The number of displaced persons in Darfur and (as refugees) eastern Chad exceeds 3 million human beings (see below), overwhelmingly of non-Arab/African ethnicity.Although they have long greatly desired to return to their homes, and villages, and farmlands, insecurity of the most extreme sort has prevented this, and continues to prevent it, as the example below indicates.
Repeatedly, non-Arab/African Darfuri civilians from camps for displaced and other locations have attempted to return to their homes, often encouraged to do so by UN and UNAMID. Both are quick to claim “success,” even when ensuing events prove that returns have failed because of violent assaults and threats. Indeed, the results have far too often been tragic. In the Radio Dabanga dispatch below, reports make clear that Arab nomadic pastoralists were intent on intimidating people from reclaiming their lands.
Seven children went missing and two people were wounded in an attack by armed men in Daba Naira in East Jebel Marra on Tuesday evening. A number of the victims are recent returnees from camps for the displaced. Witnesses who have fled the area following the attack, told Radio Dabanga that “militant herders,” driving a Land Cruiser and others riding camels, attacked villagers of Daba Naira at 8pm. They opened fire into the air and the bullets wounded a man and a woman. In addition seven children went missing during the attack.
[This attack by Arab pastoralists (“herders”) was eminently predictable, as such attacks have been on many previous occasions when displaced populations have attempted to return to their homes from the IDP camps and other locations. Ignoring the problem, as the UN and other international actors are content to do, is the solution of expedient diplomats and moral cowards—ER]
“Last week we returned to Daba Naira after staying in the Shangil Tobaya camp for displaced people,” one of the witnesses said. “But following the attack, about 150 people fled Daba Naira into different directions. Some people are still searching for their missing relatives.” Daba Naira is 15km east of Dobo El Omda. On 2 October, armed herders shot a farmer who later succumbed to his injuries. Camps for displaced people in this area were searched for illegal weapons in November, but the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces conducting the weapons collection did not find any weapons illegally held in the camps.
[UNAMID—already powerless to protect civilians on this occasion, as on so many others—will be even less capable as it draws down its forces. 44% of military personnel and 30% of police personnel are leaving Darfur: at Khartoum’s demand and UN Security Council acquiescence (June 2017). Returns are essential for people in Darfur to resume their lives, but cannot occur amid the extreme insecurity that continues to prevail. The world has profoundly failed the 2.7 million internally displaced people of Darfur and refugees in eastern Chad (320,000 according to UN figures). African Union celebration of UNAMID’s “achievements” is obscene, self-serving mendacity—ER]
For a somewhat lengthier overview of the issue here (1,000 words), see:
“Obstacle to Peace Continue to be Ignored: Darfur remains the longest, and arguably the most successful, genocide in modern history,” November 30, 2017 | http://wp.me/s45rOG-8248
See also: “Changing the Demography”: Violent Expropriation and Destruction of Farmlands in Darfur, November 2014 – November 2015,” Eric Reeves, author, Maya Baca, research and editing: December 1, 2015 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1P4
(c) 2017 SUDAN Research, Analysis, and Advocacy