Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Darfur: U.N. Sudan Situation Reports 7-12 April 2005

The following is a copy in full of an email received today giving the latest situation reports by United Nations personnel on the ground in Sudan for 7, 10 and 12 April 2005:

7 April 2005 Key Developments:

Today in Khartoum, the UN Country team for the North and the South met jointly for the second time since the signing of the CPA. Discussions focused on common policies such as return and reintegration.

SRSG Pronk, PDSRSG Zerihoun, and FC Akbar met with an SPLM delegation that is part of the advance team that has arrived in Khartoum. The same team along with the Police Commissioner also met with a GoS inter-ministerial committee charged with evaluating Security Council resolutions (1590, 1591, 1593) and reporting to the Council of Ministers. In both meetings, discussions covered the UNMIS mandate and deployment issues, SOFA and model SOFA, freedom of movement and notifications, security in critical areas, and the return of IDPs.

Security Issues:

North Darfur: On 4 Apr, Jebel Si and Dali IDP camps near Tawilla reported heavy gunfire in their areas. Reportedly one child was killed and two people were wounded. As a result of the attack, the majority of residents of both camps have scattered. AMIS is investigating.

South Darfur: Armed tribesmen reportedly attacked several villages northeast and east of Thur since 31 March. On 4 Apr., several trucks with hundreds of Thur residents were seen arriving from Thur into Kass. No reports yet received on casualties.

An INGO reported that two of its vehicles, both clearly identified, were ambushed at Teiga, between Kindiger and Manawashi, on 6 Apr. at approximately 13:00. These vehicles were exiting SLA areas, moving back to Manawashi and Nyala. There were no casualties but one vehicle was hit. SLA and nomadic tribal militias had been engaged in fighting on this road the previous day (5 Apr.).

West Darfur: On 7 Apr., a pro-government demonstration took place in front of the OCHA compound in El Geneina, protesting the SC Resolution 1593. The demonstration was attended by 200 - 300 people with no incidents of aggression. A petition was delivered to the UN protesting the resolution.

Political/Civil Affairs:

On 5 Apr., UNMIS officials met with Emanwell Kur, the Church leader in El Fasher. The Church has 6000 members, and this year is the year of reconciliation and confidence building. The Church also has good relations with the Muslim Sufi community.

On 6 Apr., UNMIS officials held an introductory meeting in El Fahser with Muslim leaders from North Darfur, including the Director General of the Ministry of Social and Cultural Affairs. During the meeting, UNMIS explained its mandate in assisting civil society in reconciliation. All participants showed a willingness to cooperate, and scheduled further information sharing meetings for the near future.

Local Media: The local radio station in El Fasher announced that in a meeting with tribal leaders on 4 Apr., the Commissioner of El-Waha locality in El Fasher (a locality of nomadic tribes in North and part of South Darfur) rejected Security Council Resolution 1593, and proclaimed that El-Waha will be the Falluja of Sudan if any of its people are taken to the ICC.

Humanitarian Affairs:


North Darfur: FAO delivered a quantity of agricultural tools to villages around Shadad to allow them to prepare soils before the rains. This INGO COOPI is planning to deliver tools and seeds to 3000 households around Mallit and Malha. It also intends to carry out vaccinations and de-worming of animals, targeting 9000 households in Mallit, Sayeh and Malha.

Camp Planning

North Darfur: In Abu Shouk II, OCHA led a survey team composed of urban planning technicians on 6 Apr. for demarcation of land destined to host the extension of the Abu Shouk IDP camp. The Urban Planning Department has committed to endorse the use of the demarcated land in a written letter addressed to OCHA on 7 Apr. In addition, WES (with the support of UNICEF) has completed the drilling of two boreholes and the fixing of 2 hand pumps along Wadi belt. The four water sources will guarantee a sufficient amount of water for the new site.


North Darfur: The team conducting the assessment on the Damrats in Kutum has successfully completed its assessment and met with the Al Waha (Commissioner for Nomads) on 5 April for a debriefing session.


South Sudan: The movement of people on the western side of the Nile River still continues. People coming from Yei on bicycles are now able to use the main road between Juba and Yei except for a small portion at 60 km where they have to go off-road to avoid land mines. However, it is difficult to identify whether these people have returned finally, or if they are visiting relatives or are business people.

In the sectoral meeting of water and sanitation this week, UNHCR pledged to fund the Swedish Free Mission to dig wells in Eastern Equatoria and other areas where there is guinea worm. However, there was a concern that the digging of bore wells in urban areas such as Juba does not provide a long-term solution given the growing population, fall in water levels and salty nature of the water.

A sectoral meeting on education took place on 5 Apr. and discussed problems facing returnee students. Among the problems were lack of classrooms and slow school registration due to change of policy. It has been reported that the President has declared free education in the Sudan. Some parents refused to pay the registration fees (SD 1,000) required by school administration. Schools are now planning to call for a meeting of parents. The representative of Ministry of Education in the meeting agreed to raise the issue of returnee and refugee students to the government.
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10 April 2005 Key Developments:

On 7 Apr., roughly 350 armed tribesmen attacked the village of Khor Abeche, northeast of Nyala in South Darfur. The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) has confirmed that approximately 90 percent of the village was destroyed in the attack, but casualty figures are not yet known. Please see joint AMIS-UNMIS communique for more details.

SRSG Pronk and DSRSG da Silva departed for Oslo on 9 Apr., to attend the donors' conference on Sudan.

A peaceful demonstration against UN Security Council resolution 1593 (2005) took place on 7 Apr. in Geneina, West Darfur. The demonstrators were principally from nomadic tribes. The three petitions presented by the demonstrators will be sent to the UN Secretary General through the appropriate channels. Deployment of GoS forces guaranteed the peaceful nature of the demonstration, but the market remained closed until the demonstration ended.

Security Issues:

South Darfur: There is growing concern that the departure of the GoS Army from Marla will allow rebel groups and Arab militia to engage in fighting, which would increase insecurity in the area. AMIS is expected to deploy troops in the area. Prior to any further humanitarian action into the Marla area, it was agreed that UN officials would assess the area. Meetings between groups in the area and agencies engaged in provision of assistance would follow.

On 8 Apr., an INGO reported that one of their vehicles travelling from Mershing to Manawashi was fired upon. No impact or damage was caused.

Protection Issues:

North Darfur: Reportedly, 234 individuals (mostly women and children) arrived at the Galab IDP site over the last three days, following attacks in Khor Abeche. These IDPs informed that more people are expected to move from that area as a result of increased insecurity.

South Darfur: Due to the continued harassment of IDPs in Kass, it has been reported that there is a renewed movement from Kass to Kalma camp, where five newly arrived families were registered on 9 Apr.

West Darfur: An INGO reported that 555 people (106 families) have moved to camps in Zalingei during Mar. from villages in Jebel Marra. Reportedly, many left due to insecurity and lack of food.

Political/Civil Affairs:

On 7 Apr., UNMIS met in El Fasher with the Women's Development Associations Network, which covers 21 women's associations from El Fasher and Kebkabiya localities, and has 5,000 members. Among some of its activities, the network provided meals and clothes to pregnant and lactating women and children, and trained 794 women in manufacturing and using improved cooking stoves in Abu Shouk IDP Camp. However, due to the security situation in the area, and the displacement of some of its members, the network was unable to implement its development projects.

Humanitarian Affairs:


North Darfur: On 8 Apr., an assessment of the Hamra area (the area surrounding the nomadic semi-permanent villages most recently assessed) commenced. The assessment is focused on the food situation in this area.

The situation and whereabouts of the IDPs from Tawilla following recent incidents in the area is still unclear. OCHA is due to conduct a field assessment on 10 Apr. to confirm the facts of the situation.

The demarcation for Abu Shouk II has been completed and the GoS Ministry of Planning issued confirmation that the land in question had been reserved and ready to use as an IDP camp. A task force meeting to plan concrete steps for assistance in the new site will be held 10 Apr.

West Darfur: The Interagency Assessment mission to Tendelti on 4 Apr. confirmed a population of approximately 1500 IDPs (225HHs), mainly displaced from Juruf village. The IDPs fled Tendelti approximately over a month ago as a result of heightened insecurity. There were also reports of population return from Chad. The IDPs' main needs are shelter, food and water assistance.


South Darfur: Agencies are gearing-up to measure and respond to the drought. A number of INGOs are in the process of establishing rain gauge stations for rainfall data collection with technical support from FAO.


North Darfur: The Humanitarian Air Service intervened to deliver the Grade 8 examination papers to a number of examination centres in North Darfur. HAC expressed GoS deep appreciation for the assistance.


In Juba, the movement of people on the western side of river Nile is growing. This was reflected in the HAC registration of 90 students between 4 and 6 April. The registration shows that some families have returned to put their children in schools. According to HAC, non-students returnees are not registered because the movement is voluntary and there is nothing to offer to them. It is also difficult to identify where they live or whether they are visiting relatives, or business people.
231 returnees were registered passing through Kosti on 7 and 9 Apr.
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12 April 2005 Key Developments:

Reports indicate that a riot broke out on the campus of Dilling University in Nuba Mountains on 11 Apr. JMC confirms that at least one student was killed and 23 wounded, 3 of whom were flown to El Obeid for treatment. The cause of the riot was apparently disagreement over results of elections to the student council.

The Government of Chad has suspended its role as mediator in the Darfur peace process because of its allegations that the Government of Sudan is supporting Chadian rebel groups in Darfur.

The SRSG Pronk today attended the second and last day of the Oslo pledging conference for Sudan. On the margins of the conference today he met with EU representatives. The objective was to mobilize the EU countries to support the AU in its deployment in Darfur. The SRSG also met with Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick. They discussed the situation in Sudan and US support for AU deployment in Darfur.

Security Issues:

North Darfur: On 6 Apr., a truck hired by a WFP cooperating partner joined a WFP convoy travelling to Malha. The convoy was stopped at Cindi, between Mellit and Malha en route to Malha. All WFP marked vehicles were allowed to continue, however, the hired vehicle and driver were detained. The vehicle was loaded with 25 metric tonnes of consumables. Another convoy of 16 WFP and commercial trucks were also stopped by SLA in Mado area, between Malha and Mellit, on 11 Apr.

South Darfur: Following the cattle riding incident involving SLA and Fulani tribesmen, the SLA confirmed the presence of 75 Fulani tribesmen in Muhajarija as their guests, that SLA is 'looking for the stolen cattle' and that two "thieves" were arrested by the rebel movement. The rebels later informed the AU that 71 of the group and 17 cattle found went home, while four tribesmen decided to stay on in the rebel stronghold to look for their cattle.

West Darfur: The AU has reported that the situation in Um Shalaya, which has been tense due to a tribal conflict, is now calm. GoS authorities and police discussed the situation with the Amir of the Arab community. The group assured the AU and residents of Um Shalaya that no one would be attacked in retaliation for the incident between the police and the residents.

Protection Issues:

North Darfur: The fuel efficient stoves project in Kebkabiya has been positively received by the IDPs. So far, 2,000 women have been trained on the usage of the stoves. This has resulted in reduction of firewood consumption by 50% and has led to significant reduction of gender based violence cases reported in the area.

South Darfur: The HAC promised agencies to complete the preparatory works in the Hashaba site known as "Salam" for Kalma relocation by the end of the week. IOM is leading a Relocation Working Group to reassess the area and finalise the determination for appropriate and voluntary relocation. NGOs are planning to start their delivery of assistance as soon as possible.

Political/Civil Affairs:

Following the 7 Apr attack on Khor Abeche, South Darfur, GoS has announced that it will launch an investigation into the incidents in collaboration with the AU.

Accusations by the Chadian President, Idriss Deby that GoS was recruiting, training and arming Chadian rebels in order to destabilise his Government, has prompted GoS to announce it will investigate the allegations and send a delegation to Chad to hold talks with President Deby to clear the "misunderstanding." In the meantime, Chad has reportedly suspended its mediation efforts on Darfur.

Press reports suggest the JEM may split following a statement issued by 56 field commanders that they have relieved Chairman Khalil of his post.

SRSG Pronk is heading tonight for Paris for a two day working visit. He is expected to meet with senior French officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as senior officials from the Presidency, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Cooperation and Development. Mr. Pronk's visit is part of a series of visits he is undertaking to European capitals, in order to mobilize support for the AU Mission in Sudan, as well as to invite European countries to contribute military observers to UNMIS.

Humanitarian Affairs:


During a visit in Tawila on 11 Apr., an OCHA delegation verified that the number of IDPs remaining in Dali and Jebel Si is negligible (between 30-40 individuals seen during the visit). IDPs sources indicate that the population may have fled to Sew Sewa, Gozbena, Tina west and into the mountains located to the south of Tawilla.


North Darfur: Following to the failure of the headcount process at Abu Shouk camp, a meeting between all the stakeholders, including IDPs representatives, was held on 9 Apr. It was agreed that the next registration exercise would be the last one, and IDP representatives agreed to cooperate to ensure that the next exercise is a success since future humanitarian assistance would be based on the figures obtained during the exercise.


North Darfur: The State Ministry of Health conducted two phases of vector control campaigns for Abu Shouk and Zam Zam camps between 2 and 6 Apr. Following the spraying, the general health indicators have started to improve and levels of bloody diarrhoea, for example, have started to level off. An additional 48 new latrines and 30 showers have been constructed for the new arrivals at Abu Shouk camp.

South Darfur: The French NGO - Aide Medical International (AMI) has started providing mobile primary health care (PHC) services to IDPs and host communities in Umm Jana area in Edd Al Fursan locality. AMI has deployed vehicles with drugs, equipment and personnel for programme implementation. IDPs and the host community will be assisted twice a week. The possibility of expanding the programme within Umm Jana and other adjacent areas is being contemplated depending on gaps in needs in health care services.

One INGO announced its withdrawal from East Jebel Marra until the security situation improves. Another INGO left the area in early March, leaving no healthcare in SLA-controlled Jebel Marra. Other humanitarian organizations are seeking funds to take over activities.


Returnees from Sennar to western Kordofan have reported to the Nuba Mountains Organization in Rebec that they have been repeatedly asked to pay tax on some of their properties at different checkpoints between Sennar and Kosti.

240 returnees were registered passing through Kosti on 11 Apr. to various locations in south Sudan.

Returnees travelling to Bahr El Ghazal through Mayoum have expressed concern about the taxes they have to pay when crossing Mayoum's security checkpoint.

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