It is crucial to understand the deep connection between the two dispatches below from Radio Dabanga concerning displaced persons in Darfur: they highlight UNAMID’s decision to become complicit in the final phase of the Darfur genocide, as conceived by the Khartoum regime. This is, finally, African Union complicity in genocide in Africa.
The pretense that “voluntary” returns by displaced persons in Darfur are indeed consistently voluntary; the ignoring of disastrous results following many previous returns; and the ignoring of pervasive insecurity that makes returns by IDPs extremely dangerous—all make clear what the UN and African Union, and particularly the latter, are willing to do to obscure the abject failure of the Mission in Darfur:
• “Militiamen assault displaced people returning to South Darfur” | Radio Dabanga, February 20, 2018 | BIELEL
Militiamen assaulted a number of displaced people who had returned to an area in Bielel locality last week, which is considered to be their home area. Five people were seriously wounded.
The militiamen beat and stabbed an unknown number of people. In total, 600 displaced people had left Kalma, Dereig and El Salam camps in South Darfur to return to Marla in Bielel locality.
One of the injured people told Radio Dabanga that “militant tribal members” attacked them after arriving to the area on Tuesday February 13. “They beat us with rifle butts and robbed us of our possessions. “The militia members told us that our return here is not welcomed,” the victim said. Reports vary whether the majority of the people have returned to the camps or were able to stay in Marla.
The return of displaced people and refugees to their areas of origin in Darfur remains a challenge for both the Sudanese government as the displaced themselves. Insecurity caused by roaming militias and the abundance of weapons, as well as the danger of running into armed new settlers in the home areas has kept at bay many of the displaced people living in camps. Early January, Radio Dabanga received reports from other returning displaced people in South Darfur that a paramilitary force prevented them from leaving again. About 300 displaced people had returned from the Shangil Tobaya camps in Tawila locality to their home villages in El Malam in northern South Darfur.
When they discovered that militiamen and other gunmen are still roaming in the area, dozens of them decided to return to the relative safety of the camps. Paramilitary troops, however, prevented them from leaving.
[This is ominous in the extreme: it makes clear Khartoum’s policy of making any “returns” permanent, whether there is security or not. People will not be allowed to flee murderous onslaughts or to work farms from which they have been driven by these same armed Arab militiamen—ER]
Voluntary return is one of the options which the Sudanese government gives to the about 2.7 million people in Darfur who have been displaced by the armed conflict that erupted in 2003. Khartoum has been seeking to empty or abolish camps and it also makes plans for the transformation of the camps into residential areas, or to make camps integrate into existing cities and towns. The South Darfur state government, among others, has started planning the transformation of El Sareif camp for displaced people, south of Nyala. The camp would be turned into a permanent town for the displaced to settle permanently.
[These will be “towns” without remotely adequate services, without employment opportunities, and which deny people their former farming livelihoods. It is not a solution to the problem of displacement but a grotesque re-naming of this defining feature of the Darfur genocide—ER]
• South Darfur, UN, UNAMID to plan voluntary return in the state | Radio Dabanga, February 18, 2018 | NYALA (South darfur)
The South Darfur government, the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and UN agencies in Sudan will cooperate to facilitate the voluntary return of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the state.
[Let’s not mince words: in the interest of claiming “success” in Darfur, UNAMID is putting itself in service of Khartoum’s plans for the final phase of the Darfur genocide. This is African Union complicity with genocide in Africa. There are no words of shame or opprobrium adequate to this hideously cruel decision—ER]
During a joint meeting in Nyala on Friday, the South Darfur government and representatives of the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and UN agencies in Sudan agreed to establish a joint committee. This committee will develop a plan for voluntary returns and guarantee a secure and stable situation and social peace in the state, the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported on Saturday.
[All evidence available makes clear that there will be no “secure and stable situation”; the accompanying story from Radio Dabanga makes clear what the fate will be for those forced to return “voluntarily.” This is an appalling decision, driven by expediency and cynicism and cruelty—ER]
[South Darfur] Governor Adam El Faki said that UNAMID translated the Strategy Matrix for the Development and Stability of South Darfur from Arabic to English, and delivered it to all UN agencies and organisations operating in the state, so that they can work according to the document.
[This will work to compel international humanitarian relief organizations to become complicit in the program of forcible returns, disguised as “voluntary”—ER]
As for the joint plan for voluntary return, the governor said the issues that need to be worked out are security and stability, and social peace. The rule of law needs to be restored by boosting the capacity of the police in the state, as well as the capacity of the judiciary and the competences of the popular courts.
[There is absolutely no evidence that the Khartoum regime will commit the necessary resources for any of these goals, particularly in light of the economic collapse that has engulfed all of Sudan—ER]
Another important issue concerns social peace in the region, which requires projects that will ease the tension between farmers and herders. The voluntary return process will contain three kinds of projects. The displaced may return to their villages, the camps may be transformed into residential areas, or the displaced will be resettled in new town districts.
[There is no evidence that “voluntary” returns will be such, or that people will be able to return to their camps if insecurity proves intolerable—ER]
(c) 2018 SUDAN Research, Analysis, and Advocacy