23 May 2012

Sudan: Residents Angry At MSF Blockade in Jebel Si

Jebel Si — Sheikhs (native leaders) and displaced people have rejected the Sudanese government blocking the humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) from working in Jebel Si.

The organisation is the only body working in the area to deliver medicines and healthcare to people suffering from severe food shortages and deteriorating health conditions.

Leaders of Abu Shouk and Kabkabiya camps also condemn the blockade, citing the action as against Islam and treating people as sub human.

They demand the international community stand up strongly to the Sudanese government.

One leader speaking from Kaguro told Radio Dabanga that the 'majority of Jebel Si residents are survivors of genocide and the government's extermination campaign, displaced from their areas and living outside of their villages.'

He complained that new settlers that have been brought in from Chad, Mali and Niger now control their areas.

He said 'the government is now trying to annihilate the last remaining people in Jebel Si through starvation, by preventing organisations such as MSF from operating in their areas.'

The leader criticised the UN for not taking stronger steps towards the Sudanese government in light of such serious violations.

MSF suspends operations

On Tuesday MSF released a statement saying the Sudanese government was imposing restrictions on their ability to work in areas in North Darfur.

The organisation has had to suspend operations in the area.

Alberto Cristina, MSF operational manager for Sudan said as a result of the suspension of operations more than 100,000 people will be left without any healthcare at all.

The organisation says it has not been allowed to deliver medicines since September 2011, as authorities imposed restrictions on entry permits for medical personnel to Jebel Si in North Darfur.

The statement said 'without medical supplies or medical crews the organisation can no longer provide a service to patients and has had to close its programme of immunisations.'

It said the situation for women will now be difficult as MSF can no longer carry out emergency Caesarean sections that could save women's lives.

The closest hospitals for residents in Jebel Si are now located in El Fasher, eight hours away by car.

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