Darfur Refugee Camp Destroyed by Sudan Authorities
Sudanese police have demolished the homes in a refugee camp in the outskirts of Khartoum on Monday. But residents refuse to move on.
The act coincides with the upcoming multi-party polls in 3 weeks. It will be the first time in 24 long years.
After U.N. condemnations, Sudan had stopped most demolishing of refugee homes and forced relocations surrounding the capital.
But on Sunday night residents of Soba al-Shahanat saw dozens of their homes and shops demolished by bulldozers. When they refused to go, police cordoned off the area, hindering the delivery of fresh food and water.
[Hassan, Displaced Person]:
"We are being moved from this industrial zone in al-Shahanat. We have a problem with the planning and engineering ministry, we had an agreement that they were to prepare us with a different place with everything — infrastructure, streets, electricity, water, then they give us our land and five months to move, but until now they did not give us our land and as you can see, the fencing and destruction.”
The upcoming multi-party elections have raised tensions in Africa's largest country.
Sudan's authorities have previously said they will always give residents notice and provide adequate compensation before moving them. This time, they were not available for comment. But an Independent Candidate criticizes the government’s actions.
[Abdallah Mohamed Ahmed, Independent Candidate]:
"These people are registered voters and they are trying to displace them from their homes and this location so that they don't get to cast their vote.”
The polls are a key benchmark of a 2005 peace deal. It ended more than two decades of north-south civil war which destabilized much of east Africa and claimed an estimated 2 million lives.