Sudanese president to visit refugee camp in Darfur despite reported protests

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 21:33:54|Editor: Zhou Xin
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NYALA, Sudan, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will visit Kalma camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in South Darfur State on Friday, despite reports of protests against his visit, local authorities said Wednesday.

"All arrangements have been completed for the visit of the president to Kalma IDP camp on Friday," Adam Al-Faki, governor of South Darfur State, said at a press conference in the state's capital Nyala.

"There is information published through social media about protests in Kalma camp in rejection of the visit," he said. "There could be a small percentage rejecting the visit, but the majority of the IDPs in the camp support the visit."

According to Al-Faki, al-Bashir will be the first Sudanese senior official to visit the camp.

Earlier, activists on the social media published photos showing thousands of IDPs inside the Kalma camp protesting Tuesday the expected visit of al-Bashir to the camp.

The IDPs at the Kalma camp said they would demonstrate over the coming two days against the president's visit scheduled for Friday, Sudanese Al-Tareeq electronic newspaper reported.

The report said the IDPs had asked the United Nations- African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to secure their peaceful protests against al-Bashir's visit.

The camp's administration also confirmed its rejection to the visit, according to an official document signed by the camp leaders and published by social media.

Al-Bashir will head to South Darfur's capital Nyala on Thursday, where he is scheduled to visit IDP camps of Kalma, Shattaya and Greida.

The Kalma camp was established in February 2004 in Bileil, some 15 km east of Nyala.

According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Kalma, which accommodates 126,200 IDPs, is the biggest IDP camp in Darfur.

The IDPs started to arrive at the camp in 2004 to flee the fighting in Shattaya, villages in the southeast of Jebel Marra, as well as Mukjar and Murni in West Darfur State and areas around Netaiga.

The Sudanese authorities accuse the majority of Kalma IDPs of being loyal to the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Abdul-Wahid Mohamed al Nur, a major armed rebel group in Darfur which refuses to sign a peace deal with the Khartoum government.