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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Ask displaced people in a Darfur camp
Composite image of Darfuris [Pics: Mohammed Nureldine]

Four-and-a-half years of fighting between Sudan's government, pro-government Arab militias and rebel groups in the western Sudanese region of Darfur has driven more than 2m people from their homes.

The BBC's Amber Henshaw has been at a camp for displaced people in north Darfur, and put your questions to some of its residents. Their answers will be published later on Friday.

Read about the Abu Shouk camp below and the six people who have first-hand experience of the horrors of this conflict:


Birds of prey hover over piles of rubbish in barren land just metres away from Abu Shouk.

See what Abu Shouk camp in north Darfur looks like

The sprawling, dusty camp is now home to as many as 55,000 people forced to flee their villages during more than four years of conflict in the region.

The camp, which is on the outskirts of El Fasher town in north Darfur, stretches out as far as the eye can see - row after row of brown shacks and plastic sheeting behind brown walls, down narrow alleys.

Donkeys pulling carts and women dressed in brightly coloured clothes wander around the camp dodging small beaten-up blue taxis.

The majority of people living in this camp are from the Fur tribe. They make up about 95% of the population.

Many of the people I spoke to were supporters of the faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Mohamed Ahmed el-Nur - the influential rebel leader who made it clear from the outset that he would not be attending peace talks due to start in Libya on Saturday.


There is a small busy market in the camp selling fresh fruit and vegetables... in some ways life trundles on.

But at night it is a different story here - people say they are terrified to go to sleep.

They describe hearing shootings but they say there is no-one around to tell - no-one around who can do anything about it.

Residents say there are more and more guns in the camp.


Hawa, student [Pic: Mohammed Nureldine]
Hawa is the oldest of ten children

Hawa Abdullah Mohammed is the oldest of 10 children - the youngest is just four years old.

They all live in the camp with their parents.

Hawa said they fled from a village near Tawila when it was attacked by Janjaweed Arab militia on horses and camels, and in vehicles in March 2003.

She said planes bombed them and they were forced to scatter.

They walked for days - according to Hawa - to find protection. Hawa said many women were attacked on the way. She said many women were raped - even some from her own family.

One of Hawa's brothers was captured by the Janjaweed and tortured. She said they wanted him to take care of the cattle - he got released seven months later.

Hawa - who is from the Fur tribe - was in high school when she was forced to flee from the village.

She has now enrolled in El Fasher University where she is studying English.


Khaled, graduate [Pic: Mohammed Nureldine]
Khaled has a degree in economics and political science

Twenty-seven-year-old Khaled Abdel Muti Ali is a graduate from a university in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

He got a degree in economics and political science in 2004 but decided to return to Darfur rather than stay in Khartoum to look for a job.

Khaled said he wanted to be near his parents and his four brothers and five sisters.

His father is from one of the Arab tribes called the Rizeigat and his mother is from the Fur tribe.

Khaled is not working in the camp but says he sometimes helps out doing odd jobs for the non-governmental organisations that work in the camp.

He said he witnessed some 5,000 Janjaweed militia in his village of Tarnei which used to be home to about 125 families.

He said people were raped and killed.

Khaled said the attackers threatened them to kill them if they refused to hand over their money.


Omda Salah Bakhoor fled from his village with his family five years ago.

He is a 30-year-old elder from the Fur tribe who is married with three children - two girls and one boy.

In February 2002, Salah said his village Tawila in north Darfur was attacked.

He described it being bombed, burnt and looted.

Salah said he used his car to move the villagers to a safe place but they were followed and attacked by Janjaweed militia.

He said he was forced to watch his 14-year-old cousin being raped by four men at a time.

The family walked for days to get to safety but lived in squalid conditions before they moved to the camp for internally displaced people.


Khadija, elder [Pic: Mohammed Nureldine]
Khadija wants peace to come so she can return home

Sixty-year-old Khadija Ibrahim Mohammed is married with nine children.

A big attack four years ago in north Darfur where she lived forced her family to flee from their land and farm.

She said the area around Tawila was razed to the ground.

She described seeing houses being set on fire with children too small to walk still inside.

She said in one incident she saw two students shot dead as they lay asleep in bed.

Khadija doesn't like living in the camp.

She said she can't sleep at night because she is not feeling safe or secure.

She just wants to go back home but not until there is peace in Darfur.


Wodi [Pic: Mohammed Nureldine]
Wodi wants to start a new life somewhere else

Wodi Dawoud is married and came from Gad Al-Haboub - a town in south Darfur.

He said four of his siblings have died since the conflict started

He still has two sisters and one brother who are alive and living in Abu Shouk camp.

He was living abroad doing various jobs when the violence escalated in 2002 but returned to be with his family after finding out what was happening to his family and friends.

When he returned he went back to his village to collect cattle and witnessed a violent attack by militia.

He said huts were burned to the ground with small children still inside.

Wodi said he does not want to go back after what he has seen.

He wants to start a new life somewhere else.


Mohammed - who didn't want to give his real name for fear of reprisals - is 25.

He has just graduated with a degree in English and Geography at the university in nearby El Fasher.

He had just finished high school in his local town before he had to flee with his family - his parents and six siblings.

He had to re-sit the exams before he could start university.

He said they fled when the Janjaweed and government attacked his village.

He said 24 bombs were dropped by Antonov planes.

Mohammed said his grandmother and two cousins were killed - he added that no-one cared about people's ages... young and old alike were killed.

Mohammed said life in Abu Shouk is very dangerous.

He talked about shootings at night.

He said he thought the government was trying to force people to go home.

Composite image of Darfuris [Pics: Mohammed Nureldine]

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