Thursday May 23, 2013
Darfuri Refugee Voices Asking to be Heard Inside ChadAlysha Atma & Mohamed Yahya Salem-News.com
Al-Bashir has reacted to The Goodwill and Confidence building agreement signed February 2009 with complete disregard and disrespect; an all too familiar pattern.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Struggling to survive, hour by hour is difficult as security threats continue to grow for the refugees inside the Chad, Darfur border. Darfuri refugees expressed their concerns in hope that their voices will be heard, their greatest fear is inaction by the United Nations (UN) and the United States to respond in favor of humanity. They fear the silence that has been shown to them over the last seven years, it leaves their struggling lives stagnant unable to move forward and unable to see when or how they will ever be able to go home.
Refugees on the ground told Salem-News.com: "We don't feel safe at all due to daily harassment's by the Sudanese government" spy's", Janjaweed even in Chad and other different groups in different army uniforms that we can't identify. Chadian authorities are incapable to help us secure our lives. The UN peace keepers here are unable to cover all the camps..so all the looters, along with SAF Sudanese Army Forces and Rebels of Chad can easily penetrates the camps in a daily basis."
The Chadian and Sudanese government reached a backdoor agreement several months ago, the results of such is highly negative and has increased the for the refugees and displaced in both countries.
Many of the armed groups out there are attacking the women in systematic campaigns of rape. No one is there or here to protect them at all.
The lack of food that is given by the UN is not sufficient. We need more to satisfy our daily needs specially for the children. Also Medical treatment is still a real challenge, organizations like MSF (Doctors without Borders) are working only in limited areas.
One person living in the midst of this said, "Schools, there are no High Schools to receive the growing numbers of those graduating from 8th grade. No University to take those that have high school diploma in Chad or inside Darfur. We really need more Schools and at least one University to accept us without any restrictions."
When there is no communication, the availability to call in or out of El Fashir (ELF), the result of those quiet days is usually more despair for those citizens inside. The last few weeks have only brought small but significant text messages that come through in pieces.
Army forces are mobilizing all over the town. The newly imported Meg fighters and helicopters are flying and scaring every single civilian in ELF. It looks like things will get real messy within the next couple of days. Sad that the UN knows more people will be tortured but there is nothing they can do. Also fuel has became a real problem as Government of Sudan (GOS) security ordered all ELF gas stations not to issue any civilian vehicles fuel. Therefore, only government cars are moving around. I have some friend who walk for two hours just to get to work as no taxies moving.
While in development of this article, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in response to numerous records and insurmountable evidence issued another warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Al-Bashir, three (3) counts for the crime of genocide. A historical moment wrought with a slow exhale of breath from the many activists, refugees and Diaspora waiting for accountability to take priority. To the heartbreak of many the retaliation was instant.
Refugees said, “The Sudanese authorities issued expulsion orders against two top officials working for the ‘International Organization for Migration’, an inter-governmental agency that provides relief supplies for Darfur. …ordered to leave Sudan within 72 hours (Saturday, July 17, 2010)” www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article35689
This is a frequent pattern of retribution on Al-Bashir’s part, last year when the ICC issued its first warrant for seven (7) counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He retaliated by expelling thirteen (13) agencies working for the millions of displaces inside Darfur.
The list includes international group Save the Children, Oxfam, CARE, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps. The effect has still not been fully realized, in part because getting into Darfur is still incredibly difficult and the humanitarians that have come in have seen a targeted effort of intimidation and threat.
Since the ICC issued its first warrant 17 foreigners have been the victims of kidnapping, one of which is still missing. The work is being hindered on a daily basis as the GOS continues to refuse unobstructed admittance to those areas that are most affected.
The Goodwill and Confidence building agreement signed February 2009 has not been withheld, Al-Bashir has reacted with complete disregard and disrespect; something again that is an all too familiar pattern.
Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at: email@example.com
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