UN Sudan Situation Report April 17, 2005
Following the attack on a vehicle carrying the Chadian Consul-General in ElGeneina, Darfur, by armed gunmen on 16 April, the GoS has issued a statement expressing its "deep regret" over the incident, in which the the Consul-General was reported to have been seriously injured.
In spite of this, Chadian President Idriss Deby announced on 16 April that Chad would resume its mediation efforts on Darfur, following discussions with a GoS envoy in Chad.
The statement issued by the Chadian Government does, however, call on the GoS to act against the armed elements in the interests of preserving friendly relations between the two countries.
Following meetings with GoS officials and civil society groups based in Khartoum, US Deputy Secretary of State, Robert Zoellick met with SPLM/A leader, John Garang, in Rumbek, on 15 April. The latter briefed Zoellick on his plans for the South, including how the funds pledged at the recent Donors' Conference in Oslo would be utilised. Mr. Zoellick discussed the implementation of the CPA with Garang, as well as how to engage Darfurian tribal leaders to encourage them to play a conciliatory role between the region's rebel groups. Separately, the South-South Dialogue is expected to start in Nairobi on 18 April.
On 14 April the VMT reported that SPLA in Lankien are meeting with forces under the Command of Maj Gen Simon Gatwich (Lou Nuer Forces) in Pultruk. Forces under the Command of Gen Gatwich are in control of Pultruk, where the situation seems to have stabilised and both parties seek to keep the area calm in order for NGOs to return. According to press reports, a transport group (CMC Motors) is due to open new branches in South Sudan, following the "return of peace to the region." Such moves will be watched closely to determine the extent to which the economic situation in the South improves.
The Minister of Social Welfare in Bentiu held a meeting with OCHA and WFP on 14 April. He stated that there was an attack in the cattle camps surrounding Nhialdiu on 23 March 2005 carried out by the Leek tribe on the Bul tribe. According to the Minister, 20 people were reported killed with 24,000 heads of cattle looted by the Leek group. The Minster added that approximately 6,000-10,000 civilians were displaced into Nhialdiu as a result of fighting. The Bul regrouped and launched a counter attack on the Leek, sending more civilians into Nhialdiu and further into Bentiu and Rubkona. Currently there are an estimated 6,000-10,000 people, mostly women and children, in Nhialdiu that require urgent assistance in the water, food and medical sectors, the Minister said. OCHA and WFP are planning to send an assessment mission to the area.
393 returnees were registered passing through Kosti on 14 and 16 April to various locations in south Sudan.
Sheiks in El Neem camp in El Daein report that approximately 15,500 IDPs currently lack water, sanitation, shelter and NFI. Insecurity north of Ed Daein continues to increase the number of displaced populations.
Serious protection concerns have been reported 3-5km north of El Daein, where progovernment militias are reportedly harassing and looting properties. Discussions with the AU are ongoing to devise strategies in order to address the situation.
On 14 April the locals of Um Kher IDP camp (W Darfur) complained of harassment by armed Arab militias when they go out to fetch firewood.
On 14 Apr at Humber village the Sheik was arrested by armed Arab militias and detained at Mugasat check point for two days. However, he was released with the help of the GOS Police.
OHCHR and the AU CIVPOL conducted an assessment of Sisi (W Darfur). The community highlighted that there had been increased harassment by armed militia. The team met with four rape victims who outlined their stories which had taken place over the last two weeks. The cases had been reported to the police but when questioned, the police denied having received the reports.
UNMIS continues its steady deployment with the arrival in the mission on 17 April 2005 of Colonel Jeffrey Charles Sims (UK), Chief of Staff (COS), Joint Monitoring Coordination Office (JMCO-Juba). Colonel Arnt S Lund, (Norway - SHIRBRIG), UNMIS Military Chief of Staff (COS) arrives in the mission evening 17 April.
The Force Commander along with Head of Mission of the Verification and Monitoring Team (VMT) had a meeting with Commander Salva Kiir, Chief of the SPLA and Dr Justin, SPLM Representative at Nairobi on 14 April 2005 at the SPLA office at Nairobi. Discussions focused on the UNMIS Military Deployment to assist and support the CPA based on SC resolution No 1590.
Lt Col Anwar Ahmed ( Egypt ) , Liaison Officer (Sector IV- Nuba Mountains) deployed at JMC HQ at Tillo (Kadugli - Nuba Mountains) as the UNMIS Military Liaison Officer with the Joint Military Commission ( JMC) on 14 April 2005.
On 14 April 2005, in a meeting with the Director of Civil Affairs, King Rahmtallah Mohamed of El Fasher and five other tribal leaders from North Darfur stressed that the UN should continue its humanitarian work, and help end the violence in Darfur. The King and tribal leaders fully support the SC resolutions on Darfur, and appealed for the UN "to speed up the trial of those who committed the crimes to send a warning to those who are still committing crimes." According to the King, the crimes have been committed by more than 51 people.
The Kennana Sugar factory in Rebec has again terminated the services of large numbers of its workers (a total of 2000 workers have been laid off at three different periods during the past six month). The bulk of the former workers are from the Shuluk tribe, and headed back to heir homelands in and around Malakal Town.
On 14 April tension between the tribesmen aligned with the SPLA and other armed forces has been reported around Murle village.
On 14 April fighting reportedly broke out between SLA and Arab Militia from Masry, Daba Toga, and in the Abdul Bagir area of N Darfur on 13 April 2005. Seven people were killed and two wounded during the fight.
On 14 April, 11 Sudanese Ministry of Health polio vaccinators were detained in areas north of Kutum (N Darfur) by SLA. They were released promptly, but their vehicles have not yet been recovered.
Reports of violence in Kutum are increasing, related allegedly to the presence of progovernment militia in the town at night. On 15 April, GoS soldiers attempted to raid the WFP warehouse in Kutum they were tasked with protecting. The soldiers opened fire on WFP guards when the latter challenged them.
On 15 April, a national staff member of an INGO was shot and killed in the Golo area. Preliminary information states the shooting is likely to be connected to a personal issue, unrelated to the work of the INGO. There are concerns regarding a pattern of incidents targeting humanitarian organizations perpetrated by pro-government militia in the area.
On 15 April, militias reportedly looted 100 cows from nomads north of Um Kasara (S Darfur). No injuries reported.
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SHIRBRIG: Multi-national Standby Force High Readiness Brigade For UN Operations.
UNMIS: United Nations Mission in the Sudan.