United Nations-African Union joint special representative Ibrahim Gambari said in Khartoum on September 15, that attacks in Darfur were down by about 70% over the past three years thanks to the peacekeeping efforts.
However, a September 16 statement by Hussein Abu Sharati, a spokesperson for Darfuri refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), angrily rejected the claims. He said the government “still commits genocide in Darfur” and that people are unable to return to their homes because it is unsafe.
Sharati said the drop in numbers at the IDP camps was because the lack of security had forced many to flee to South Sudan for protection.
Sharati said the UN hadn’t bothered to consult the IDPs in the camps to determine what is really happening, and demanded an apology and retraction from Gambari for his “irresponsible” comments.
Since the war began in 2003, the Sudanese Armed Forces and government-backed Janjaweed militias have been responsible for the deaths of more than 300,000 people in Darfur and the displacement of 2 million.
Repeated peace negotiations between Darfuri groups and the government have failed to end the war.