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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Darfur refugee tale: Dinka farmer
The crisis in Sudan's Darfur region is often portrayed as a simple conflict between Arabs and Africans, but as the World Food Programme's Greg Barrow discovers, the reality on the ground is much more complex. Machar Tong Din , a Dinka who has been living in a camp for internally displaced people for 16 years in Nyala, South Darfur, told him his story:

Machar Tong Din, a Dinka who has been living in a camp for internally displaced people for 16 years in South Darfur, Sudan
Mr Din would return home to Bhar Al Ghazal if he could raise the money

I came here in 1988 from the village of Awil in Bhar Al Ghazal in southern Sudan.

I am 48 years old, and married with two wives and three children.

When we lived in the south, we used to have lots of cattle.

Now we have nothing, we just earn a small amount from our labour, and we get food from the World Food Programme (WFP).

We came here because our places in Bhar Al Ghazal were burned by Arab Muraheleen horsemen and we heard that we could farm land in South Darfur.

Staying alive

Psychologically, I am not affected by being here, because I am attached to my cattle and my homeland and I am waiting for the time when I can go there again.

Here, I am just trying to stay alive until I can go back.

Some of us can even remember the cattle that we used to have and when we go back, we will try to find them.

I have heard about the peace negotiations in the south, but as you can see, we are people who depend on the WFP for food.

We have no money for transport, or any means to go back to our homeland.

If I could find the money to go back to the south, I would go tomorrow.




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