Photo by Setyo Budi, UNAMID.
25 October 2018 – Internally Displaced People (IDP) at Aralciro gathering site in Golo, Central Darfur are not sure what the future has in store for them, but amid the uncertainty, they feel secure, thanks to daily patrols conducted by UNAMID peacekeepers.
The peacekeepers conduct daily patrols in Golo, the capital of Central Jebel Marra, in line with the Mission’s strategic priority to protect civilians, as outlined in UNAMID’s current mandate.
“It is our duty to keep them safe and give them confidence,” says Deputy Sargent Irja Ndapewa Shaanka, a peacekeeper, who frequently patrols the IDP gathering site.
More than 400 families live at the gathering site, a place allocated to them by the local government after they were displaced from their village in Kass Locality, South Darfur, following clashes between Sudan Armed Forces and Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) elements in May 2018.
The families fled to Golo and initially occupied the land outside UNAMID’s Temporary Operating Base (TOB), which was established early this year. After some days, the local government moved them to a primary school close to Golo town, and subsequently transferred them to Aralciro village.
“Thirteen of my family members were injured and had to be treated at Golo hospital,” says Nusra Abdullah Bakar, a 40-year-old leader (sheikh) at the gathering site.
Humanitarian partners provided materials for shelter and are assisting the displaced people with monthly food rations.
Through local government efforts, schools in the area have absorbed some of the children from the IDP gathering site so they can continue to learn. One of the private schools accommodated more than 100 pupils and waived their fees. The IDPs also have access to health and nutrition services at Golo hospital.
However, the community still faces challenges as they lack access to basic services.
Despite the challenges, the IDPs say they feel safe, particularly when UNAMID peacekeepers patrol the area around the gathering site. They always welcome the peacekeepers and provide updates about their situation.
“We feel safe when the peacekeepers visit us here,” says Adam Musa, a 26-year-old IDP who lives at the gathering site.
In the long term, while some of the displaced people would like to be integrated into the host community, others are reluctant to do so due to the lack of basic social services such as shelter and education.
Rommel Dela Rosa, the Head of the TOB, says UNAMID will continue to protect the community, in line with its mandate, without taking away the responsibility of the security institutions as it is the government’s primary responsibility to reintegrate the IDPs into the community.
“We’re here to support the government. As far as integration of IDPs to communities, we are conducting some advocacy with the government by encouraging them to provide basic facilities and services such as shelter, water, food and education,” he says, adding that UNAMID is working with humanitarian partners that can help to meet some of these needs.