Sudan: Refugees attacked in West Darfur: 8 killed, 36 wounded

By Radio Dabanga -- HAMADIYA CAMP (6 Sep .) - Eight refugees were killed and 28 others injured when they were attacked at Hamadiya Camp for internally displaced, which is near the town of Zalingei in West Darfur, Sudan. The attack occurred Friday night, less than 24 hours after of an attack by pro-government militias on a market in North Darfur that left 57 civilians dead and 86 wounded.

Sources working in aid organizations told Radio Dabanga details of what happened at Camp Hamadiya in West Darfur. The sources said the attack Friday night was related to events at the camp dating to 28 July, when three displaced were killed and about 15 others driven out of the camp due to their support for the current peace process with the government, which is rejected by most of the camp population.

The sources, who asked not be named, told Radio Dabanga that the people who had been expelled from the camp began preparing themselves to attack the camp if UNAMID peacekeepers - who guard the camp - would not hand over to the government five refugees whom they said were involved in the assassination three of their colleagues in the events in the camp in late July.

The sources operating in the relief organizations said that the group backed by the government threatened on Tuesday and Wednesday to break into the camp. Those sources made clear that the group conveyed these threats to UNAMID and demanded extradition of the suspects from the camp to security authorities. Sources said that the elders of the displaced camp warned UNAMID that they expected at any time an imminent attack by this group backed by the government.

The sources revealed that the group, estimated to number 20 armed men, carried out their threats Friday night by attacking the camp, which led to the death of 6 displaced from Camp Hamadiya and 2 from Camp Tina, as well as 28 injured. Sources working in the relief field and witnesses said that there was no return of gunfire from those in the camp. They also affirmed that Sudanese security forces did not intervene. Neither did UNAMID, which later reported in a press statement that the shooting began before midnight and did not end until approximately 8:00 on Saturday morning. Other sources said that there are unconfirmed reports that the group of attackers who had been earlier expelled from Hamadiya, arrived to the camp on Thursday in government vehicles. After the attack they went back to the town of Zalingei.

The Sudan Liberation Movement faction led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur accused the government of being behind attack on the camp. A spokesman, Ibrahim Al Helu, said government forces attacked Saturday morning camps Hamidiya and Khamsa Degaig, and that ten refugees died, including a woman, while 27 others were injured, some of them critically.