Zalingei, 18 April 2019 – The African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) strongly condemns recent violent confrontations between two rival youth groups in Kalma Camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur state, which occurred on 13 April 2019. These confrontations reportedly resulted in the killing of 16 people including a humanitarian field worker, with 17 injured and a significant number of IDPs displaced.
In response to these violent confrontations, UNAMID immediately deployed its Police who created a buffer between the two rival groups thereby diffusing this situation and preventing further harm to civilians. UNAMID Police also provided First Aid assistance to the injured and increased its patrols in the area. The Mission will soon dispatch an Integrated Team to the area to further engage with traditional leaders in the IDP Camp and local authorities to prevent a recurrence of such tragic incidents in the future.
The Mission reminds all protagonists involved that IDP camps are considered humanitarian space which should be free of weapons, where displaced people must not be subjected to threats, harassment, attacks or harm. Such actions could constitute a grave violation of international humanitarian law.
Any internally displaced person found carrying a weapon and using it, is no longer viewed as a civilian but is seen as a combatant and as such loses humanitarian protection provided to civilians.
The Mission calls upon all IDPs to respect humanitarian principles and not to engage in violent acts. “While the prime responsibility of protecting civilians rests with the Government of Sudan, UNAMID shall continue to collaborate with the relevant IDP leaders and Government authorities on protecting civilians and engage with them regarding this matter at all levels. The Mission urges tribal and local community leaders to encourage their community members to solve their differences in a peaceful and cooperative manner,” said Jeremiah Mamabolo, UNAMID Joint Special Representative.
UNAMID continues to monitor the situation and is taking appropriate measures, in line with its protection of civilians’ responsibilities as mandated by the United Nations Security Council.