UN denies UNAMID head "threatened" IDPs at Darfur camp

16:16, August 13, 2010      

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The UN on Thursday denied media reports that the head of the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, had "threatened" the internally displaced people (IDPs) at the embattled Kalma Camp.

Local media reports in the region said that representatives of the Kalma residents said Gambari "threatened" to hand them over to the Sudanese authorities if they refused joint patrols by local police and peacekeepers.

"Contrary to press reports, the joint special representative did not threaten the IDPs," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said here at a daily noon briefing. "UNAMID will not hand over the six IDP leaders in question without a reassurance that certain preconditions as to their rights are met."

The joint special representative stressed the protection of civilians mandate of UNAMID and emphasized the need for sustainable peace in Darfur for all its populations, Nesirky told reporters here.

Gambari highlighted that IDP camps are designed to provide shelter for vulnerable populations, Nesirky said.

"Criminality and proliferation of weapons is not acceptable in Kalma or any other IDP camp," added Nesirky.

On Wednesday, Gambari met with the displaced people in Kalma on a joint visit with government officials of Sudan, with whom he has been holding consultations on issues related to recent developments in the region, Nesirky said.

"He reassured the IDPs that all issues related to the Kalma incident are being discussed with a view to mutually-acceptable solution," Nesirky said.

Efforts are continuing to ease recent tensions in the Kalma camp for IDPs in South Darfur state that arose last month after the conclusion of the latest round of Doha talks, with some groups contending they were unrepresented.

Source: Xinhua


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