Göttingen, 15. Mai 2012
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demands more humanitarian help for more than 1.9 million refugees in Sudan's Darfur region. "Many camps for the survivors of the genocide are lacking even the most essential necessities," reported the STP's Africa-consultant, Ulrich Delius, in Göttingen on Tuesday. Some camps have not received any new supplies in food or medication since October 2011. The Sudanese authorities often try to obstruct the work of the aid organizations. Many refugees fear that they are being forced to leave the camps by restrictions of humanitarian aid. "Nine years after the genocide in Darfur began, the survivors accuse the International Community of having forgotten them and of palliating the situation."
The Sudanese government is trying to keep up an impression of normalcy and peace – and is therefore trying to close down all the IDP-camps, criticized Delius. "But the principle of voluntary return must have absolute priority." It may not be circumvented by the Sudanese authorities who are trying to make survival in the camps impossible by repeated cutbacks. Last weekend for example, the "Sudanese Commission for Humanitarian Aid" had advised all foreign aid agencies to stop working for the 80,000 refugees who live in ten camps in the area of El Geneina (West Darfur) from the end of June 2012 onward. On April 22, 2012, the Commission had shut down two Sudanese aid agencies in Nyala (South Darfur) that had provided humanitarian assistance in Darfur since 2004.
There are serious shortages of humanitarian supplies everywhere in Darfur. Many people who were displaced during the genocide cannot return to their destroyed villages – despite the dramatic plight – because their safety cannot be guaranteed. At the moment, Darfur is shook by a wave of rape-cases that brings back memories of the genocide, during which sexual violence was used as a method of warfare. Also, many refugees have no confidence in the Darfur Peace Agreement that was met in Doha in July 2011 – and which is still not supported by some of the major movements of Darfur. The refugees accuse the government of deceiving the rest of the world: Instead of trying to fight the real reasons for the genocide, they are merely covering some tracks.
Ulrich Delius can be reached under +49 (0)551 - 499 06 27.
Translated by Robert Kurth