SUDAN WATCH: UNAMID strongly rejects accusations in a Sudan Tribune report against its peacekeepers

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

UNAMID strongly rejects accusations in a Sudan Tribune report against its peacekeepers

Sudan Tribune [see copy in full here below] quoted Mr. Hussein Abu Sharati, presented as a spokesperson of Darfur IDPs and Refugees, as saying that “peacekeepers in the area were present but did not intervene to prevent the killing.”

UNAMID strongly rejects the implied accusation that its forces in the area of Deleij camp knew about the alleged killings but failed to perform their task of protecting civilians.

UNAMID investigated the allegations, meeting with IDPs and the Umdahs of Deleij camp who assured UNAMID that no killings took place as reported by the ST and that the voters’ registration process in the area was concluded with no problems.

UNAMID deplores that such serious accusations against its peacekeepers were published without even taking the pain to verify them, either independently or with UNAMID.

False reports of this nature can only ignite violence in the region and jeopardize lives, at a time when UNAMID relentlessly strives to protect civilians and end violence in Darfur.

Source: United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
UNAMID Strongly Rejects Accusations in a Sudan Tribune Report against its Peacekeepers
EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, December 1, 2009/APO - According to a Sudan Tribune (ST) news report published on 29 November 2009, “seven Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were killed Friday in West Darfur following a wrangle between the residents and government troops which attempted to force them to take part in voter registration.” ST reported that the alleged killings took place in Deleij IDPs camp, some 280 km from El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state.

Sudan Tribune quoted Mr. Hussein Abu Sharati, presented as a spokesperson of Darfur IDPs and Refugees, as saying that “peacekeepers in the area were present but did not intervene to prevent the killing.”

UNAMID strongly rejects the implied accusation that its forces in the area of Deleij camp knew about the alleged killings but failed to perform their task of protecting civilians.

UNAMID investigated the allegations, meeting with IDPs and the Umdahs of Deleij camp who assured UNAMID that no killings took place as reported by the ST and that the voters’ registration process in the area was concluded with no problems.

UNAMID deplores that such serious accusations against its peacekeepers were published without even taking the pain to verify them, either independently or with UNAMID.

False reports of this nature can only ignite violence in the region and jeopardize lives, at a time when UNAMID relentlessly strives to protect civilians and end violence in Darfur.
- - -

See Sudan Watch, Monday, November 30, 2009: 7 killed, 30+ injured in clashes between IDPs and gov't forces in Deleij camp and Geneina town, west Darfur - The adviser to the Minister of Information in the Government of National Unity, Dr. Rabbie Abdullaati, denied the involvement of the Sudan Armed Forces in the incident.
- - -

Copy of report published at Sudan Tribune, Sunday 29 November 2009 04:10:Sudan kills seven IDPs in Darfur camp
November 28, 2009 (PARIS) — Seven Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were killed Friday in West Darfur following a wrangle between the residents and government troops which attempted to force them to take part in voter registration.

Kalma camp

Burial ceremony at Kalma IDP camp (UNAMID/file)

The IDPs ask the government to disarm militia and to bring to justice responsible of atrocities committed in the restive region as well as to conclude a peace deal with the rebel groups before organize elections in the country.

However, the local authorities in Darfur launched a voter registration process in the three states of the province in a bid to count IDPs that the UN estimates their number to be 2.7 million.

Many of them resisted the Sudan fifth population and housing census conducted in April year. The total number of Darfur three states is estimated at 7 501 012 according to the figures published by the Sudanese authorities.

The Sudanese regular forces and militia in West Darfur state on Friday evening — at 05:00pm – killed seven people in Deleij IDPs camp, some 280 klm from El Geneina the capital of West Darfur state. The incident took place after attempts by local officials to persuade the residents of the camp to register in electoral lists.

In a discussion with the officials who were accompanied by regular forces from the army and police besides Janjaweed militiamen the residents reiterated their rejection to the electoral operation.

"They had a hot discussion with the officials after declaring their support to (the rebel leader) Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, then the regular forces and the militia started shooting on the innocent civilians," said Hussein Abu Sharati the spokesperson of Darfur IDPs and refugees.

He further said the peacekeepers in the area were present but did not intervene to prevent the killing.

Speaking on Saturday afternoon, the IDPs spokesperson added the regular forces had been withdrawn after the killing.

Abu Sharati also stressed that what was happened in Deleij could be repeated in two other camps in North Darfur.

According the spokesperson, the Sudanese authorities already visited Al-Maliha and Kassap camps today and threatened to arrest tomorrow those who refuse the voter registration operation.

"Today they already arrested seven local leaders (Mashaikh) from Kassap camp," he further said.

Sudan launched a one month voter registration operation inside and outside the country, ahead of general election scheduled to be held next April. The process is extended for one week during the next month. (ST)
Note that the report refers to the alleged killings taking place at Deleij IDPs camp, some 280 klm from El Geneina the capital of West Darfur state, but the file photo selected by Sudan Tribune shows a burial ceremony at Kalma IDP camp - a photo I seem to recall seeing years ago.

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