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mia farrow

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November 29, 2009

Displaced civilians in Darfur's camps being forced to register to vote. Those who resist are killed.

Having an election in Darfur sounds like a good idea. But the truth is that most of Darfurs people do not want to vote. They do not believe the election will be fair; there are widespread reports of ballot boxes being stuffed with votes for war criminal and current president Omar al-Bashir, and there is no candidate on the ballot the people want to vote for. They do not want their names being used in a process they believe will be fraudulent. "We would rather die than vote" is the message coming to me from Darfuris in the camps

So government officials, accompanied by army, police and janjaweed forces have begun to raid the camps. Those who resisted registration were killed. Reportedly UNAMID peacekeepers were also present but did nothing to stop the executions.

November 28, 2009 Seven Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were killed Friday in West Darfur following a wrangle between the residents and government troops which attempted to force them to take part in voter registration.

The IDPs ask the government to disarm militia and to bring to justice responsible of atrocities committed in the restive region as well as to conclude a peace deal with the rebel groups before organize elections in the country. However, the local authorities in Darfur launched a voter registration process in the three states of the province in a bid to count IDPs that the UN estimates their number to be 2.7 million.

The Sudanese regular forces and militia in West Darfur state on Friday evening at 05:00pm killed seven people in Deleij IDPs camp, some 280 klm from El Geneina the capital of West Darfur state. The incident took place after attempts by local officials to persuade the residents of the camp to register in electoral lists.

In a discussion with the officials who were accompanied by regular forces from the army and police besides Janjaweed militiamen the residents reiterated their rejection to the electoral operation.
"They had a hot discussion with the officials after declaring their support to (the rebel leader) Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, then the regular forces and the militia started shooting on the innocent civilians," said Hussein Abu Sharati the spokesperson of Darfur IDPs and refugees.

He further said the peacekeepers in the area were present but did not intervene to prevent the killing.

Speaking on Saturday afternoon, the IDPs spokesperson added the regular forces had been withdrawn after the killing.
Abu Sharati also stressed that what was happened in Deleij could be repeated in two other camps in North Darfur.
According the spokesperson, the Sudanese authorities already visited Al-Maliha and Kassap camps today and threatened to arrest tomorrow those who refuse the voter registration operation. "Today they already arrested seven local leaders (Mashaikh) from Kassap camp," he further said.
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