Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

15 January 2013

Sudan: First Plane Carrying Aid to North Darfur Leaves El-Fasher - Governor

Photo: Derk Segaar/IRIN
Displaced (file photo)

El-Fasher — The governor of North Darfur announced that the first plane carrying aid to localities affected by the week-long violence by the Jebel 'Amer gold mine left El-Fasher, the state's capital, on Tuesday, 15 January.

Osman Kibir said the aid is provided by different UN agencies and will be sent to the localities of al-Sref Beni Hussein, Saraf Omra, Ghara Zawiya and Kabkabiya.

The Director of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), from the government of Sudan, explained that initially all aid provided would comprise only non-food items.

A total of four other flights will be necessary to cover the needs of 50 percent of the affected people, which amounts to 15.000 families or about 75.000 people, Ibrahim Ahmed Hamed outlined. He added the first flight will be enough to assist 1.500 families.

HAC confirmed that food will be transported by road with the help of the government, of organizations and of security agencies.

Contributions are coming from the UNHCR (covers and shelter), the World Food Programme (food), and UNICEF (equipment to provide clean water and environmental sanitation). UNAMID, on its turn, has offered its planes and vehicles for the transportation of aid, according to HAC.

The UN coordinator of humanitarian affairs in El-Fasher demanded that the government provides suitable security conditions and administrative measures so that relief teams can access the North Darfur localities.

These measures would also enable the UN to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the needs of all victims affected by the fighting in the state, the coordinator said.

60.000 displaced in two days

A dispute between Abbala and Benni Hussein tribesmen led to the spark of hostilities in the gold mining area of Jebel 'Amer, North Darfur, on 6 January. Initial reports suggested that at least 60.000 workers fled the region in the first two days of clashes.

On 8 January, Radio Dabanga reported that at least 20 villages were burnt and that the fighting appeared to have expanded further than the gold mine area of Jebel 'Amer.

The day after, a total of 25 villages had been set on fire and the conflicting parties had reportedly received backup from communities from Central, South, West and parts of North Darfur.

In the fifth consecutive day of violence, Abbala gunmen allegedly enclosed the capital of al-Sref Beni Hussein locality and burned another four villages in the vicinity.

On Friday, 11 January, two Abbala leaders announced their intention to end hostilities and violence between their tribe and Beni Hussein via Radio Dabanga.

However, less than 24 hours later Abbala men and militias threatened to attack the city of Kabkabiya and sources suggested they were after a prominent Beni Hussein leader.

Vital roads in the region were closed, stranding tens of thousands in unsafe areas, sources report.

On 14 January, the Sudan News Agency declared that more than 100.000 displaced families have arrived to al-Sref Beni Hussein city in one week, adding this amount does not include families displaced to other localities or those who are still wandering around.

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