Violence continues to hamper humanitarian aid in Sudan’s Darfur, UN says
Although many humanitarian activities, including a successful polio vaccination campaign, are currently being carried out in Sudan’s Darfur region, violence continues to threaten the operations, according to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
“Incidents of road banditry and fighting between the warring factions continue to disrupt long-term planning,” spokesperson Radhia Achouri said today at the weekly UNMIS press conference in Khartoum.
She said that in North Darfur state, a non-governmental organization (NGO) was forced to suspend its food distributions in the Dar Zaghawa area as a result of aerial bombings by the Government and the high risk of carjackings.
“If the situation does not improve, the NGO’s suspension of activities could also affect the populations in Kutum Rural, thus leaving 165,000 people without food assistance at the beginning of the hungry season,” she added.
She also said that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the continuous stream of new internally displaced persons (IDPs) is putting a serious strain on several camps, where services and space are running out.
The fact that thousands of Chadian civilians are also streaming into West Darfur is a worrying development, according to OCHA, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is currently investigating the reasons behind this massive move.
More than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2 million others forced to flee their homes in Darfur since 2003 when fighting flared between rebel forces, the Government and allied militias.
In Southern Sudan, recovering from a separate long-term civil war, UNMIS reports that strong co-operation on returnees continues between the Government of National Unity (GNU), the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and the UN.
During the past week returns have continued, with over 2,300 IDPs assisted in organized convoys, according to the mission.
Over 34,000 Sudanese IDPs have taken advantage of the transport arranged by the three partners to Southern Sudan and its neighbouring areas since road convoys commenced in early February, the mission said.