Violence at Kalma Camp

A section of the Kalma camp for internally displaced people (IDP), near Nyala, in South Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

On September 22nd, Sudan’s military used live ammunition to disperse protestors at Kalma camp in South Darfur, killing at least three civilians, according to UN News, and wounding 26 more. The number of dead was reported as five, four days later,  by multiple sources including Xinhuanet and Dabanga. The confrontation occurred after three days of protests against the coming visit of Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir to the camp.

On September 26th, the United States Embassy in Khartoum called on the government of Sudan to launch a “thorough and transparent investigation” of the clash between government forces and IDPs at Kalma camp. Tragically, the violence took place less than a month after commemorations were held for the ninth anniversary of the 36 people killed in Kalma camp by militia and paramilitary members in 2008, making this yet another example of the ongoing violence in the Darfur region against the indigenous population of Darfur.

While the violence was covered by Reuters, Human Rights Watch, and UN News shortly after it occurred, there has been no major news coverage as the days go on. Access to Darfur for western media is difficult, however the lack of coverage is indicative of the disinterest by the western audience in continuing to hear about government sponsored violence in Darfur, making sustained advocacy and pressure on governmental institutions a must.



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