El Fasher , May 11(Darfur 24)

Among the displaced people in the Zamzam IDP camp, 15 km west of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State, there is controversy over the identity of the individuals who join the Self-Defense Forces, or what are locally called “takushat.”

This controversy came to the fore, two weeks after the incidents of armed violence that occurred between the Rapid Support Forces and the armed struggle forces west of El Fasher. Who are these individuals who join the Self-Defense Forces in the camp?

The feminist activist in Zamzam camp, Hoda Hussein, told “Darfur 24” that the armed group calling itself “Takoshat” has plunged the camp into a crisis since its appearance in public after the glorious December Revolution, with its members involved in stealing livestock belonging to nomadic Arabs in the vicinity of the Kulqi area. And transported to the camp.

Hussein points out that the camp continued to witness constant threats from herders to attack it, due to the theft of livestock heads that were plundered by the Takoushat, which caused a state of terror and panic among the displaced people who had nothing to do with these events, from afar or close, but rather they were only victims of the armed group’s practices. .

She added: “Members of the Protection Forces, as they are falsely called, belong to some armed movements and commit thefts, perhaps due to insufficient salaries or personal ambitions.”

Clear escape

Muhammad Yahya, a trader in Zamzam market, expressed concern about the worsening conditions in the camp due to the violations committed by the Takoushat armed group targeting the displaced.

One of the notables of the civil administration in the camp – who preferred to conceal his identity – told “Darfur 24” that these forces refuse to recognize the civil administration, and also refused to submit to the joint force stationed in the camp.

He reported that the two sides exchanged fire several times, causing the death of a member of the joint force in the last robbery incident last month, before the joint force was able to arrest two of them involved. The incident coincided with the events west of El Fasher.

Connection to the joint force

“Darfur 24” newspaper surveyed some of the members of these forces, but they stipulated that they use titles instead of their names for security reasons.

A member of the Takushat groups, Kodenkar, 40 years old, told “Darfur 24” that he joined the protection forces to defend the camp to avoid massacres there.

He pointed out, while speaking to “Darfur 24” from inside the “Jaflo” market, that he joined the Displaced Persons Protection Forces in Zamzam camp in 2019 after the first events in Karding in West Darfur.

He stressed that he is a veteran of the “Ali Karbino” movement, as he abandoned it after the death of its leader and the displacement of his family to Zamzam camp.

Kedunkar expressed pride in the joint force affiliated with the armed struggle movements fighting alongside the Sudanese army against the Rapid Support Forces.

Kendonkar claimed that “had it not been for the joint force, the city of El Fasher would have fallen like the rest of the cities in Darfur,” before revealing that the protection forces in Zamzam are in contact with the joint force.

Kendonkar attacked the media and social media, accusing them of spreading rumors about the group’s practices to sow fear among citizens.

In turn, Terry, 50 years old, who was a fighter in the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arko Minawi before he abandoned it to work in agriculture, said that he joined the Takushat group in the camp voluntarily to provide for the displaced from the armed militias in Qalab in the vicinity of Kulqi.

Terry, a father of 5 children, stressed to “Darfur 24” that some of the displaced people call them “Takusha” because they do not know that some of them participated in several battles, before pointing out that he participated in the Battle of Abu Qamra within the ranks of the Sudan Liberation Movement.

Nayeri denied the accusation that some members of the group were involved in the thefts, but added: “There are abnormalities within the protection forces, and all members of the protection forces should not be accused of theft.”

Regarding whether they were the reason behind the explosion of the situation in the countryside west of El Fasher, Nyiri stated that they participated in the panic and lost lives dear to them.

Nayeri corrected the statements accusing the Protection Forces of being a militia parallel to the Rapid Support militias and targeting shepherds and nomads, and said that they carry weapons to protect the displaced and their property and are not a militia parallel to any party.

Insistence on protection

As for Karbino, a former employee of an organization working in the humanitarian field before the situation exploded on April 15, 2021, Karbino showed in his interview with “Darfur 24” his dissatisfaction with the security concerns that the city of El Fasher is witnessing these days.

Carbino accused population groups – which he did not name – in the Zamzam camp of being behind the negative talk towards the Takushat forces, while these forces have been protecting the camp since the era of the former governor, Nimr Abdel Rahman, who claimed that there were weapons in the camp and did not protect the displaced from the militias that continued to abuse them and who committed Violations, including cases of rape that affected a number of women, including children.

Carbino stressed that they will not back down from protecting their families no matter the cost, as Zamzam camp remained inaccessible to all militias thanks to the protection forces.

There are 450,000 displaced people living in Zamzam camp. Without Borders conducted a mass examination of 63,000 children there in March and April. It showed that 30% of them suffered from malnutrition, a percentage similar to that of pregnant and breastfeeding women, which indicates how bad conditions are in the camp.