Kalma camp incident: Final casualty toll, and UNAMID to meet concerned parties
27 August 2008 -- On 25th August 2008, violent clashes erupted at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp of Kalma, near Nyala, the capital city of South Darfur, between military and police units of the Government of Sudan (GoS) attempting to forcibly enter the camp for executing a search warrant for weapons and drugs allegedly in the camp, and its residents.
These violent incidents resulted in numerous casualties and prompted UNAMID’s strong condemnation of the excessive and disproportionate use of force against civilians, in contravention of the Darfur Peace Agreement and International Humanitarian Law.
As part of its investigations of the Kalma incident, UNAMID sent an assessment team to Kalma today to further gather information of what happened at the camp. Composed of Officers of the UNAMID Formed Police Unit (FPU) of Nyala, Police Advisors, Military advisors and Human rights and Civil Affairs personnel, the mission of the team was to ascertain the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.
UNAMID has obtained concrete evidence of the death of 31 IDPs, among them 7 children, 10 women, and 13 men, aged 11 to 60, who were buried in Kalma. 30 of the victims were killed by gunshots while a woman fell to her death in a ditch, while attempting to flee the shooting. 51 wounded IDPs, including 14 children under the age of 17, 19 women, and 32 men, were evacuated by Médecins sans frontières (MSF) Holland, in the UNAMID military convoy of Monday 25 August. One of the evacuees subsequently died at Nyala hospital as a result of this gunshot wounds.
During their visit, UNAMID representatives and humanitarian personnel have expressed their condolences to the affected families, providing support and solace to the people of Kalma. Expressing their concerns, to which the armed presence maintained by GoS security forces in the camp, further contributes, Kalma Camp leaders have called for a meeting with UNAMID leadership. Responding immediately to their request, Rodolphe Adada, the African Union – United Nations Joint Special Representative and Chief of UNAMID, has directed that a high-level delegation engages today in a series of meetings with the IDPs and other concerned parties. In order to rebuild confidence among the IDPs of Kalma, another UNAMID assessment mission to the camp has been scheduled.