Ethiopian forces will shortly join the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), bringing with them their engineering skills to be used in the areas of water installation and the erection of tents and electric power lines.
The advance party of the first Ethiopian Infantry Battalion to join UNAMID – which seeks to quell the deadly fighting and humanitarian suffering that has raged in the Sudanese region since 2003 – is scheduled to arrive in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state and the headquarters of the mission, over the weekend.
UNAMID said the contingent will be deployed in Kulbus and Silea, both located in West Darfur.
An estimated 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur, an arid and impoverished region on Sudan’s western flank, since 2003, either through direct combat or disease, malnutrition and reduced life expectancy, while another 2.7 million people have been forced to flee from their homes.
In a related development, UNAMID’s Nyala office has received reports that following talks between Deputy Special Representative Henry Anyidoho and South Darfur Governor Ali Mahmoud, the issue of restricting fuel allocations to the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) is being resolved.
Oxfam, a non-governmental organization, has “informed us that its fuel allocation was approved as requested, and they were allocated sufficient fuel to run their water pumps in Kalma for a week,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.
Other aid agencies have also expressed their satisfaction with the current Government fuel allocations, he said.