16 April 2017

Sudan: 'Darfur Fully Dominated By Militias' - Civil Society Leader

Khartoum — Sudan's western region is politically, militarily, and economically dominated by militias, says the head of the Darfur Civil Society Platform. The Darfur displaced and refugees have no way to return to their as the places are occupied by militiamen and their families.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Hamid Ali Nur, head of the Darfur Civil Society Platform, called the repeated statements by the Sudanese government about the improved security situation in Darfur inaccurate and incorrect.

According to the civil society leader, the Khartoum government has, to a large extent, succeeded in changing the Darfur population itself. "Militiamen and their families have occupied the villages and farms left by fleeing Darfuris during all these years."

The civil society activist said that the government's options given to the Darfur displaced, either to return to their villages of origin, or integrate them into the local communities by re-structuring the camps, are fake. "As the displaced are not able to return, Khartoum's policy is aimed at permanently displacing them from their homes, lands, and heritage.

Dominance

"The government militiamen known as janjaweed, recruited from Bedouin groups in the region and over the past couple of years also from neighbouring countries, are enjoying full immunity," he stated.

"They can do whatever they want without any accountability. The Khartoum government has given them full political, military and economic dominance, while it denies the other entities in Darfur their basic, legitimate rights.

Nur said that the Darfuri people, "in their homes or in the camps for the displaced, are humiliated and oppressed by the militiamen on a daily basis. There is no opportunity to complain or resort to justice because of the immunity enjoyed by these militias.

"Displaced returning to their areas of origin for farming in the rainy season have to hand half of their yields to militias in the area. In other instances, militiamen force displaced farmers to work on their farms as slaves," he explained.

"This situation can never lead to peace, because of the complete absence of justice and accountability".

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