Darfur: with camps for internally displaced nearing capacity, UN seeks new sites

20 March 2007

Camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region are almost at full capacity due to a continuing influx of people fleeing violence, with 30,000 people uprooted last month alone, the United Nations reported today.

Since January 80,000 people have fled, on top of half a million others displaced in 2006. Since fighting between the Sudanese Government, allied militias and rebels seeking greater autonomy erupted almost four years, more than 200,000 people have been killed and some 2.5 million more displaced, 230,000 of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Chad.

The most recent UN humanitarian update from Darfur noted the need to locate a site for a new camp in the vicinity of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur province. A new site has been identified near Zam Zam camp, which is nearing maximum capacity.

Last week, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that IDP camps were sheltering 50,000 to 100,000 people apiece. “We simply cannot absorb any more displaced,” UNICEF country representative Ted Chaiban said on his return from a visit to Darfur.


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