Nyala — A woman was shot dead as her husband, a local omda, was seriously wounded in a shooting by unknown gunmen near the South Darfur capital on Wednesday night.
The wife of Jibril Ahmed, Omda of Digris, died on the spot during the assault in their house in Digris, 15 km west of Nyala.
Omda Ahmed is a native administrator. He and his wife had been displaced for years and recently returned to their home area Digris with a number of displaced people from Kalma camp, as part of the voluntary repatriation.
His son Ahmed Jibril told Radio Dabanga that Ahmed was shot in the chest and the thigh and has been taken to Nyala Hospital. He did not know the motive for the attack.
In the past months, the government repeated announcements in the media that villages in Darfur are safe, urging displaced people to move from their camps home. Voluntary return is one of the options which the Sudanese government gives to the people in Darfur who have been displaced by the armed conflict that erupted in 2003. Khartoum plans to transform the camps into residential areas, or integrate them into existing towns.
Leading Sheikh of the camps for displaced people in Darfur, Ali Abdelrahman, called on all refugees and displaced people to not return voluntarily to their villages of origin "in order to preserve their lives and property from the so-called new settlers".
In an interview with Radio Dabanga, the sheikh pointed to a number of deadly attacks on voluntary returnees in various areas of Darfur by armed people who have settled in these areas.
At least nine people have been killed since the start of the current agricultural season in Gireida in South Darfur, all of whom have been voluntary returnees to their villages this rainy season, this station reported in June.
"The authorities are asking the displaced to return without providing security in these villages, while they learn that settlers are present there," said Abdelrahman.