pressure in activating the mandate of UNAMID, the source told Radio Dabanga. This way, he said, the mission can play its actual role, which is protecting civilians in Darfur. Hamedia residents also asked the US to exercise more pressure on the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian access to those in need in Darfur, the source said.
Regarding the return of camps' residents to their areas of origin, the displaced demanded Ambassador Smith that security provision is improved in their villages, according to the coordinator. They also requested that settlers are expelled and settlements are dismantled, that militias are disarmed, that perpetrators are brought to justice, and that they receive individual and collective compensation, Radio Dabanga has learned.
The camps' coordinator said that the US encouraged the IDPs to participate in the refugee/IDP conference scheduled for November in order that they may have a voice at the table. The source announced the conference will take place in Nyala, South Darfur, but that Hamedia camps' leaders rejected the offer.
During the meeting, camps' leaders made it clear to Ambassador Smith that the Doha Document does not represent them as refugees and have dismissed it, according to the source.
Zalingei camps' coordinator said refugees were satisfied with the meeting and that they managed to clearly state their views and demands to Ambassador Dean Smith.