SUDAN WATCH: United Nations Sudan Situation Report April 19, 2005

Monday, April 25, 2005

United Nations Sudan Situation Report April 19, 2005

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

Political Affairs:

P/DSRSG Zerihoun is in Nairobi to attend the start of the South-South dialogue.

A delegation from UNMIS military contingent led by the Deputy Force commander traveled to Juba on 18 April to visit the JMCO complex and the site of the tented camp. Whilst there, they were able to meet with the Secretary General (and future Governor of Equatoria) of the SPLM who was chairing a 5 Day conference marking the official return of the SPLM to Juba.

General Humanitarian

OCHA Wau held a meeting on 18 April with all NGOs and UN agencies in the area to discuss assessments and returnee issues.

Protection

Continuing violence near Thur, S. Darfur, has caused the flow of IDPs into Kass, with 2,500 arriving over the past week. WFP/IOM and cooperating partners have finished the Habila and Kulbus re-registrations in W. Darfur. They report that the numbers have increased significantly due to their registration of local residents and nomads. WFP reported that Kulbus figures have increased roughly from 29,000 to 40,000 individuals. Habila figures have reportedly increased from 9,000 to 17,000 individuals.

In Kebkabiya, N. Darfur, the AMIS human rights unit has commenced closer cooperation with the AMIS CivPol in efforts to enhance effective policing and ensure that human rights abuses reported to the police are well documented and followed up. In turn, this will also enhance follow up of GBV cases which have not been adequately documented or followed up by the authorities.

The AU CivPol agreed to provide additional support for monitoring the situation in the Kalma camp as well as the newly identified Salam camp, including firewood patrols, should equipment arrive.

Health

Following reports of increase in bloody diarrhoea cases in Abu Shouk and Zam Zam Camps, N. Darfur, WHO conducted an assessment in the two camps during the reporting period. Preliminary results of the assessments indicate that cases are five times higher in the area for new arrivals than other areas within the two camps. This is possibly due to overcrowding and poor sanitation situation in the new arrival areas. Further investigations are underway and final results of the assessments will be shared among partners.

FMoH decided to delay measles vaccinations in South Darfur until after the polio campaign, which was also delayed until the end of June.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of acute jaundice cases in Saniafandu, where cases reported have more than doubled in the past week.

Health and nutrition agencies in S. Darfur warn of a steady increase in malnutrition despite regular GFD. There is concern that there will be a catastrophe if WFP reduced their rations further.

Food/NFIs

WFP monthly food distribution for N. Darfur is ongoing in Zam Zam and Dar Zaghawa. It was further reported at Sunday’s OCHA coordination meeting that food distribution in Tawilla would commence immediately. Water and sanitation

Agencies operating in the N. Darfur camps have expressed concern over sanitation conditions as volume of pests will increase during the forthcoming rainy season. Consequently, UNICEF plans to supply the SMoH with 1,500 litres of pesticides for vector control to spray the Abu Shouk, Zam Zam, Kassab, Kebkabiya and Saraf Omra IDP sites on a weekly basis. This quantity of pesticides is scheduled to arrive from Khartoum next week.

On April 17 th, OCHA and the visiting mission from the Swedish MoFA did a brief visit to Galab IDP settlement, N. Darfur. During the visit, IDPs reported that water is one of the major problems facing the IDP population in Galab, mentioning that only two hand pumps serve the total announced population of IDPs (12,000 individuals) around the settlement. They requested additional water points to improve water supply in the area as soon as possible.

Returns

Concern remains that IDPs originally from West Darfur are being pressured to return to Wadi Saleh or Mukjar localities, the Governor's 'Return Committee' is offering return or relocation to West Darfur with financial incentives, despite clear understanding of the MCM agreement.

Assesments

The Umkadada (N. Darfur) inter-agency assessment has been re-scheduled to take place from 23-29 April 2005.

Insecurity

A civilian Land Rover van was attacked by armed bandits at Tabra village 15km East of Tawilla on 16 April 05. One person was reported killed and another injured.

On 17 April a commercial vehicle travelling from El Geneina towards El Faseir was reportedly stopped 10 km prior to Tawilla. The vehicle was taken although the driver and assistant were released.

The security situation in Higilega and Kish Kish villages around Tine, W. Darfur, remains unstable due to the threat from Arab militia activities in the general area.

Angabou village, S. Darfur, was reportedly attacked by unidentified gunmen believed to be Arab Militia. One person was injured and the attackers made away with 200 Sheep.

Reports from Kutum, N. Darfur, indicate an increase in shooting incidents in the last few days, reportedly causing an unspecified number of casualties. The incidents are attributed to a large number of Arab militia reportedly operating around Kutum town.

Further to the UXO explosion in Jebel Moon, W. Darfur, two children were killed when a UXO they were playing with detonated. One was killed instantly, the other died upon arrival at El Geneina from an emergency AU airlift. Two other children were injured as a result of the incident and are currently being treated. The UN has called off a security assessment to Tawil and Kilekil that was scheduled for 18 April as they are accessed through Jebel Moon.

On 14 April, two female employees of an NGO suffered a serious assault during an NFI distribution in Krenik, W. Darfur, possibly linked to opposition to the agency’s presence by a local traditional leader. The police were present during the distribution, but fled the scene when it turned violent. The women were subsequently treated for their injuries.

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