Sudan must not force Kalma residents to resettle in new camps – UN

August 23, 2010 (NEW YORK) — U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said Monday the Sudanese authorities must not forcibly move the resident of Kalma in South Darfur into two new camps.

IDPs who fled the conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region carry belongings home at dusk at Djabal camp near Gos Beida in eastern Chad, June 12, 2008 (Reuters)

South Darfur deputy governor Abdel Karim Mousa Abdel Karim, said on Saturday his government is working to relocate the residents of Kalma in two camps with a capacity of 25 to 30 thousand people, equipped with all basic services.

The decision to move Kalma IDPs intervenes following bloody clashes between two groups in the largest camps in South Darfur which is the home for around 100,000 persons displaced by the seven year conflict in the region.

“It is also vital that displaced populations are not threatened with violence or otherwise forcibly moved,” said Holmes in a briefing to the UN Security Council mostly dedicated to Kalma camp.

UN top humanitarian official said any movement “must be voluntary, and based on free and informed decisions”. He further said that “conditions in areas of resettlement or return (must be) appropriate and viable in terms of security and access to basic services”.

“Any resettlement or return should only take place following joint verification that these conditions have been met.”

Following the meeting, the UN Security Council condemned “the instigation of violence in Kalma camp,” and hailed UNAMID’s efforts to restore calm in the area.

The Council stressed the need demilitarize Kalma and other IDP camps in Darfur, says a statement read by Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the President of the 15 members council this month.

The statement also condemned violence against aid workers and UN personnel. Further it said concerned by the ongoing restrictions on aid workers.

The members of the Council “recall the obligation of the Sudanese authorities and all other parties to ensure timely and unhindered humanitarian access,” as well as reiterating the importance of ensuring “an effective and inclusive process of political settlement in Darfur,” the statement continued.

In his speech before the Council, Holmes warned that the resumption of violence between government and rebels forces besides the tribal fighting led to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur.

“The level of restrictions imposed on humanitarian operations, and of harassment, threats and violence directed at humanitarian personnel, is once again becoming unacceptable,” Holmes said.

(ST)

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