Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

Sudan: Darfur Displaced Face Meagre Eid Al Fitr

Darfur Camps — The displaced of the Darfur camps have expressed sadness and disappointment at not being able to muster what is needed to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid Al Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Multiple reports reaching Radio Dabanga complain of destitution, few opportunities to generate income, and a decrease in the aid provided by humanitarian and relief agencies. The deterioration of the health and security situation in Darfur is another endemic concern.

Central Darfur

The coordinator of the camps in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that "Eid is a religious occasion to be celebrated however the conditions experienced by the displaced people can be described at the very least as tragic and catastrophic."

He said that this is exacerbated by the recent tribal clashes in the area: "There is a constant influx of newly displaced persons who continue to flock to the camps in large numbers," he said.

"This is further influenced by a significant reduction in food rations and the appalling prices for all consumer goods and food products; prices that exceed the purchasing power of the displaced."

The camp coordinator expressed hope "that the occasion of Eid Al Fitr would disarm the pro-government militias, so that a lasting security can prevail and the displaced persons return to their villages, homes and farms".

North Darfur

The head of Kassab camp near Kutum in North Darfur, Sheikh Taher Ismail, reported to Radio Dabanga that the greatest concern during Eid Al Fitr is the security situation.

"Kutum locality has remained free of judicial and police apparatus, so the displaced cannot prepare for the festival." Sheikh Ismail echoes his Central Darfur colleague, saying that the markets are witnessing a significant rise in the prices of all goods, beyond the means of the displaced.

He pointed out that although the conditions of the displaced vary, the majority of them have no income.

The sheikh also expressed hope that peace and harmony would generally prevail on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr in Sudan, and Darfur in particular.

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