18 September 2017

Sudan: South Darfur Displaced Refuse to Receive President

Gireida / Kalma — The displaced in Gireida in South Darfur have voiced their rejection of the expected visit of President Omar Al Bashir to one of the camps this week.

On Saturday, a community leader told Radio Dabanga that the Gireida branch of the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association have decided not to accept Al Bashir's planned visit to the camps.

President Omar Al Bashir will visit Darfur this week. According to the Information Minister of West Darfur, he will officially open the new road between the state capital of El Geneina and Adri in Chad on Tuesday. He will also open 25 health centres, new buildings of the Central Bank branch in El Geneina, the Sultan Bahreldin Museum, and the El Geneina Football Stadium.

The president plans to visit Kalma camp and the Gireida camps in South Darfur on Thursday.

"We all know that Al Bashir only wants to show the world that even his victims are welcoming him."

"Al Bashir is the person who has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Darfuri people, and caused us to flee our villages to search for protection in the camps," the Gireida camp leader said.

"We all know that Al Bashir aims to mislead the local and international public opinion with his visits to Darfur. He only wants to show the world that even his victims are welcoming him."

The source predicted that the Commissioner of Gireida locality will pressure the camp leaders to receive the president.

"He will threaten the camp sheikhs, and force some of them to go out to receive Al Bashir on the day of his visit. A number of displace will be forced to waive banners containing slogans that glorify the president. This is the way it always goes with official visits."

'Provocative'

The Darfur Displaced General Coordination in Kalma camp issued a statement on Sunday, in which it renewed its members "unanimous rejection of Al Bashir's visit".

They described the planned visit as "provocative to the families of the victims of Al Bashir and his regime", and called on Al Bashir to step down instead, and pay a visit to the International Criminal court in the Hague.

They further urged "the international community and its various institutions to accelerate the arrest of all war criminals, headed by Omar Al Bashir".

The statement concludes with an appeal to the international community "to pressure this regime to allow the return of the international organisations that were expelled years ago, in order to put an end to the malnutrition and the cholera epidemic that plague the people throughout the country, especially in the camps for displaced people".

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