Gereida IDPs reject invitation for voluntary return

Gereida (23 Jan.) - Internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Gereida, South Darfur have rejected the invitation by the head of the joint UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Ibrahim Gambari to voluntarily return to their villages.

Gereida camp coordinator, Dawood Hagar said IDPs will only consider returning to their villages if there is a guarantee of security. Militia groups must be also disarmed and those responsible for crimes in Darfur prosecuted. IDPs also expect individual and collective compensation.

Hagar said Gambari met yesterday with camp representatives to ask them to return to their villages which were abandoned when fighting forced residents to flee.

They refused the invitation citing the same reasons that caused them to flee still exist. Militants continue to issue threats and terrorize civilians.

Gambari reportedly tried to convince them that the World Food Programme had set up a large centre for food distribution in the Gereida locality which they would have access to, but camp residents fully rejected the proposal.