SUDAN WATCH: Two million people live in camps in Darfur, Sudan

Monday, May 02, 2005

Two million people live in camps in Darfur, Sudan

Even if some of the two million people living in camps in Darfur return home soon, October 2006 would be the date of the next harvest, says Oxfam UK in a BBC report today.

[Note, a recent post here points to a report where UN envoy Jan Pronk suggests 12,000 peacekeepers for Darfur starting next year, for four years]
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Oxfam sending 4 planeloads of water and aid for Darfur and Chad

Oxfam is sending two planeloads of vital aid supplies to Darfur and another two to neighbouring Chad, where it said refugees in overcrowded camps face water shortages and disease.

One of the Oxfam flights was to set off on Monday for El Fasher in North Darfur with 34 tons of water and sanitation equipment to provide drinking water to more than 200,000 refugees.
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Darfur Mortality Update: April 30, 2005

Professor Eric Reeves, in his latest analysis re Darfur, predicts that even with urgent humanitarian intervention, many tens of thousands of people will eventually die. Humanitarian capacity is not adequate to present needs and will be overwhelmed by the 3.5 to 4 million people needing food and aid during the impending rainy season.

Most threatening, he says, is the possibility that insecurity will force the suspension of relief operations. If this happens, the UN's aid chief Jan Egeland has estimated that Darfur's death toll may increase to 100,000 per month.

Prof Reeves points out the acute water shortages are likely to remain chronic, given the extent of deliberate destruction of wells and irrigation systems by the Janjaweed (maintenance of water resources has also been severely curtailed by insecurity).

He says he is modestly encouraged by news that the AU has sought logistical help from NATO. But he fears both the time frame and nature of help sought suggest that nothing approaching the required humanitarian intervention is in the offing and that it reflects a lack of urgency.

Full Report.

[My argument against military intervention during past year is it would defeat the object as Khartoum would dismiss aid workers from the counrty. See comment I left at Bradford Plumer's super post on this issue.]
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Tribal leaders 'looting Darfur food aid'

Correspondent David Blair writes from Kalma refugee camp in Southern Darfur. Note his report at Telegraph UK May 2, about corruption bedevilling food distribution in many camps in Darfur.
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Darfur: Refugees Call for British Aid

Hundreds of Darfur's refugees protested outside Downing Street today (Monday) to demand £30 million to fund an expanded peacekeeping force for the troubled region, writes PA correspondent James Reini in the Scotsman, May 2. Excerpt:

More than 250 asylum seekers staged the 'die-in' by laying on the street and brandishing placards bearing names of the conflict's 400,000 victims.

Among the protesters was political rap star Emmanuel Jal, 25, whose song 'Gua', the Arabic word for 'Power' is currently topping the Kenyan charts.

The singer said he became a child soldier armed with an AK47 at the age of eight after being lured into the Sudan People's Liberation Army in the country's long-running ethnic conflict.

"The British are respected in Sudan, and we believe the British can play a part in bringing peace to my troubled country."

The protest, organised by Waging Peace, brought many of Darfur's refugees to London from their new homes in Britain, mostly in the Midlands. Full report.

Further reading:

May 2 Darfur protest at Downing Street.

Darfur refugees Netherlands

Photo: Darfur refugees in Netherlands demonstrate on Friday 29 April. Another demonstration was organised in Italy in favour of Darfur on the same Friday. (ST)
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Irish troops requested for Sudan

The UN has asked the government to send Irish troops to southern Sudan to monitor the fragile ceasefire, reports Stephen O'Brien in the London Times May 1, 2005.

Willie O'Dea, the defence minister, said the Sudanese assignment would be one of the more dangerous postings in the history of Irish peacekeeping overseas, but he said he would withhold judgment until the risk assessment report was complete and would bring a recommendation to cabinet where the final decision would be made.

Ireland has seconded one army officer to Darfur, and has provided financial support for the African Union Mission in Sudan. The government has also pledged 15m Irish pounds for the recovery and reconstruction of Sudan from 2005 to 2007, as part of a 4.5 billion USD international aid package.
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Thank You

Thanks to Global Voices Online for pointing here, via Bill's great post at Jewels in the Jungle, the high quality flash clip on Darfur by Physicians for Human Rights - and drawings by some children in Darfur.

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