Panafrican News Agency

Sudan: Bashir in Kalema IDP camp, pledges to resolve challenges facing them

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) – President Omar Bashir of Sudan on Friday paid visited the largest camp for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, the first ever visit by top senior government official, saying he was there to listen to their complaints and worries.

The camp, less than thirty minutes’ drive outside the town of Nyala, the second largest town in Darfur, is hosting over a quarter of a million internally displaced persons in Darfur, and was until Friday known to be the strong hold of the rebel movements.

The camp came into being a few years after war broke in the region in 2004, hosting people who ran away from conflict in rural areas. The camps’ population, the government argued, was being manipulated by pro-Darfur rebel movements. It was not possible until recently for senior government officials to enter the area, least they be received with demonstration and violent protest.

But the official Sudan news agency, reporting from Bilail, the heart of the IDP camp, said president Bashir on Friday visited Kalema displaced persons' camp, the largest in Darfur, and pledged to resolve all challenges facing the internally displaced persons (IDPs), provide services and assist those wishing to return to their home areas.

The agency said the president, who addressed the gathering from within Kalema camp, with over 250,000 IDPs, stressed that his visit was because he wanted to listen to what the displaced wanted to say and get a first-hand information about their demands.

The president promised the IDPs that he would “return in kind the zeal and enthusiasm they showed in his reception,” the agency reported on Friday.

President Bashir, accompanied by the governor of South Darfur region, urged the youth and women in the camps to play key roles in the provision of stability and security and create a climate conducive to development, rehabilitation and restoring the social fiber and peaceful coexistence.

Governor Adam Al Faki of South Darfur State said the visit shunned reports that such a visit to Kalema camp was not possible.

A representative of the displaced persons, Abu Bakar Abu Abdallah, said the visit of the president to the camp was in fact a reflection of the prevalence of security and stability the whole state is witnessing at present.

He said the displaced persons are the happiest people with the president decision to collect all unauthorized firearms and weapons and that the IDPs fully backed the decision.

He said it was imperative to provide all basic service for those wishing to return to their home areas, including security, health, education and water services.

He said the IDPs would also like to see graduate in those areas employed.

President Bashir on Tuesday started a four-day tour of Darfur, clearly to show the world that the region is now void of active rebellion and military operations.

The Sudan had earlier called for the exit of the African Union United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), saying there was no need for such forces now.

The Americans have also hinted that peace should be restored in Darfur region and other areas, if the two-decade-old sanctions on the Sudan will be revoked.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 22Sept2017