(Washington, D.C.) The Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET/SDC) today condemned the Sudanese government for raiding a North Darfur camp for women, men and children displaced by violence in the region. The Government of Sudan initially blocked peacekeeping forces and violated the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) by failing to provide advance notice. GI-NET/SDC also called on the U.S. Government to rededicate its efforts to ensure peace and justice in Darfur.
A UNAMID peacekeeping patrol was eventually allowed to enter the Zam Zam camp, where Sudanese officials arrested 37 individuals. Amir Osman, Senior Director for Policy and Government Relations for GI-NET/SDC issued the following statement:
“The Government of Sudan’s actions this past weekend are part of an ongoing pattern of disregard for human rights and international peacekeeping agreements in Darfur. The U.S. Government should denounce such actions and push hard for the Government of Sudan to provide unimpeded access for peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.”
In addition, the U.S. Government should not embrace Khartoum’s plan for peace in Darfur, which includes a call to hold Darfur peace negotiations in Sudan. Sudan’s recent actions bolster claims by many civil society and rebel representatives who have stated they would not feel safe traveling within Sudan, and that makes Sudan an impossible venue for such a critical negotiation.”
The joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reported yesterday that Sudanese authorities conducted a raid on the Zam Zam camp which houses Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and is located near the North Darfur capital of El-Fasher. Authorities entered the camp to search for weapons and other illegal items, but failed to notify UNAMID in advance, in violation of the Status of Forces Agreement. A UNAMID patrol and team arrived at the camp after the raid had begun and were initially denied access, restricting their ability to monitor the situation as the raid was conducted, but were eventually allowed to proceed. UNAMID reported that 37 individuals were arrested for unknown reasons.
The Government continues to target IDP camps at will. In August 2010 the Government blockaded Kalma camp in South Darfur, cutting off the estimated 82,000 displaced civilians residing in the camp from humanitarian aid. A similar operation conducted by the government in Kalma in August 2008 led to the death of 30 people. Camp leaders and human rights defenders are also still being held following an August 2009 raid on Abu Shouk IDP camp.
Note to Editors: GI-NET / SDC traveled to the Zam Zam camp earlier this year and has high resolution photos available for journalists.
The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged on November 1, 2010 to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.
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