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									`Forgotten and Marginalized’

Displaced Persons in Khartoum: One year after the peace agreement

Rik Delhaas Khartoum/Amsterdam February 2006

ICCO – Interchurch Organization for Development Co-operation

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 1. Introduction 2. Introduction on the CPA 3. A short history of displacement 3.1 Patterns of displacement • • Displacement as a tactic of the SPLM/A Displacement as a tactic of the North-Sudanese government

4 6 7 9 10 10 10 13 17 18 19 20 21 21 23 24 25 28

3.2 Demolitions of IDP shelters and relocations 4. Humanitarian Situation • Example Al Fatah

5. IDPs and legal and judicial structures in Khartoum State 6. Coping mechanisms of IDPs and government control 7. The case of Soba Aradi • • • 8. Return 7. Conclusions Riots and relocations International attention After ‘Soba Aradi’

Annex: 1. Map of IDP-camps in Khartoum State 2. List of abbreviations Boxes: 1. CPA on IDPs 2. Selection from UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement 3. Ashwe’s personal story 4. Deborah’s personal story 5. Mary’s personal story 9 13 17 18 28 30 31


Executive Summary

Additionally, IDPs are prevented from organizing themselves and from collectively demanding improvement of their situation. In short, circumstances in the camps around Khartoum

Sudan has experienced the worst population displacement in the world: six million internally displaced persons (IDPs) out of a population of 37 million Sudanese. Two million of the internally displaced persons live in official IDPcamps, squatter areas or relocation sites in and outside Sudan. This report explores the situation of these two million IDPs, one year after the government of Sudan SPLM/A and the (CPA). parties to the southern a In this rebel movement Peace the signed Comprehensive committed “render provision through the capital Khartoum, in northern

are dire. Even the IDPs in Darfur are better off, Special Representative of Secretary-General Jan Pronk states. Clearly, IDPs are no priority for Sudan’s

politicians and administrators. The policy of urban and industrial extension in Khartoum State resulted in the forceful relocation of hundreds of thousands of people and an estimated 236.000 IDPs are at risk to be relocated in the near future. This ‘re-planning’ often consisted of bulldozing people’s shelters with no advance warning and then relocating the IDPs to official camps or designated areas far outside the town, in the desert. Many of the people who lost their shelters were not relocated and were left on the destroyed ruins of their homes, with no other option than to rebuild their temporary observers shelters warn yet a again. major International that

Agreement negotiating among humanitarian conducive

agreement and of

themselves, facilitate conditions urgent

others, to


humanitarian assistance to displaced persons, refugees and other affected persons and their right to return”. The CPA thus was a sign of hope for a better future for those living under inhumane conditions in the IDP-camps around Khartoum. However, one year after the peace agreement the situation of the two million IDPs in and around Khartoum has not improved. On the contrary, as a result of continuing demolitions and relocations to sites far outside Khartoum their situation deteriorates. In all the camps sufficient basic services such as health-clinics, water-facilities, latrines and job opportunities are lacking. Many IDPs have lost their jobs, because they cannot afford transport costs to Khartoum. The number of internally displaced children that suffer from severe malnutrition is eleven times higher than the average malnutrition rate in Khartoum State. It is estimated that the mortality rate exceeds the emergency line of one death per 10.000 per day. IDPs, most of them non-Muslim, continue to be arrested for breaking sharia law, although the CPA formally halted this practice.

humanitarian crisis will emerge in Khartoum State, if the planned relocations are conducted in a similar manner to those previously executed. The findings in this research suggest that the administration of Khartoum State not only has economic relocating from turn, motives the for demolishing It also and uses in IDP-camps. settling

relocations as a method of discouraging people legitimately lacks themselves in Khartoum. The government of South-Sudan, in sufficient thus influence cannot northern It policies and interfere.

furthermore has electoral interests in having the southern IDPs returned to their places of origin in the South. Apparently, none of the authorities care for the welfare of IDPs living in and around Khartoum. Now that the entire international community is focusing on rebuilding the South and the crisis in Darfur, this large marginalized group of IDPs


is once again being forgotten. The Sudanese federal government, and concerned parties, such as the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), donor countries, and national and international improvement and South. The international donor community must NGOs of the must explicitly classify as an IDPs’ situation

investment in the peace dividend between North

broaden its scope to include the IDPs staying in the North. The UN Mission in Sudan should not only assist in reintegration programs in the South, IDPs but should also be facilitate enabled to (re)integration build a life, programmes for IDPs in the North. Sudanese regardless of where they settle in the future. International and national NGOs should restart or broaden their humanitarian and reintegration programs, such as skills development building, in and the community-based capacity

camps in Khartoum State. The federal government of Sudan and the administration of Khartoum State can no longer be allowed to continue their neglect and misgovernment of the IDPs. The Sudanese authorities should not restrict NGOs in their humanitarian and social support in the official as well as the ‘unofficial’ community IDP camps. The international should critically

monitor the humanitarian, social and economic position of IDPs in the North and press the Sudanese authorities to guarantee the human security of the IDPs in Khartoum State.



1. Introduction

For the four million IDPs originating from the South and for those living in the war-affected southern parts of Sudan, hope for a peaceful future finally came in sight when the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the government of Sudan signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement in early 2005. The signing ceremony marked the formal end to one of Africa’s longest civil wars. It also symbolized the starting point of an uncertain period for all those internally displaced persons around Khartoum and others scattered over northern Sudan, since both parties explicitly committed themselves to support and assist displaced persons in humanitarian need. When the SPLM/A and the government of Sudan were negotiating, however, both parties were primarily concerned with ending the war and gaining and consolidating political and economic power in the post-conflict period. Internally displaced people were only of marginal concern. No one represented their interests at the negotiating-table. Now that the CPA is in its implementation phase, it appears that IDPs are forgotten yet again. The SPLM/A looks to the government of North-Sudan to respond to the needs of the displaced, because most of the IDPs live in the North. The government of North-Sudan needs expects the the majority SPLM/A, of the the IDPs government of South-Sudan, to meet their because originate from southern Sudan. And both parties seem to expect the international community to solve the IDP-problem. Finally, the international community regards the IDP problem as, first and foremost, the responsibility of the federal government of Sudan, the government of National Unity, which includes both the Northand the South-Sudanese government. This report examines the humanitarian and human rights situation of internally displaced people living in and around Khartoum, since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005.

Sudan entered the new millennium entangled in numerous civil wars. What was once perceived as a struggle between the North and the South, Arabs against Africans or Muslims fighting Christians has turned into inextricable fighting between former allies, militias and government troops. What began several decades ago as a southern struggle against northern domination has evolved into regional conflicts against the Khartoum-based government over many shared grievances. the These include policy power of sharing, distribution of resources, including oil wealth, government modernizing agriculture and displacing people to use them as labor in mechanized agricultural schemes, and the government’s has political manipulation of ethnicity and use of militias as military proxies, which exacerbated traditional tensions between farmers and pastoralists over water and other land resources. The majority of the Sudanese population currently live in extremely difficult circumstances deprived of basic economic, social and political rights. Sudan has experienced the worst population displacement in the world. In the North-South conflict alone an estimated two million people died and another four million were forced to flee their homes. Most of them live in miserable conditions as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in one of the numerous camps in northern Sudan or in the South. Another 500.000 left the country as refugees to neighboring countries. Based on UN statistics1 from June 2005, two million out of a total of an estimated six million IDPs live in and around the capital Khartoum, in official IDP-camps, squatter areas or designated areas within or outside the city. This report will address the situation of this marginalized group.


IDP intentions concerning return to their places of origin, IOM and others, June 2005


It explores the reasons for the deteriorating situation of the IDPs, the demolitions of squatter camps and the relocation of IDPs to designated areas far outside Khartoum, where even less services are offered than in the camps they were forced to leave. Additionally, it examines the motives for government policy towards IDPs, including the re-planning of Khartoum and subsequent relocation of IDPs. And, most importantly, it tries to get national and international attention for a large, marginalized group of people, who seem to be forgotten now that the North-South war is over.

General elections are to be held in the third year after implementation of the agreement, and until this period the ruling National Congress Party of President Umar al-Bashir remains the dominant political force at the national level. After a period of six years southerners can vote in a referendum whether they want to remain united with the north or separate. For three of the contested areas in the transition zone between north and south: Abyei, southern Blue Nile and the administrative Nuba Mountains separate agreements were established. Abyei was accorded a special status during the interim period. Residents of Abyei will be citizens of both the North and the South and administered

2. Introduction on the CPA

by a local Executive Council under the institution of the national presidency. Simultaneous with the referendum they for will southern retain Sudan, its the residents of Abyei will cast a separate ballot on







whether the South.


international pressure the two largest warring parties in the North-South conflict – the SPLM/A and the government of Sudan - signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, ending 21 years of civil war. The two parties managed to reach agreement on most of the political issues negotiated in various protocols. The former rebel movement, the SPLM/A, entered the federal government and took several ministerial-level posts in the cabinet as well as a proportion of parliamentary seats. Simultaneously, a new regional government was established for southern Sudan (GoSS), which would be dominated by the SPLM/A. The CPA also provides for a security arrangement during the six years in which the SPLM/A will keep its military control over southern Sudan. Southern-based militias were supposed to be disbanded immediately after the signing of the peace agreement and incorporated into the organized forces of the government or the SPLM/A. This has yet to occur.

administrative status within the North or join

The Nuba Mountains (southern Kordofan) and Blue Nile State remain under the control of the federal government. A framework is set up within each of the two states to solve their case. A parliamentary shall of assessment assess the and evaluation evaluate the The commission



legislature of both states should negotiate with the National government if the agreement is to be rectified. The people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile States will not be directly consulted on the agreement or any reviews. The only way for the population to influence the implementation or review the agreement is through elections, which are scheduled after three years. According to the CPA, the ruling National Congress Party is allocated 55 percent of the seats in the executive and legislature in each of the two states, while the SPLM gets 45 percent. Two multi-donor reconstruction and

development funds will be established: one for the recovery of the devastated South and a


second for war affected areas and marginalized areas in the North. The warring parties agreed to share the oil wealth on a fifty-fifty basis for the North and the South. The parties also committed themselves to

civilians with particular attention to vulnerable groups including internally displaced persons, returning refugees and women and children. By the end of 2005, some 4.000 of the requested 10.000 UN troops were in place to monitor the ceasefire. Seven months after signing of the Peace

“render and facilitate humanitarian assistance through creation of conditions conducive to the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to displaced persons, refugees and other affected persons and their right to return.”2 In principle the parties agreed to formulate a repatriation, resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development plan to address the needs of those areas affected by the war and redress the historical imbalances of development and resources allocation. Internally displaced people have the right to integrate where they live, relocate to a place of choice in the North or return to their homes in the South: “Everyone has the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his/her residence3” (for a selection from the CPA regarding IDPs, see box 1). Currently the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) retains the most important posts including the ministries of energy, internal affairs and finance. As of early 2006 many Agreement on July 9, 2005 John Garang, SPLM/A chairman, was sworn in as first vicepresident. Omar al-Bashir retained the presidency. On July 30, John Garang was killed in a helicopter crash in southern Sudan resulting in three days of violence and rioting in which at least 130 people were killed and hundreds arrested mainly in Khartoum. After frenzied deliberation the SPLM/A chose Salva Kiir as his successor, and he was sworn in on August 11th. On September 22, President Omar al-Bashir swore in the cabinet of national unity including ministers of the SPLM/A.






commissions agreed upon in the CPA have yet to be established, including the Land Commission, dealing with land restitution to those who were expelled from their home areas during the conflict, and a special commission to ensure that the rights of non-Muslims are protected and not adversely affected by the application of sharia law in the capital. Implementation of the CPA is slow and behind schedule. There have been reports on renewed recruitment in some transition and and the the areas by government-allied between armed militias militia SPLM/A. southern

challenge this fragile agreement and its ‘comprehensive’ nature”.
On March 24th 2005 the Security Council of the United Nations accepted a resolution to establish a UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Besides and monitoring assisting in the the Ceasefire Agreement

disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of militias, UNSC resolution 1590 calls for UNMIS to facilitate and coordinate the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons, coordinate humanitarian assistance, and help to establish the necessary security conditions. The mission is asked to coordinate international efforts towards the protection of
Agreement on permanent ceasefire and security arrangements implementation modalities, during the pre-interim and interim periods, 31 december 2004, paragraph 1.10. 3 Protocol on Power Sharing, Kenya, May 26, 2004

During the first week of February 2006 clashes Sudanese army of the SPLM/A took place despite a Ceasefire Agreement. In addition, inter-clan violence, fighting between militias and the activities of the Ugandan Lord Resistance Army threaten security in parts of southern Sudan.


Although the signing of a peace agreement between the two former conflicting parties in southern Sudan have brought an end to 21 years of civil war, other conflicts in the country challenge this fragile agreement and its ‘comprehensive’ nature. In 2003 western Sudan ignited when a longsimmering low-level conflict escalated between a rebel insurgency and the Sudanese government.4 Using much the same strategy used in southern Sudan: aerial bombardment, recruitment human government’s of ethnic abuses militias against and massive the campaign rights civilians, An enormous task awaits the federal government, now including the former rebels of the SPLM/A, the government of South Sudan (GoSS) and the international community, to contain all these conflicts, rebuild the devastated South and support the estimated six million displaced. The four million southerners who were displaced over the past two decades have the right to return or integrate in the north and will make these choices in the coming months.


forced two million more Sudanese from their homes in less than two years. As of early 2006, 1.8 million people remain internally displaced in camps in Darfur and 220.000 people have crossed the border and become refugees in Chad. Some 200.000 people are believed to have died in this crisis. Finally a simmering conflict continues in Eastern Sudan. Marginalized groups such as the Beja feel sidelined by the peace process between the government and the southern rebel movement SPLM/A. Like the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) in Darfur, they call for greater political and economic rights for their people. In late 2004 and early 2005 bloody confrontations took place between the rebels and the Sudanese army in eastern Sudan. The Sudanese government deployed thousands of troops to quell the uprising and the potential threat to the oil installations in the region. “I see no other option then all parties adjust the CPA on basis of mutual agreement and bring other partners in to solve the conflicts in Eastern and Western Sudan,” says Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sudan, Jan Pronk.
The Darfur conflict was simmering for several years before 2003, but the timing of the rebel insurgency was partly based on the fear that the CPA would divide political and economic power among just two groups, despite the fact that other Sudanese regions shared many of the same concerns about political marginalization as the southern rebels.

Box 1: CPA on IDPs
* Agreement on permanent ceasefire and security arrangements 2004: 1.10. The Parties

shall commit themselves to render and facilitate humanitarian assistance through creation of conditions conducive to the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to displaced persons, refugees and other affected persons and their right to return. * Protocol on power sharing, 2004: Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his/her liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law; Everyone has the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his/her residence;
* Machakos Protocol, 2002: 1.9 [The parties










reconstruction and development plan to address the needs of those areas affected by the war and redress the historical imbalances of development and resource allocation.


3. A short history of displacement
The United Nations define internally displaced persons as “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effect of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border”5. Most conflicts in Sudan are characterized by displacement, not only as a result of war, but also as a policy of both the government and, to lesser extent, the SPLM/A rebel movement.

explains political analyst Johnson in his book `The root causes of Sudan’s civil wars’7. The SPLM/A cleverly used these concentrations of displaced persons to attract relief aid and to create a pool of potential recruits. For example, before the fall of their ally, Ethiopian dictator Menghistu in 1991, the SPLM/A encouraged and organized the movement of southerners into Ethiopian refugee camps. International aid agencies provided the refugees with food and medical supplies, which also found their way to the ranks of the SPLM/A. Refugees were recruited in the camps and sent for training to the SPLM/A camps on Ethiopian territory.

“The government and the Southern movements have organized forcible relocations of displaced populations at

3.1 Patterns of Displacement The local population of southern Sudan has severely suffered from displacement policies of both the government and government-allied groups and the southern-based rebel movement. “The government and the southern movements have organized forcible relocations of displaced populations at different times in war”6, one international observer noted. Displacement as a tactic of the SPLM/A Inter-factional southern-based fighting within and between which warring parties,

different times in war”.
Displacement thus served strategic socio-

economic war tactics of the southern-based rebel movements. Displacement as a tactic of the NorthSudanese government When war between the North and the South resumed in 1983, after an interim period of eleven years, government troops and their allies frequently attacked the southern population in an attempt to deprive the SPLM/A of its popular support base and try to cut off supplies by destroying the subsistence economy of farmers. As a result of the fighting and a conflict-related famine in the mid-1980s thousands of people left their homes either to stay in SPLM/A-held territory, move to garrison towns under control of government troops but besieged by the SPLM/A, or escape the war by fleeing to cities such as Khartoum in northern Sudan. On the government side, mass displacement

intensified after 1991, forced many to flee. “Food stores and standing crops have been seized or put to torch, relief inputs have been captured and relief centers have invited attacks. All of these activities have produced widespread displacement, as specific populations have been denied the opportunity or the means to feed themselves, and as groups of people have fled areas of conflict seeking refuge elsewhere,”

Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, United Nations office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 6 The Root causes of Sudan’s civil wars, Douglas H. Johnson, Oxford 2003


policies did not only serve counterinsurgency tactics however. Equally important is the pursuit



of long-term economic power objectives. “The war economy of both the government and the guerrillas involves, in different degrees, the capture of labor, as much as the capture of territory,” clarifies international observer Douglas Johnson. The government used tactics to direct mass movement towards areas where they wanted the displaced to go by closing borders to prevent from people seeking refuge in neighboring countries, opening corridors to let them move into government controlled territory or in some cases putting them on planes to fly them into northern Sudan. Simultaneously, vast areas were cleared of its people and the dispossessed formed a pool of cheap wage laborers. The inhabitants of southern Kordofan, southern Darfur, southern Blue Nile and the Sudan-Ethiopian border region were faced with the most difficulties resulting from the shift from subsistence agriculture to export-oriented, highly capitalized, mechanized agricultural schemes. Small-holding farmers were dispossessed from their customary rights to land and pastoralists’ land-use rights were eroded. Consequently, a large force of agricultural wage-laborers arose8. The cleared land was often sold to supporters of the regime. In 1993, for example, the Minister of Planning announced the sale of new parcels of land in the Nuba Mountains. He received some 40.000 bids from Arab entrepreneurs. The dispossessed resettlement population camps near was relocated to other agricultural

1991 and 1994. All afore mentioned examples suggest that development in Sudan is not politically neutral, since those allied with the government profit at the expense of large numbers of people. This is even more tragic in light of Sudan’s history. As Global IDP-Project describes in a profile on Sudan’s internal displaced people: “The slave trade of southern black Africans by the economically more powerful Arab North marked the peak of exploitation, but not the end of it. The colonial administrative separation of North and South interrupted, but did not redress the violent and repressive history. The British-Egyptian Bahr al-Gazal administration and Upper Nile deliberately from Arab isolated the southern provinces of Equatoria, influence but did not attempt to modernize the economy and the political system in the south. Conversely, it invested far more in the Arab North, seeking to modernize and liberalize the political institutions in accordance with British standards. The result was a Sudan of two pieces upon departure of the colonial administration: an Arab North, economically and politically stronger than the isolated, underdeveloped and demographically weaker black African South9”. The conflict with the southern-based rebels and agricultural modernization in parts of southern Sudan are two causes for the displacement of millions from their homes and land. Since the 1989 coup that brought Al-Bashir and Islamist ideologue Hassan al Turabi to power, however, a third policy has been the effort to capture state power and make Sudan an Islamic country. For example, the government declared

schemes where they now work as low-paid or unpaid laborers. When the new administration came in after the 1989 coup of Omar al-Bashir, the government started relocating the displaced to `areas of origin’ and `areas of production’. For that reason, the for Council the of Ministers of issued a resolution repatriation 800.000

jihad, a holy war, against the SPLM/A in 1991 in the Nuba Mountains where newly recruited mujahidiin fought the army of the SPLM/A. The government also launched programs of Islamicization in Southern Blue Nile and other areas of southern Sudan, where they targeted the `black African’ population who had supported the SPLM/A in the past.
9 Profile of internal displacement: Sudan, Global IDP Project, October 2005

displaced to Upper Nile, Bahr al-Gazal, Darfur and Kordofan, where they were expected to work. Such repatriations took place in 1990,



period, According to the government, Islamicization is a civilization program, which includes Quranic recital, and literacy classes, In military southern and service, construction of mosques and building of schools health centers. were Sudan, by on programs often NGOs, implemented focused

and to


revenues purchase






including helicopter gunships. Some view the oil wealth as an opportunity to solve the conflict, namely through a 50-50 split of the profits between North and South, as formulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. However the return of the displaced to their homes in the oil fields may be one of the biggest problems in the whole issue of return. Land restitution for the in most the mechanized agricultural schemes


displaced people. “They grouped people into camps. Each village had its camp. In the camp they brought amirs who gave instruction. It started at 5 a.m. with prayers, reciting the Quran and Islamic orientation. It included military drill,” accounts Alex de Waal in a book on Islam in the Horn of Africa10. In the name of this ideology people were brought (displaced) to what they called `peace villages’ or dal el salaam. On the face of it, the Islamic project eroded when president Omar alBashir’s alliance with Hassan al Turabi fractured. On December 12, 1999 the president imposed a State of Emergency and Turabi was stripped of all his powers and his position as head of the National Assembly. Many of Turabi’s key Islamist protégés, including vice-president Ali Osman Taha, remain in positions of power in the government, and although they have distanced themselves from Turabi, the Islamist agenda may still be at work within Khartoum. In the 1990s forced displacement was also linked to oil exploration. In the transition zone between the North and the South, particularly in Upper Nile, the government deliberately depopulated oilfields, using aerial bombardment and ground attacks to force the population from the area and then build roads and other infrastructure to enable oil firms to exploit new sites. Recently publicized internal documents from the Canadian-based oil company Talisman acknowledged that attacks on the civilian population were taking place in the area where their company was operating and collaborating with the Sudanese government in the late1990s. Fighting in the oilfields escalated in this
10 Islamism and its enemies in the Horn of Africa, Alex de Waal (editor), London 2004

transition zone may be easier to resolve as most of the schemes are war affected, abandoned and turned into bush. On July 14, 2004, the former government of Sudan formally agreed to abide by international standards relating to internal displacement by signing the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. These principles acknowledge the right of IDPs “to be protected against forcible return to or resettlement in any place where their life, safety, liberty and/or health would be at risk” (principle 15d). According to principle 18 the government of Sudan committed itself to the right of IDPs to an adequate standard of living and to the state’s responsibility to provide for as will minimal a method basic of services. collective to what Furthermore, punishment extent is destroying camps and the possessions of IDPs explicitly forbidden. The remainder of this report partly explore these principles are upheld in practice.


Box 2: Selection from UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Principle 1: Internally displaced persons shall enjoy … the same rights and freedoms under international and domestic law as do other persons in their country. Principle 3: 1. National authorities have the primary duty and responsibility to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons within their jurisdiction. Principle 10: 2. Attacks or other acts of violence against internally displaced persons … are prohibited in all circumstances. Internally displaced persons shall be protected … against: (a) Direct or indiscriminate attacks or other acts of violence, including the creation of areas wherein attacks on civilians are permitted; … (d) Attacks against their camps or settlements; Principle 14: Every internally displaced person has the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his or her residence. Principle 15: Internally displaced persons have: … (d) The right to be protected against forcible return to or resettlement in any place where their life, safety, liberty and/or health would be at risk. Principle 18: 1. All internally displaced persons have the right to an adequate standard of living. 2. … Regardless of the circumstances, and without discrimination, competent authorities shall provide internally displaced persons with and ensure safe access to: (a) Essential food and potable water; (b) Basic shelter and housing; (c) Appropriate clothing; and (d) Essential medical services and sanitation. Principle 20: 1. Every human being has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. 2. To give effect to this right for internally displaced persons, the authorities concerned shall issue to them all documents necessary for the enjoyment and exercise of their legal rights. Principle 21: 1. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of property and possessions. 2. The property and possessions of internally displaced persons shall in all circumstances be protected … against: … (e) Being destroyed or appropriated as a form of collective punishment.







200011. Since the conflict in Darfur escalated in early

relocations in Khartoum State Today it is estimated that of a total population of 6-7 million in Khartoum, approximately 2 million people are IDPs. Some northerners condescendingly belt’. Most of the IDPs are originally from southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains. An International Organization of Migration (IOM) survey carried out in North, East, Central Sudan and South-Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) in 2005 found that 10 percent of the IDP households left their place of origin before 1980. Most of the IDPs left their place of origin during the eighties (42 percent) and the nineties (34 percent). Another 14 percent left their place of origin after The government of Khartoum State has been demolishing shelters and relocating internally displaced people ever since large numbers of people migrated to northern towns after the drought and the resumption of the civil war in the 1980s. The government used legislation to
11 IDP intentions concerning return to their places of origin, IOM, 2005

2003, more than two million people have been displaced from their home areas in Darfur. Although the majority of internally displaced stay in camps in the three Darfur states (1.8 million) the survey found that of a total of 3120 IDPs interviewed around Khartoum, 10 percent were from Darfur. The sample size for the whole survey, including other states was 7020. The vast majority left because of war, war-related displacement tactics and drought. Only a very small number seem to be economic migrants.






squatter sites surrounding the city `the black


try to distinguish those who were, in their view, `squatters’ (economic migrants) and those who were internally displaced in an effort to make it unattractive for people to come to the city centers. Displaced people had no right of residence in Khartoum, no right to own land, and no right to construct permanent shelter. By 1994 some 800.000 displaced lived around Khartoum and the government started relocating IDPs to four official camps: Wad el Bashier, Omdurman es Salaam, Jebel Aulia and Mayo Farms in an apparent aim to control the turbulent growth of the city. However, the number of IDPs largely exceeded the number of places in the official camps and squatter areas continued to exist, including up to thirty current sites. When the government began relocating people to the official camps, IDPs had their shelters demolished without warning and found themselves loaded onto lorries and transferred to the newly defined camp boundaries. The demolitions took place during the winter and sometimes in the rainy season, which made it difficult for people to built new shelters. In squatter areas near Mayo the demolitions in the

early 1990s became violent as IDPs attempted to stop the demolitions, resulting in the shooting death of eight IDPs12. As the war in the South continued, people kept arriving and settling within the official IDP camps or squatting outside these areas. Most people settled according to their tribal affiliations, for security reasons as well as familiarity of traditions and language, creating ethnic zones within the camps. The rest settled without organization and most of the sites were congested. In 1994 the government also started re-

planning a squatter site called Angola northwest of Khartoum, and close to two of the official IDP camps. They demolished about 16.000 homes, again during the winter season. Only 8.000 of the families were allocated a plot in the new planned area. Another 4.000 of those who did not receive a plot started squatting at a new site called Salahin. The rest of the families whose houses were demolished scattered to different locations throughout Khartoum. The demolition caused trouble for the IDPs especially those who had to look for a new site to build a home.

Mayo Camp

12 Khartoum state interagency rapid assessment report, FAR and others, 2004


Outbreaks of disease were common, causing NGOs and the international community to

and the city needed more land for development. Some of the IDP settlements enclose the city preventing organized urban expansion. Although the government had changed its policy and now acknowledged that people were permitted to stay and integrate in Khartoum, all the designated areas for permanent settlement are on the outskirts of town. Some observers say land value is one of the dynamics behind the process of re-planning. For example, the squatter site Soba Aradi has become valuable land because it is now surrounded by commercial activity. Part of the land of Soba Aradi is allocated for commercial activity and most of the IDPs are not able to acquire plots in the area because they are too expensive, which forces them to leave. At the end of 2004, shortly after the were

establish emergency centers in the camps . More and more local and international NGOs started programs in the IDP camps. In 1998, the Sudanese government re-planned another squatter site northeast of Khartoum where more than 100.000 people were living. Some 80 percent of the inhabitants of this site Haj Yousif- received plots, while the remaining 20 percent did not have the means to acquire a plot, forcing them to move to other areas and squat again.

IDPs have the right “to be protected against forcible return to or resettlement in any place where their life, safety, liberty and/or health would be at risk”.
Plots are not given out for free. First, IDPs need proof of identification. Since many IDPs do not possess birth certificates or identification cards they need to acquire them, which is not always easy and costs money. Second, the plot itself has to be bought. The amount differs, depending on the area. In Mayo for example families could get a plot for about $ 411 (US dollars), while the same plot in Wad el Bashier costs $ 2291 (US dollars). In addition to the purchase price, several fees have to be paid14. In comparison, the average income of IDPs is less than a quarter of a US dollar per day. At the end of the 1990s, the health and food situation in the IDP camps stabilized and international NGOs started pulling out and

government signed the UN Guiding Principles on Displacement, some 40.000 homes demolished in three of the official IDP camps, Wad el Bashier, Omdurman es Salaam and Mayo Farm and two squatter sites Soba Aradi and Salaama. The camps had become overcrowded as new IDPs kept arriving and settling ‘illegally’ in the official sites. Thousands of those who had their homes demolished were not given plots. Every time demolitions take place people are left without a plot, for several reasons. Some simply cannot pay for the procurement of a plot, or have no documents to prove their identity. There has also been little effort to properly register the number of people living in the official IDP camps or the squatter areas. As a result, the Khartoum State the government number of consistently underestimates

handing over programs to local NGOs. In an effort to get the situation under control the government of Khartoum State started a new broad policy of re-planning IDP camps and squatter areas in 2003. A new site for relocations was designated fifty kilometers north of Khartoum: Al Fatah. Khartoum was booming, partly as a result of the influx of oil revenue,

families living in the re-planned settlements. Planning starts at the drawing table rather than with an inventory of people living in the area. In fact, the relation between the planning of the state of Khartoum and the implementation on the ground is non-existent, says an observer. Different departments involved do not

13 14

idem idem


collaborate. The Ministry of Planning does not wait or even inquire whether the Ministry of Social services Welfare needed has for already a surveyed to the be population

Voluntary Khartoum)

Humanitarian are currently



body the

coordinating humanitarian work for the State of boycotting meetings, because of a lack of will to solve the problems of IDPs and allocate enough money to support them. Sometimes they boycott the meetings or reduce the number of representatives at meetings. They hold the governments responsible for the situation of IDPs and want to see progress. Until today, however, their efforts are without any success. NGOs have decided to give only a minimum of support until the attitude of the government has changed. Minimum support includes water, food, blankets, sheets and a minimum of health care. It does not include development aid. NGOs without complain advance that the government’s massive

relocated. They do not coordinate and a key question is whether this lack of communication and planning is deliberate or whether it is a result of lack of capacity. It is clear, however, that this leads to demolished houses and homeless IDPs. The inhabitants have to wait, sometimes for years, before a plot is allocated. The secretary-general of the Ministry of Planning admitted in December 2004 during a meeting with local NGOs working with IDPs that their capacity is too small, the problem too big, so they are simply not able to do the job.

“Their capacity is too small, the problem too big, so they are simply not able to do the job”.

continuing policy of repeatedly relocating people warning causes problems for the IDPs. The government does so without planning and waits for NGOs to fill the gap. Additionally, there is a debate about the

It could also be argued that IDPs are essentially not a priority of the governments of Sudan and Khartoum State. NGOs meeting on a weekly basis with representatives of the Commission of







running small programs in squatter areas, the government disputes whether this is within their domain.

El Fatah III 16

When asked, the Commission of Voluntary Humanitarian Work could indeed not show a work plan or tell what their budget is for 2006 or was in 2005. Nor could they tell how many relocations are scheduled for this year. Following an incident in May 2005 in the squatter camp Soba Aradi, the government of Khartoum relocate promise. In a memorandum of 30 September 2005 OCHA stated that some 236.000 people are at risk of forced relocations in Khartoum State: “The Governor of Khartoum has stated repeatedly that further relocations will take place after this year’s rainy season (November 2005). The Governor has referred specifically to four areas: Angola and Mandela (sections of Mayo Camp), Soba Aradi and parts of West Omdurman. Residents of Soba Aradi and Mayo Camp are likely to be relocated to Sunduz area, near Jebel Aulia; residents from West Omdurman are likely to be relocated to El Fatah III. Both relocation sites have wholly insufficient services in place to sustain any population influx. If conducted in a similar manner to previously, the proposed forced relocations would create a major humanitarian crisis in Khartoum State”. As of early 2006 these planned relocations have not taken place. Khartoum State Governor, Abdul Haleem IDPs Mutafi, around recently Khartoum repeated to his announcement that he intends to relocate the living Sunduz15. However, preparations to improve services at the relocation sites have yet to be made. State people in promised to suspend relocations, when it does not have the means to a proper way. So far, however, the authorities have not kept their When the Special Representative of the

Humanitarian Situation

Secretary-General (SRSG) for Sudan Jan Pronk visited some of the IDP camps in early 2005, he stressed that the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan includes IDPs. “Most of the international NGOs had left in the late nineties and I see the signing of the CPA and the establishment of UNMIS as an opportunity to resume activities in the IDP camps.” Although Pronk heads the UN Mission in Sudan he is not responsible for the program decisions of UN divisions such as UNDP or IOM. Pronk’s visits to the camps resulted in an extra half million dollar for programs in the camps some observers say. The problem, however, is how to keep IDPs on the political agenda. Most NGOs and UN divisions are now ready to start programs in the devastated South to rebuild the infrastructure. They apparently do not envision investment in IDPs as a simultaneous investment in a peace dividend, regardless whether these people are integrating in the North or returning to their homelands in southern Sudan. An interagency rapid assessment report of November 2004 found that of the four camps investigated, in two of the four - Mayo Farms and Soba Aradi - the Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) was near the threshold of one death per 10.000 a day, which is considered an emergency. Soba Aradi was estimated to be 0.84 and Mayo Farms 0.9816. The assessment concluded that the health situation in urgently the demanded the humanitarian intervention. For the two other camps involved assessment, percentages were 0.42 for Wad el Bashier and 0.47 for Omdurman es Salaam. The number one

15 Khartoum State to relocate IDPs, Sudan Tribune, Februari 18, 2006.

16 Khartoum State interagency rapid assessment report, FAR and others, 2004


cause of death is a very treatable disease diarrhea, which was the cause of 37 percent of deaths. Not much has changed in the health or nutrition situation since the survey was done. “For the IDPs in Darfur we have been able to create a nutrition situation which is even better than before the conflict started. Those who are inside the IDP-camps in Southern Darfur are better off then those living in camps in and around Khartoum,” the SRSG Jan Pronk stated.

Health services are only available in a limited way. Services are only open during the day time and there are no emergency services. There are insufficient clinics and 57 percent of the households reported not going to clinics at all because it is too expensive.

“In Al Fatah III the child malnutrition rate is 11 times higher than the average number in Khartoum State”.
Example: Al Fatah

It is reasonable to fear that the health situation will worsen as soon as the government resumes demolitions and relocations. The interagency report found that less than 10 percent of schoolage children were eating three meals a day. Access to water had decreased and water prices increased due to destruction of water distribution points and pipelines caused by demolitions and increased brick making by those who were allocated a plot and building houses, which demands a lot of water.







economic assessment was conducted in Al Fatah III, one of the relocation sites far outside Khartoum17. Malnutrition rates of children under five stood in sharp contrast with children under five in Khartoum State. 19.67 Percent of children under five in Al Fatah suffered from severe malnutrition, while for Khartoum State rates stood at 1.75 percent. Some 21.31 percent of the children under five in Al Fatah showed signs of mild malnutrition, compared to 5.69 percent in Khartoum State 8.19 percent of the children under five in Al Fatah were moderately malnourished, while in Khartoum State the percentage was 2.37 as of October 2005. As many as 40 percent of the households, the surveyors found, eat only one meal per day, 43 percent have two meals a day and only 17 percent can afford three daily meals. All the participants of the survey reported that heir socio-economic status rapidly deteriorated after their arrival in Al Fatah III. The majority

Box 3: Ashwe’s personal story Ashwe is 35 years old. She has 4 children. Her husband and she do not have jobs. She works irregularly and sometimes her husband does odd jobs in the market and gets some money. “If you have money you have breakfast, at this moment I don’t have money so we eat only one meal per day.”

In all the camps there is a lack of proper sanitary facilities. Some 30 percent of the households are reported to have no access to latrines at all. People defecate in open areas. Others have access to public latrines or share one with neighbors. The situation was worst in Wad el Bashier, an official IDP-camp, with only 8 percent of the households having their own latrine, 43 percent with a public latrine and 48 percent without access to any.








employment in Al Fatah and near absence of job opportunities elsewhere, due to the remoteness and isolation of the settlement and consequent prohibitive transportation costs. It seems there is a direct relation between the deterioration of their situation and the relocation to a remote site in terms of job opportunities, transport costs and availability of services.

17 Rapid socio economic assessment, Enfants du Monde and others, November 2005


One of the core issues of negotiation in the CPA Among the adult population, the majority of fathers are earning an income, mostly as daily workers in trading or small scale business activities. But daily income (640 SD) is far below daily expenses, some 940 SD. One third of the households compensates for the lack of income by reducing one food intake and by consumption quarter compensate was the status of sharia law and its application to southerners, who are largely non-Muslim. The CPA states, “The judicial discretion of courts to impose penalties on non-Muslims shall observe the long established legal (sharia) principle that non-Muslims are not subject to prescribed penalties, and therefore remitted penalties shall apply”. However, since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, observers report little or no reduction in arrests of Many of the families (58 percent) have to pay for their water. Respondents reported that their consumption has declined due to lack of money. And nearly all of the households of Al Fatah III, 94 percent, have no access to latrines. southerners and non-Muslims under sharia law. This implies a lack of political will from the side of the National Congress Party to end the broad application of sharia law and implement the CPA.

borrowing funds.

Box 4: Deborah’s personal story Deborah has 3 children and is 21 years old. She came as a baby with her parents to NorthSudan. She was too young to remember anything of it. Deborah cleans the house of `Arabs’ in central Khartoum. Her husband has a job as well, but he saves the money for his study. Deborah spends about 400 SD (less then US$ 1,5) per day to feed her husband, her three children and herself.

“Almost ninety percent of the convicted in Omdurman is imprisoned for alcohol related-crimes”.
More than a year after signing of the CPA, a special commission to be appointed by the Presidency to ensure that the rights of nonMuslims are protected has yet to be established. “The National Congress Party (NCP) is playing games with us,” an SPLM observer says. “We have discussed this issue several times in an inter-party commission of SPLM and NCP. Their answer is that the federal government is secular

5. IDPs and the legal framework of Khartoum State

but they have no powers in the State of Khartoum, although their fellow party members are ruling Khartoum State,” the SPLM observer says. During negotiations, the SPLM accepted to have only five seats out of forty in Khartoum State, one commissioner and only two ministers. For the SPLM the recognition that southerners are living in Khartoum is more important than a representative representation in Khartoum State political bodies. Some observers say the big number of IDPs in Khartoum State has not been taken into account, and as result, their interests are not represented.

IDPs have always been targeted for breaking sharia law. Omdurman women’s prison is full of those convicted for breaking sharia law. Almost ninety percent of the convicted in Omdurman are imprisoned for alcohol related-crimes, mainly brewing. Every working day about fifty new detainees are brought before a special court without the assistance of a lawyer. They are fined and or given imprisonment. Most of the poor IDPs are not able to pay the fine so their imprisonment is doubled.


Discussions are still underway regarding the laws contradicting the CPA. According to the NCP some 60 laws contradict the Peace Agreement while the SPLM says it is 85 laws. “In legal terms nothing has changed in the capital,” the SPLM-spokesperson admits. So lashing, which is as painful for Muslims as nonMuslims, is one of the punishments still executed. A fifteen-year-old girl who was found `illegally pregnant’, was given a pregnancy test by the authorities and because she was pregnant, judged as an adult. She received one hundred lashes shortly after conviction. The girl was not defended by a lawyer during the courtcase as most of these cases are expedited jurisdiction and the majority of the arrested are not able to pay for a lawyer.


the of

‘political’ of these

leadership. stimulates

The the

government establishment of the


‘representative’ Congress Party.

committees. In fact they are considered bodies ruling National Sometimes they include some of the traditional leaders, but they definitely fail to represent the IDP community. In some sections of the IDP-camps, communitymembers themselves successfully established Community Based Organizations (CBO). Often these CBOs are mixture of traditional leaders and active community-members. There are only a few of them. Whether the reason for this is to be found in the effective controlling mechanism of the government, or in the apathy of the IDP population is unclear. Nevertheless, the CBOs are heavily distrusted by the government, which tries to control them through whatever means.

6. Coping mechanisms of IDPs and government control

CBOs have to register with the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and a HAC-representative attends the meetings. The nature of the HAC is controversial. It is a bureaucratic instrument to control activities of

Most IDPs are organized along language and tribal lines in the camps. Their traditional leaders represent them. There are, however, two types of ‘traditional’ leaders: the old, genuine leaders, and what people call `political’ leaders who were pushed to the front by the authorities. The North-Sudanese government tries to control the IDPs by corrupting their leaders and establishing a broad presence of security informants inside the camps. Leaders are rewarded with pieces of land for their attempts to convince their community to comply with decisions of the authorities with pieces of land. Of course crises arise when people do not go along with the decision of the representatives of the community as happened in the case of Soba Aradi, where the Popular Committee agreed to relocation. in May There 2005. the population Popular resisted resulting in the death of more than thirty people These Committees





and international

NGOs. One member of civil society described it as “the friendly face of security”. Every NGO in Sudan has to register with this body. Application procedures of international NGO’s for Sudanese personnel go through HAC, which screens the application letters subsequently sent to the NGOs. “We don’t know whether we see all the applications,” says one of the staff of an international NGO. “We suppose they try to push their own candidates to get informers inside our organizations.” A member of HAC attends Minister security interviews of apparatus,” with said candidates. Affairs a sits member “Our on a of Humanitarian

parliament of the SPLM, which took over the department. The HAC is believed to report directly to the national security service which falls under the responsibility of president Omar al-Bashir. “We try to reform the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the body of HAC, but things are slow,” a SPLM/A parliamentarian said.


In advance of the influx of international NGOs that are expected to start activities now the CPA has been signed, the government registered a big number of Sudanese NGO’s with HAC. This strategy of controlling international agencies by pushing them to coordinate with local agencies is not new. Called ‘twinning’, it was introduced in the early 1990s in an effort to control the activities of international NGOs, mainly by forcing them to work through local Islamic NGOs in the name of building local capacity. “It’s their answer to keep control over activities and the civil society. They think NGOs create awareness and cause trouble for the government,” one observer says. Last year, the National Commission Combating Desertification, a platform for some twelve national NGOs, tried to elect a new general assembly. The HAC representative who attended the meeting came with fifteen new member organizations, which hijacked the general assembly. The body is now dysfunctional. During the African Union summit in January 2006 civil society organizations tried to convene a civil society forum for discussing issues to influence and lobby during the summit in Khartoum. Before they had entered the hall was already filled with hundreds of members of newly gathering. It is this commission that controls the activities of the scarce community-based organizations in the IDP camps. This leads to the conclusion that political space of those CBOs is extremely limited. When the crowd continued to push forward and some of the police officers found themselves surrounded they shot at the crowd, killing an eight-year-old child and angering the crowd even more. The police continued shooting at the people, but ran out of ammunition. The crowd then started to go after the police and members of the Popular Committee, killing fourteen of them. They set a police station and cars afire. established government-allied organizations, resulting in a total failure of the Riots and relocations In in the the early morning camp of Soba May 18, on 2005 the schoolchildren and laborers who left their homes squatter Aradi outskirts southeast of Khartoum found one section of their settlement surrounded by police and soldiers. They were told to get back in their houses, and police officers entered the neighborhood saying that they had come to relocate some of them. Although rumors of a forthcoming relocation had flourished, and the Governor of Khartoum State had repeatedly expressed his intention to relocate part of the population of Soba Aradi, they were not given advance warning. This, however, is required under international law.

The case of Soba Aradi

“HAC is the friendly face of security”.
A year before, houses in the same area were demolished leaving people living under canvas, cardboard and plastic. On May 18, lorries were waiting to transport part of the population and their scarce belongings to a relocation site outside Khartoum. The police ordered those living in the sealed-off area to get onto the trucks. An argument started between the inhabitants and the police. The crowd pushed forward and the police had to retreat to the compound of the police station and the adjacent compound of the Popular Committee. They used teargas and fired in the air.


Soldiers and police outside the IDP camp did not enter to help their colleagues in trouble or calm down the crowd. Five inhabitants were killed on the spot by police bullets and another thirteen died of their injuries afterwards, lawyer Tarig Ibrahim Elshikh stated. On May 18, the Khartoum State authorities intended to relocate 6.000 families to Sunduz, a relocation site for IDPs some fifty kilometers outside Khartoum in the desert. With only four water yards with a capacity for 58.000 people, there were hardly any services available to receive the people from Soba Aradi. There was no shelter and no health and sanitary facilities. For the other 5.000 families who were living in Soba, according to the Khartoum State, authorities no provisions were made. The demolishing and relocation of Soba Aradi is not unusual, it reflects long-established government policy towards the IDPs. Typically, houses are demolished without any provision for the inhabitants. In another squatter area Shikan houses were demolished in December 2004. The residents had to wait eight months before being removed to Al Fatah relocation site. In the interim people stayed in makeshift huts and tents on the site of the squatter area. It is striking that authorities neglected to register the people living in Soba Aradi before starting relocation. There is no official registration of IDPs in the four official camps and the so-called squatter areas. As a result, the government repeatedly underestimates the number of inhabitants affected by the relocations, leaving many without shelter and any future prospect on where to settle. Most of these people squat again. According to OCHA an estimated 20.000 families were living in Soba Aradi at the time the authorities wanted to relocate 6.000 of them. That is 2.000 families or 14.000 people above the estimation of the government authorities. No provisions were taken for them as the relocation started. According to lawyer Tarig Ibrahim Elshikh the number of families staying in Soba Aradi is even

higher: 25.000. He is preparing a case as many of the families paid land fees to the Popular Committee, some up to 500.000 Sudanese Dinars and have receipts or title-deeds as proof. After the rioting and killing on May 18th in Soba Aradi the police retreated to come back with an even bigger force of 6.400 police six days later. They arrested a large number of people. “Police are reported to have targeted leading figures within the IDP community including members of the `Block Allocation Committee’ established by residents in 2004 to fight alleged corruption in the block allocation by the Popular Committee,” OCHA states. Residents said that many people were randomly arrested. During the following days and weeks, police and intelligence in and outside the camp made further arrests. On June 5th, security forces came to the market to arrest people and beat anyone they found on their way. Two days later they returned and set a small market on fire again arresting and beating people. Water tanks were dismantled leaving the community without water for some days. In total 600 people were rounded up. After the incident some of the families who lost a family member were offered money or land to keep quiet, others were warned. The arrested were kept at different locations, prisons and police stations. Most of them were beaten and threatened by their interrogators, while the lawyers were denied access to their clients. In a number of cases this lasted up to five months. The lawyers were obstructed from seeing their clients. For example, when they finally got the attorney general’s permission to interview their clients, the prisoners were removed from Kober prison just before the lawyers arrived. Over 400 of those arrested were convicted for smaller crimes such as `damaging property of the state’ or `breaking the peace’ and alcohol related crimes as they were caught with alcohol or brewing equipment during the police raids. They were fined, imprisoned for periods up to three months or were lashed, although the majority were non-Muslim. At least 135 people are still in


prison awaiting their trials, among them three women and three children under eighteen. The authorities still intend to relocate the inhabitants of Soba Aradi to Sunduz. “It might be this spring, but we will again resist,” say some of the inhabitants. Some of them arrived in Soba when the camp was set up in 1985 and build mud houses. “We live here and want to stay. We want to be given plots in Soba,” they say. The area has become increasingly valuable as an industrial zone has grown around it. Part of the settlement is allocated for commercial activity and some of the plots have already been sold to merchants. Most of the IDPs cannot afford the amount of money needed to buy a commercial or normal plot. “The new site is far from town, and we have to start all over again, which costs money. Some might lose their jobs, because they can not pay the transport costs to Khartoum,” they say. The IDPs are angry with the Popular Committee of Soba Aradi, which agreed to the relocation without even informing them or agreement of the population. After the incident, the Popular Committee was dissolved and some of the members left the camp18. Most inhabitants live in makeshift constructions on their plots as most of the houses are demolished.

strong protest to the Governor of Khartoum over the forced relocation and the manner in which it was done. This resulted in a Consultative Committee including authorities of Khartoum State, representatives of UN divisions and donor countries. It is acknowledged that the authorities have the right to re-plan and re-zone the city, but it is asked to do so in accordance with minimal international standards. The committee seeks to reach consensus with the authorities on policies relating to re-planning of IDP camps and squatter areas in Khartoum. It tries, in cooperation with the authorities to provide minimum standards and guidelines on consulting the communities to be affected, the plot allocation system, a notification period, opportunities for appeal, compensation for losses and minimum standards of services to be put in place in the relocation site, before the relocation occurs. So far, the committee met twice, the second time following the riots after the death of SPLM-leader John Garang in August 2005, but cooperation on the issue of relocation and demolitions with the authorities is still stiff, says a diplomat. The Governor of Khartoum only wants to discuss re-planning of the four official IDP-camps in the committee, not the more then thirty squatter areas. The committee is left in the dark over future relocations although they expect more are to come in the near future.

“The police came back, searching the
International attention The incident of Soba Aradi drew limited attention from the press, the donor community and the UN Mission in Sudan. Although there had been relocations during the last few years, this was the first time the population resisted forced relocation, resulting in violence between the police and residents and the death of more than thirty people. The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) of the UN, Jan Pronk, made a
Popular Committees are often a state mechanism of social control created by the government, including the members, who are sometimes government, not community, appointees.

IDPs’ houses and beating people in what is believed to be a campaign to harass and bully them”.
The SRSG, Jan Pronk, also contacted the federal government on Sudan over the issue, although re-planning officially is under the jurisdiction of Khartoum State. “We agreed a hold on forced relocations. For our part return of those who were forcibly relocated to the neighborhoods where services are available, but we can not guarantee so and so far not much has been attained in that respect,” he admits.


Since the Soba Aradi incident the authorities started building some facilities in Sunduz. In addition to the four water yards already in existence, the authorities built a police station, four schools and a health center. Jan Pronk’s comments to have prompted authorities to build at least some facilities before relocation, although these facilities are far below standards for the population estimated to be relocated to Sunduz. It also suggests that future relocations are still on the agenda. After ‘Soba Aradi’ Since the Soba Aradi incident relocations are not on hold. In June and July 2005 some 200 families from Jabrai and Al Asarat were forcibly removed to Sunduz in the dessert. Most families left Sunduz since that time, returning to

Fatah III lies at the far edge of the site bordering the desert where there is no transport available. People have to walk to Fatah II to take one of the scarce buses if they want to go to town. In the reception area 170 families live in their makeshift homes of canvas and under plastic sheets. Like the people in blocks 98 and 105, they were rounded up in Khartoum during the riots following Garang’s death, and their homes were burned or demolished. A total of 300 families were dumped in the reception area, but the others went back to Khartoum or left to return to their homelands in southern Sudan. The poorest families stayed behind, as they have no means to return to Khartoum or their homelands.

“In the wake of the riots following the death of John Garang, a number of families were rounded up in Khartoum to be removed to Al Fatah”.
Since their arrival, the police have visited five times, searching their houses and beating people in what is believed by the inhabitants to be a campaign to harass and bully them. The same abuses are suffered by those families living in blocks 98 and 105, apparently a sign that the police are targeting people they believe to be responsible for the riots after Garang’s death. The people rounded up during the riots were relocated to these three specific blocks in Al Fatah III. “They search all the houses, looking for alcohol and confiscating our belongings,” says one of the women. She and her family were taken from a planned area called Sarah. She was living in a hut on a compound belonging to someone who was building a house. The family was allowed to stay on the compound while guarding the house under construction. They did not take part in the riots but were randomly arrested and loaded on trucks. “Even when your kids were at school you were not allowed to wait for them,” she complained. Another woman was arrested for drinking alcohol during one of the raids in the reception area. “I was imprisoned for three

Khartoum to squat again and some families left to return to their home areas in southern Sudan. Only seventeen families remained at Sunduz.

“They search all the houses, looking for alcohol and confiscating our belongings.”
In August 2005, about 1200 families were forcibly relocated from Shikan squatter area in Khartoum to Al Fatah after their houses had been demolished a year earlier. During that period, they stayed in makeshift constructions on the site. In the wake of the riots following the death of SPLM leader John Garang, a number of families were rounded up in Khartoum to be removed to Al Fatah III. Since their arrival they are staying in the so-called reception area, a place where families have to live until they are given a plot of land. Al Fatah lies fifty kilometers northwest of Khartoum in the desert. A special constructed road stops at the entrance of the settlement, where an estimated 259.000 people are living. Al Fatah started as a relocation site at the end of the 1990s and was extended to sections Fatah II and III over the years as more and more people were relocated to the settlement.


months,” she said. In total seven people were arrested in the reception area during the different raids. When the families arrived in August last year, there were no facilities and nothing to construct their houses and protect them from the sun, the blowing desert wind or the cold nights. Some NGOs brought plastic sheets and poles to build houses and supplied food for one week. Furthermore, a water bladder was installed. The only health facility is a mobile clinic in one of the blocks of Fatah III that is open three days a week. There are no jobs in the area and no schools. OCHA asked several NGOs to start programs in order to support the people, so far without success. Most of those who had jobs lost them, because they cannot afford the transport costs to and from Khartoum. Some stay for several days with family or friends in Khartoum to go to work and reduce the transport costs, leaving their children alone at home. “My husband went to Shikan with two of our sons so they can attend school. He stays with his brother in order to get some work as casual laborer. Once a week he comes over and brings 500 Dinar,” a woman says, which is less then two dollars for her and her three other children to live on for a whole week.

8. Return

Almost everyone expected a massive return of IDPs and refugees to southern Sudan after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on the 9th of January 2005. Riek Machar, vicepresident of southern Sudan warned at the end of the rainy season last year of a `tsunami’ of returning IDPs to the South.

“Riek Machar warned of a tsunami of returning IDPs to the South”.
Wendy Chamberlin, deputy high commissioner of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimated in February 2005 that some 600.000 people had already returned to the south spontaneously. She warned of the lack of basic infrastructure to receive these people. For that reason, UN divisions department return nor including Return, organize the International and only Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UNMIS Rehabilitation repatriation. The Reintegration (RRR) do not encourage people to planned organized repatriation was the return of 10 to 15.000 southerners from Darfur (mainly Dinkas who had fled the war in the south in the 1980s and were now caught up in the violence in Darfur) to their homes in Bahr al Ghazal before the rainy season started in March, for security reasons. It was believed to be more dangerous for them to stay in war-ravaged Darfur. The only other organized return was a south-south return of Dinka staying in SPLMheld territory to their homes in Bor. At the end of January some 3000 people were still waiting, and had been for one month already, in the southern town of Juba, because they have to cross territory where they are likely to be raided of their cattle. Currently the RRR plans to set up way stations with minimal facilities for those who decide to return spontaneously. Only two were in place at the end of January, in Kosti and in Juba. They

Last December, a delegation of the inhabitants of the reception area went to the Khartoum authorities to ask whether they would be given plots. The commission promised to visit the reception area, but so far they have not shown up and the families remain uncertain about their fate. Some are even selling their scarce belongings to cope with the situation. The inhabitants made a construction where children of all ages gather to give them at least some education.


plan to have eighteen way stations in place at the end of the dry season in March but it is not likely they will succeed. During the next dry season they will arrange another nine way stations of a total of twenty-seven. The way stations are to provide shelter, water, dry portions of food and probably cooking facilities. People are expected to stay only for a few days before continuing their journeys. In Kosti, however, people stay for weeks because they have to wait for the scarce barges, which bring them south on the river. IOM arranged information centers in the four official IDP camps to provide information about the situation and attempt to answer the questions of those interested to return. They have no presence in squatter areas due to government policy. IOM and RRR are supposed to help the vulnerable returnees, such as the disabled, women and children, but are hardly able to assist, because things are not in place. From questions of IDPs visiting their centers IOM made a list of the most frequently asked questions. At the top is the question of when

organized return will start. This is followed by questions about who will be in charge of transportation and repatriation, whether the mines are removed, and what social services are available. Questions range from education, food aid, food security and livelihood upon arrival in their homelands to the security situation along the return routes and in the home areas. In a survey of June 2005, IOM asked some 7000 IDPs all over northern Sudan about the return issue. It was to ensure adequate assistance to returning IDPs, to collect data on the intentions, motivations and concerns of IDPs regarding voluntary return. The average household for sampled IDP families was 6.3 persons so the interviewed 7020 represented 44.238 persons. The average age for the interviewed population was 22 years. The interviewed and their families came from all over Sudan, the majority from the South, others from Darfur and eastern Sudan. For the IDPs who originate from South-Sudan, 80 percent said they would return. Of those who

Returnees in Juba, South-Sudan


wanted to return, 78 percent said they wanted to return to their place of origin and only 2 percent said they would return to another village or town. Only 10 percent did not make up their mind and the remainder of 10 percent said they will not return19. It is hard to predict how many people will return, but serious questions can be asked about the methodology and thus the outcome of this survey. There is no known example in Africa or elsewhere of peasants returning home in massive numbers to take up their lives after living in urban centres for ten years or more. Recent experiences in Angola and Mozambique show that after years of conflict people often stay where they have been displaced. There are, however, many differences between these countries and Sudan, including the racial and ethnic and religious discrimination southerners face in northern Sudan, which could be an incentive for IDPs to return to the south. IDPs, like others, try to create opportunities for themselves. Some have built up their lives outside their home areas and have no reason to squander opportunities in the places they live for an uncertain future in their home areas, however scarce their opportunities might be in the places they are living. Chances for jobs, education for their children or simply to survive in the IDP camps seem to be higher than an uncertain future in the South. Some opt for doubling their chances by keeping their plots in Khartoum and also trying to rebuild their lives in southern Sudan. Some travel between the two places or rent out one of them. Only a few people seem to see return as a political issue. Those that do say they want to rebuild the South and vote in the referendum for separation of the South. Still others want to stay to finish their children’s education or wait until security is better or social services are established. Some families or groups of IDPs send scouts to assess the situation in their places of origin. Others do return with their families. But there are also
19 IDP intentions concerning return to their places of origin, IOM and others, June 2005

stories of families who returned to the IDP camps after failing to rebuild their lives in South-Sudan. These stories make people increasingly wary of the conditions in their home areas. The civil war left few schools, health clinics, water and sanitation facilities or buildings intact. Some even argue that those

who return to the South will stay in the cities and towns because of the lack of services in their home villages. This could lead to rapid urbanization of the bigger towns in the south. The overall IDP population is young; many grew up as an IDP in the camps and have little to no experience with agriculture.

“Investment in IDPs is an investment in peace”.
Even more striking is the rapid socio-economic assessment conducted by Enfants du Monde in October 2005 in Al Fatah20. People were asked whether they intended to stay or return to the South. It is important to look at the context of the findings. Al Fatah is a relocation site fifty kilometers north of Khartoum, out in the desert. All the participants reported that their socioeconomic status rapidly deteriorated after their arrival in Al Fatah III, due to lack of job opportunities or transportation costs to go to work in Khartoum. Virtually all of the households interviewed, reported not having come by their own free will. The majority of the participants had been forcibly relocated, their houses demolished, loaded onto trucks without being informed about their final destination. And yet, two thirds of the families interviewed plan to stay permanently in Al Fatah III. A quarter of the families do not wish to stay and about 8 percent had not made up their minds. For about half of those who wish to stay, the main motivation is the fact that they own a plot or the hope to have one assigned. Nearly a quarter also mentioned the desire to settle down as decisive factor. Almost a fifth of the informants cited the lack of services and job opportunities

20 Rapid socio econmic assessment, Enfants du Monde and others, October/November 2005


in areas of origin as a deterrent to return. Of the households wishing to leave, about a third mentioned lack of employment opportunities in AL Fatah and about a quarter mentioned the lack of services available in the relocation site. Over a third were eager to return to their places of origin, and some were motivated by the peace agreement. Thus owning a plot of land or hoping to be assigned one appear to be decisive factors for people’s decision to stay even under harsh circumstances, as in Fatah. Most of the interviewed (86 percent) were already living on assigned plots, but those who own a plot do not possess any official or legal documents to certify their ownership of the land and virtually all of the families (94 percent), have not yet paid anything for it. In the December 2004 survey, the interagency rapid assessment report also found a link between access to land and the decisions to stay in Khartoum. A remark can be made about the outcome of the Enfants du Monde survey. It might be true that families already left for the South before the survey was done. Still the contrast with the outcome of the survey of IOM is big where they found 80 percent of the southerners wanted to return. Some observers argue the government is giving people hope by selling plots to IDPs in order to keep part of the IDPs in northern Sudan as a pool of cheap labour and to influence the referenda in the South. On the other hand the riots after John Garangs death in August last year revealed the potential destabilizing threat of the big number of IDPs living in Khartoum. For that reason the government might want them to go.

place. They do not focus on improving the situation of IDPs in northern Sudan or help them integrate, according to a spokesperson. For the SPLM there is also a political interest to have people return so they can vote to stay with the north or separate in the referendum five years from now. If people stay in the North they cannot vote. Many UN divisions and NGOs now concentrate on programs designed for rebuilding the South. Jan Pronk’s plea to resume activities in the IDP camps sounds reasonable. Surely there is humanitarian need to do. But investment in IDPs is also an investment in peace dividend between the North and the South. Whether people are staying or returning, skills training or income generating programs will enable them to improve their lives and give them a better choice over whether to stay and become a full value citizen in the North or to leave and reintegrate in the South.

Box 5: Mary’s personal story Mary returned from Omdurman (Khartoum) to Juba in the South with one of her three children last December. In Omdurman IDP camp she earned a living as a teacher for more than fourteen years. Because the UN told her that women are needed to rebuild the South, she returned. Now she sleeps in the open air and is desperately looking for work and a place to live. “I cannot rebuild the South here. I need to rebuild my own life!”

9. Conclusions

The signing of a peace treaty between the It might be reasonable to expect that far less than 80 percent of the IDPs will return home and thus stay in the North. The SPLM, now part of the federal government, is focusing on return. Most important for them is to rebuild the South and get government infrastructure in government of Sudan and the rebel movement SPLM/A early 2005, brought an end to one of the longest and most brutal wars on the African continent. It was a sign of hope for a better future for those living in war-affected areas in















displaced people originating from the South. A year after signing, the implementation of the peace treaty is already behind schedule. The situation of the two million IDPs in and around Khartoum has not improved. On the contrary, their situation has deteriorated as a result of demolition work and them being relocated to sites far outside Khartoum. In all the camps there is lack of sufficient basic services, such as healthcare, water facilities and latrines. Many have lost their jobs, because they cannot number afford of to travel to Khartoum. from The children suffering severe

relocation as a collective punishment, Khartoum State is aggressively violating principle 18 of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Furthermore, on a broader policy level, the authorities have consistently neglected to provide minimal basic services (principle 18). Secondly, all Sudanese authorities violate their commitments in the CPA. They neither respect the right to freedom of movement and choice of place of residence, nor do they stop sharia law being applied to non-Muslims. By these actions, they violate relevant international human rights law, polarize and politicize existing social tensions and destabilize the peace treaty. However, poor management and disinterest are not a cause in themselves. The findings in this research suggest of that more fundamental and the economic and political interests of both the government North-Sudan government of South-Sudan are behind it. of The administration of Khartoum State has

malnutrition is eleven times higher than the average malnutrition rate in Khartoum State. It is estimated that the mortality rate exceeds the emergency line of one death per 10,000 a day. In short, humanitarian conditions in the camps around Khartoum are dire. Even the IDPs in Darfur are better off, SRSG Jan Pronk states. This report regards the misgovernment

Khartoum State, the lack of political will on the federal level and limited influence on the side of the SPLM (as they are a minority in the federal government deteriorating Khartoum. The Soba Aradi case reveals some alarming tendencies in the governmental policy on IDPs. Firstly, it suggests that the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, signed by the government in mid 2004 and incorporating relevant standards of international law, are consistently being ignored. Instead of protecting the IDPs against forcible resettlement in any place where their life, safety, liberty and health is at risk (principle sites of 15d), the authorities absolute were themselves force their citizens to move to relocation worse, lacking the even the minimal facilities needed for survival. Even many relocated IDPs subjected to collective punishment after the and in the administration of IDPs of Khartoum State) as underlying causes for the situation around

legitimate economic motives for making space for urban and industrial expansion. In doing so, however, the administrators and politicians have the duty to take into account the welfare and human security of all those people who are directly affected by the relocations. The UN Guiding Principals on Internal Displacement and the CPA insist on this. The IDPs’ well-being cannot be subordinated to urban economic interests. The administration of Khartoum State is therefore obliged to reorganize its management before continuing the relocations. Khartoum State and the government of NorthSudan are split politically, as far as their interests with respect to the IDPs are concerned. On the one hand, Khartoum State needs them as a cheap and exploitable labour force. It needs their presence in the city for the dirty work and therefore does not want to see all of them transported far outside Khartoum city. Nor would the economy of Khartoum State continue to flourish if all IDPs returned to the


South. The number of IDPs, however, poses a serious north ‘threat’ Sudan to the that social they balance might and gain stability of Khartoum city. The government of fears influence in Khartoum. The riots after Garang’s death indicated the conflict potential of two million marginalized IDPs in a city of six million. The forthcoming government elections and the plebiscite for unity or separation, might lead the government of northern Sudan to the conclusion that Khartoum, the economic and political capital of North-Sudan, must get rid of its southern IDPs as soon as possible. Excessive methods, such as the harassment and hunting down of IDPs, the delays in the implementation of the CPA, the chaos within its administration, may support this long-term goal. For the South-Sudanese government interests in the IDPs are so far restricted to its political agenda. The two million southerners in Khartoum State were not of primary concern, when the SPLM negotiated its political presence in the northern state. The SPLM (now the government of South-Sudan) contented itself with only one-ninth of the forty seats in Khartoum State. Being recognized as a significant political participant was believed to be more important than actually representing their people in the North. As a result, the influence of the government of South-Sudan regarding the situation of the IDPs around Khartoum government is of practically non-existent. is The South-Sudan furthermore

continue the planned relocations of IDPs to Sunduz, a place far out in the desert, with wholly insufficient facilities. If conducted in a similar way as previously, the proposed forced relocations will create a major humanitarian crisis in Khartoum State. Now that the entire international community is focusing on rebuilding the South and the crisis in Darfur, this large marginalized group of IDPs is once again being forgotten. The Sudanese federal government, and concerned parties, such as the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), donor countries, and national and international improvement and South. The international donor community must NGOs of the must explicitly classify as an IDPs’ situation

investment in the peace dividend between North

broaden its scope to include the IDPs staying in the North. The UN Mission in Sudan should not only assist in reintegration programs in the South, IDPs but should also be facilitate enabled to (re)integration build a life, programmes for IDPs in the North. Sudanese regardless of where they settle in the future. International and national NGOs should restart or broaden their humanitarian and reintegration programs, such as skills development building, in and the community-based capacity

camps in Khartoum State. The federal government of Sudan and the administration of Khartoum State can no longer be allowed to continue their neglect and misgovernment of the IDPs. The Sudanese authorities should not restrict NGOs in their humanitarian and social support in the official as well as the ‘unofficial’ community IDP camps. The international should critically

primarily focused on the IDPs’ return, partly because a ‘tsunami of returnees’ was expected, but mainly because it estimates that votes of returning IDPs will be decisive for the outcome of the referendum. This report portrays the IDPs living in and around Khartoum as a group of people that are repeatedly used and misused for political and economic purposes. Their security and human dignity are consistently neglected. A peace treaty on paper has so far not helped them. In February 2006, the governor of Khartoum State, Abdul Haleem Mutafi, announced his intention to

monitor the humanitarian, social and economic position of IDPs in the North and press the Sudanese authorities to guarantee the human security of the IDPs in Khartoum State.



Annex 1: Map of IDP camps in Khartoum State

Al Fatah, 50 km (259.000)

Riv e r

Esba (7,000) OES Squatters Nivasha (????)

Nil e

Khartoum North
Angola (20,400) Salahin (16,200)

Large Hill

OES (136,000) WEB (54,000)

Haj Yousif (90,000)

Blue Nile River
Khartoum Airport

Ahank Agang

Sheik Abuzeed

Nile Rive r

( #### )


Replanning Process Squatter Area

Whi te

Mayo Squatters (72,600) Official IDP Camp Engaz Planned Area

Sunduz & Jebel Aulia, 20 km Jebelaulia, (65.000) 20km
(60,000) Mayo (80,400)

Azhary Salama (30,000) Soba Arradi (60,000) Soba Hills (35,000)

Source: Khartoum State interagency rapid assessment report, FAR and others, 2004


Annex 2: List of abbreviations CBO CMR CPA GoS GoSS HAC IDP IOM JEM NCP NGO RRR SLA SPLM/A SRSG UN UNDP UNHCR UNMIS Community Based Organization Crude Mortality Rate Comprehensive Peace Agreement Government of North-Sudan Government of South-Sudan Humanitarian Assistance Committee Internally Displaced Person International Organization for Migration Justice and Equality Movement National Congress Party Non-Governmental Organization Return, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Sudan Liberation Army Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army Special Representative of the Secretary-General United Nations United Nations Development Program United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees United Nations Mission in Sudan


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