Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

3 January 2013

Sudan: Sheikh Killed and Homes Torched in Ronga Tas Protest

Zalingei — A protest against the plan to turn Ronga Tas camp into a model village on Tuesday, 1 January, turned violent and resulted in the death of the camp's deputy leader, Adam Ahmed Mohamed. Besides, 17 homes of the camp's sheikhs were burnt to the ground.

Last week, residents of Ronga Tas camp demonstrated against the plans of local and state authorities, and of the Darfur Regional Authority to turn the site into a model village according to government projects for voluntary return in Darfur.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the camp's deputy leader was killed during the demonstration. They added that he was killed by the displaced on charges of supporting the camp's remodeling plans and providing 'misleading information' and added that the homes of 17 other sheikhs were torched for the same reason.

It was reported that the protest turned violent after the arrest of two peaceful protesters on Tuesday. The witnesses explained that the government surrounded the camp during the demonstration and fired bullets in the air as well as targeting protesters inside the camp. The shooting pushed the protesters to kill the camp's deputy leader and torching of 17 homes. The witnesses added that the sheikhs have left the camp under military escort.

Moreover, the displaced stressed their refusal of the remodeling plans and voluntary return plans, adding that they will only return after 'comprehensive peace' is reached and the militias are disarmed. Also, they demanded full compensation for displaced and refugees as well as to give them back their rights and to take perpetrators to justice.

Witnesses from the camp told Radio Dabanga that the displaced have not left the camp since Tuesday out of fear for being arrested and added that all the work in the camp has stopped.

Lastly, the witnesses appealed to UNAMID and humanitarian organizations to act an protect the displaced in Ronga Tas.

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