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Hard as stone

Displaced families in Labado

A Sudanese friend once told me that people from Darfur are really special. Every time someone makes them fall, Darfuris get back up. And so every time they suffer a setback, again stand with pride and perseverance. Men, women, elderly and children, all with dignity reappear from the rubble in order to resist. And so once again, and again, and again, indefinitely. They are tough and resilient people, like stones of the land they walk.

Labado, which in the local language means “hiding”, is a village located in the middle of nowhere in East Darfur, between the cities of Nyala and El Daein. There, from the clashes that erupted between the army, militias and rebel movements last April, the local population has been abandoned. All have left their homes and installed precarious shelters all around the United Nations base. They have no health care, access to water and food is limited and can not continue to cultivate the land and care for their livestock for the risk of being attacked again. But while humanitarian aid is still to come, they do not remain with arms crossed and look to survive with almost nothing. And they get it.

The same Sudanese friend told me that people of Darfur just need to be left in peace at once. They are not stupid. They know how to survive in their own land. The problem is that there is someone who seems determined to make them fall many times as rise.

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