Sudan/Darfur: Displaced demand security, Khartoum announces demobilisation

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Major security and an end to attacks against displaced camps: these are the demands presented by the internally displaced of Darfur who took the streets against the instability in the western region, theatre since 2003 to an internal conflict and among the world's worst humanitarian crises. "We want guarantees for our safety before the peace talks begin, as also the disarmament of the pro-government militias and armed groups", said Hussein Abu Shariati, spokesman for the IDP's (Internally displaced persons), referring to the 'Peace Initiative for Darfur' presented by Khartoum in the past days. Following the protest, Shariati presented a statement with the demands of the IDP's of the Kalma, Nertiti and Mukjar camps to officials of the United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Meanwhile, the UN special envoy for Darfur, Ashraf Qazi, "welcomed" the cooperation between the Sudanese government and UN agencies; after a meeting with the presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail, Qazi expressed optimism on progress "in the peace process in Darfur and implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between North and South Sudan". Reports also indicate that Khartoum is planning to begin the disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration (DDR) of over 180,000 soldiers of the Khartoum and Juba armies. "The programme is a key part of the 2005 CPA peace deal and once completed will make it the biggest DDR operation in the world", said Adriaan Verheul, chief of the UN programme supporting the government-run scheme.