Officials from the UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan are in talks with South Darfur’s government, which is demanding the force hand over six Darfuris it is sheltering.
South Darfur’s governor accuses the six of inciting violence last week which claimed five lives in a Darfur refugee camp. The six men sought shelter last week in the UNAMID peacekeeping force’s police base at the Kalma refugee camp.
UNAMID’s deputy head of mission, Mohamed Younis, travelled to South Darfur’s capital Nyala for talks with the governor on Tuesday.
“This marks the third day in a row he has gone to try to find an amicable solution to the Kalma situation,” said UNAMID spokesman Chris Cycmanick. “We are aware of the grave situation in the area.”
The volatile Kalma camp, where some inhabitants carry guns, is a stronghold of Darfur rebel support. Anger over the latest round of Darfur peace talks caused last week’s clashes there, Reuters reports.
The peace talks in Qatar are the latest attempt to end the Darfur conflict, which the United Nations says has cost the lives of 300,000 people in the remote western region. Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.
A Darfur rebel leader, Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur of the Sudan Liberation Army, warned the peacekeeping force not to hand the six over to the government.
“If they had them over we will consider UNAMID is helping the government in its genocide against our people,” he told Reuters from his Paris base.
“How can the government, who raped and killed and drove them from their homes, be trusted to bring them to justice?” he said.
The International Criminal Court has indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, where mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in 2003 accusing Khartoum of neglecting the region.