The Very Image of UNAMID Impotence and Dereliction of Duty: El Salam camp for displaced persons brutally assaulted by Khartoum’s military
Eric Reeves, 5 August 2014 | http://wp.me/s45rOG-5316
There is no safety anywhere for the people of Darfur, certainly not for those in displaced persons camps that are unprotected by UNAMID and completely vulnerable to attacks by Khartoum’s regular and militia forces. The regime’s ultimate goal remains what it has long been: shutting down the camps by making them too dangerous and thus compelling the “returns” of the displaced.
“Return” to what? The international community doesn’t dare ask the question in realistic terms.
[El Salam camp is just to the south of Nyala, the largest town in Darfur; Nyala is the capital of South Darfur and the site of a major UNAMID base—ER.]
Military raid on South Darfur’s El Salam camp Radio Dabanga, 5 August 2014 (El Salam Camp, Bielel Locality, South Darfur)
A large military force stormed El Salam camp for the displaced in Bielel locality, South Darfur, on Tuesday morning [5 August 2014]. The army troops searched the camp and detained 26 displaced. “At 6.30am on Tuesday, army forces in about 100 armoured vehicles raided El Salam camp,” Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association reported to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday afternoon. “The soldiers searched the camp, treating the displaced in a degrading and humiliating way. They assaulted the people, treating them as suspects, and detained 26 camp residents. The market was pillaged, and the personal belongings of many displaced disappeared.”
According to Abu Sharati, the search for criminals, motorcycles, vehicles without number plates, and weapons in the camp, was done “under the pretext of the new emergency measures issued by the Governor of South Darfur State.” “But in fact the main objectives of this attack is terrorising the camp population, and the dismantling of the camp.” “Searches in this way constitute a violation of international humanitarian laws. They attacked the camp, beat and robbed the displaced, and pillaged the market. We do not know how many people were wounded yet. We are still are checking them, and inventorying the items missing.” Abu Sharati said that the camp was still surrounded on Tuesday afternoon.
He appealed to health organisations to treat the wounded, and called on the UN and UNAMID to “immediately intervene, and release the 26 displaced detained today.” Concerning the other camps neighbouring South Darfur’s capital of Nyala, Abu Sharati said that the Kalma camp management had received unconfirmed information that the South Darfur State authorities had decided to search the camp on Monday.
“Representatives of Kalma camp immediately informed the head of UNAMID in South Darfur State and the head of the UNAMID post in Kalma camp, and requested protection of the camp population. They told UNAMID that if there would be suspects in the camp, they were expecting that UNAMID police forces would investigate the matter, no one else.”
“So the South Darfur State forces attacked El Salam camp instead.”
Abu Sharati noted that “even if there were illegal activities in the camps, the authorities should inform the camp administration, who would seize the accused and deliver them to the UNAMID police forces.”
Newly displaced persons in Kalma camp, also just outside Nyala