Aid access restored to troubled camp for displaced in Darfur, UN says

18 August 2010

Aid workers were today allowed back into a restive camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission to the Sudanese region reported.

Humanitarian access has been limited in recent weeks since fighting erupted in the Kalma camp in South Darfur state, leading to the deaths of several residents and protests within the camp about the Darfur peace process.

But the peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID, reported that aid groups were allowed in today, a day after they had been denied entry by local authorities, who cited security concerns.

Kalma is one of Darfur’s largest IDP camps and has been home to around 100,000 people, although some residents fled to nearby villages and the neighbouring UNAMID community policing centre (CPC) in the wake of the recent clashes.

The mission’s top officials, as well as other senior UN figures in Sudan, have been holding talks with the Government, camp residents and others in a bid to ease the tensions in Kalma.

Meanwhile, UNAMID is sending a mission to several villages outside the South Darfur town of Kass, where fighting between the Rizeigat and Misseriya tribes this week has reportedly killed at least 25 people.

Inter-tribal clashes continue to occur in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied militiamen since 2003. An estimated 300,000 people have died in those seven years and about 2.7 million others have been displaced.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UN humanitarian chief urges full and unhindered access to Darfur camp

The United Nations humanitarian chief today called for immediate access to a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan’s Darfur region that has been closed off to aid workers for nearly two weeks, voicing concern about the needs of the 82,000 people residing there.