SUDAN WATCH: Darfur: U.N. Sudan Situation Report 29 March 2005

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Darfur: U.N. Sudan Situation Report 29 March 2005

The following is a copy in full of an email received this morning giving the latest situation report by United Nations personnel on the ground in Sudan:

Key Developments:

On 27 Mar., two GOS police officers where killed at close range in the Zam Zam camp, allegedly following an encounter with two persons in civilian clothes who subsequently fled into the camp. As a result, all UN and humanitarian movement to and in the location were stopped with all personnel being relocated. A large quantity of WFP food about to be distributed by the SRC was guarded by AMIS to prevent theft. Following an assessment on 28 Mar., which found the situation to be stable, all humanitarian activities have resumed. The incident remains under investigation.

Security Issues:

North Darfur: On the night of 27 Mar., two persons, reported to be in military uniforms and carrying firearms, climbed the perimeter wall of the WFP El Fasher workshop. Clothes and fuel were stolen. After preliminary investigations, WFP security referred the matter to the police who have promised to increase patrols in the area. Meanwhile, WFP is improving security measures at the workshop.

On 27 Mar., a skirmish between GoS military police and regular military and police officers in the Mawashi market (southern part of El Fasher town) resulted in the killing of two military police officers. The military police were conducting routine patrols in the area to ensure that military and police officers off duty were not loitering in the location when the gunfire between the parties broke out.

South Darfur: There were unconfirmed reports of a 28 Mar. attack on the Nitega village, a well-known stronghold for nomadic militia, by rebel elements resulting in one dead and one injury. AMIS is investigating.
Tension south of Gereida continues, though the parties - GoS military and JEM - have abandoned the location over the past two weeks. Sporadic violence south and southeast of Gereida continues.

Protection Issues:

North Darfur: Humanitarian agencies in Kutum have commenced close liaison with AMIS in the last week to devise strategies for enhanced protection of IDPs in and around Kassab and Fataborno camps. AMIS has agreed to conduct regular patrols on market days on routes and in areas where the volume of incidents is particularly high. Furthermore, AMIS and humanitarian organizations in Kutum involved in protection have agreed on bi-weekly consultations to discuss the protection situation in the area.

Humanitarian Affairs:

Food/NFIs

Jongli: A WFP team in Bor has finalised headcount and registration of IDPs and returnees (totalling 35,202 with the majority being IDPs) and airdrops have now begun in the town and its surrounding villages. The targetted areas are: Bor town, Gakyom, Mamer, Garwanj, Hai flan and Haa Mashwer.

White Nile: ADRA distributed 0.26 MT of lentils, 0.286 MT of vegetable oil and 1.95 MT of sorghum among 52 IDP families in Kosti, White Nile on 24 Mar. Every household also received one plastic sheet and one mosquito net each. 20 blankets were distributed among families with newborns and ill young children. ADRA distributed 0.135 MT of Corn Soya Blend among 15 families having children under five with lactating mothers

Health

North Darfur: UNICEF conducted a visit to Abu Shouk camp on 21 Mar. to monitor water tanking and hand pump operations. Key findings were: inadequate tap stands in some blocks; five platforms for the bladders were damaged; slow water discharge into tanks; long queues at water points and non-functioning of several hand pumps. UNICEF has drawn action plan to deal with the above-mentioned problems in collaboration with the relevant INGOs.
Vector control campaigns have been interrupted in all IDP locations due to lack of pesticides. As a result, fly infestation at all the camps continues to worsen. To date, UNICEF has been unable to procure the spraying chemicals as there is only one supplier in El Fasher, while UNICEF procurement procedures require at least three quotations. A waiver for this administrative requirement has been sent, and they are awaiting response.

South Darfur: Agencies remain concerned that the targetted measles vaccination campaign carried out by MoH/EPI in the past week (reaching only 500 children in Battery camp) will not prevent the continuation of the outbreak, as Battery camp is very near other IDP gatherings and the host community in Kass. The population outside the camp shares much of the same city infrastructure, including water, schools, and the market and, as such, the possibility of spreading the virus is high. The humanitarian community continues to push for a mass campaign to cover the entire population of Kass as well as the major IDP gatherings in South Darfur before the rainy season. WHO has recommended a mass campaign both as a means of preventing further outbreaks, and for covering those who were excluded from last year’s blanket campaign due to violence.

Water

South Darfur: OXFAM completed a water and sanitation (WAT/SAN) assessment of the Tullus areas which found water shortage in the area affecting the population. The Rural Water Group, a national organization working with WES, has stated its intention to commence operations in the area but is requesting assistance from partners to be able to do so. As such, a starting date has yet to be announced.

Returns

Bahr El Jebel: There are persistent reports of population movements in Equatoria that are being investigated by humanitarian agencies. The East Equatoria HAC Commissioner reported the registration of 64 returnees, while, in Juba, the Bahr El Jebel HAC commissioner reported the registration of 458 returnees from Kajokeji and approximately 2,600 from Yei on accumulative basis. Those coming from Yei use Yei-Lainya-Wonduruba-Kuda and Juba road. They come partly on foot, bicycles or vehicles. Vehicles are available only between Yei and Wondruba or Kuda and Juba. In both Bahr El Jebel and East Equatoria, cross line movement has been going on normally. Refugees are also returning from Ethiopia to Juba. UNHCR reported that 136 refugees have arrived in Juba from Ethiopian region of Gambella within this week escaping the ethnic conflict and hunger in the area. At least 300 students have also returned to Juba, as education is a major attraction for return.

General

Bahr El Ghazal: Land has been allocated for resettlement of the IDPs settled in Rumbek about 3.5 km away from their present location. A team comprising representatives from the IDPs, OXFAM-GB, OCHA SRT and EP&R, SRRC County, local chiefs and the liaison officer of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs inspected the land on 21 Mar. OXFAM-GB and Diocese of Rumbek (DOR) have been tasked to address the water and shelter needs respectively through funds from the Liaison Office. Other needs identified by the IDPs include seeds, tools for agriculture/construction and additional IDP kits for the IDPs that arrived after the last distribution exercise.

Equatoria: Following three meetings in Rumbek by EP&R aimed at mobilizing responses for the Ezo/Tambura identified needs, the following interventions are currently underway in the target locations:
WFP started food distribution on 25 Mar. targeting 20,542 beneficiaries.

Non-Food Items from UNICEF released to EP&R are being transported from Yambio for distribution to the target beneficiaries. The items (collapsible jerry cans, blankets, cooking utensils and IDP kits) will be distributed by World Vision (WVI).

FAO will distribute seeds and tool through WVI by mid-Apr.

UNHCR is identifying implementing partners or NGOs on ground to provide assistance to the refugees in Bagima and Baikpa. Depending on gaps identified on ground, UNHCR may cover areas of water/sanitation, health, education and protection.
Preparation for the training of enumerators by SRRC/SRT for registration of returnees from CAR and DRC is ongoing and training is scheduled to start around mid-Apr. Meanwhile, WVI has carried out a registration in the Nandi and Anderi camps with the aim of assisting returnees to resettle back to their area of origin.

Bahr El Jebel: Education in Juba is already characterised by over crowding, shortages of qualified teachers, facilities, furniture and school supplies. Many schools are in very poor physical condition and in need of major rehabilitation. Student enrolment is expected to increase further following the CPA and may strain the existing facilities unless there are timely and effective interventions. Another concern is the school curriculum has to be reviewed to accommodate English-speaking students. WFP will provide cooking utensils to compliment their school feeding programme and have asked their implementing partners (Accomplish and SCC) to collect these utensils and distribute to schools before the schools re-open in Apr. 2005.

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