3 May 2013

Sudan Prevented Aid Delivery to Gereida in South Darfur - UN

Khartoum — The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan revealed that the Sudanese government has denied aid agencies access to the town of Gereida in South Darfur and barred humanitarian flights.

In its humanitarian bulletin, OCHA expressed frustration with the conduct of the Sudanese authorities saying that it would negatively impact the distribution of aid in the town which has witnessed clashes between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan Liberation Army of Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM).

"State security services have not allowed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights, UN trucks or UN personnel to visit Gereida for the last month, affecting food aid distributions" the report said.

The UN body pointed out that the World Food Program (WFP) has scaled down its activities in Gereida and moved its staff and equipments to the headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) for their own safety.

The report which is issued periodically by OCHA said that 50.000 people have fled towns of Muhajiriya and Labado in East Darfur as a result of clashes which took place between SAF and SLA-MM last month but noted that there is some improvement.

"According to the latest reports, the situation around Muhajiriya town in East Darfur state is improving. Some limited returns are reportedly occurring and the local market reopened on 23 April, but many other people continue to flee the area to camps in East and South Darfur," OCHA said.

"In Labado, the number of displaced people sheltering around the UNAMID Team Site is said to have decreased to some 7,000 people from the previous estimate of 13,000. There are reports that the security situation around Labado is tense with unconfirmed reports of looting by some militia groups".

The report further said that the World Health Organization (WHO) is offering support to national aid agencies in order to provide primary health care for displaced people from the district of Abu Kershola who arrived in the North Kordofan town of El-Rahad.

It pointed out that the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is waiting for the government's approval to send non-food relief supplies from its warehouse in El Obeid to an estimated 20.000 displaced people

OCHA also expressed its concern over the lack of toilets in schools which accommodate displaced people in El-Rahad.

"There is a lack of latrines and other sanitation facilities in El Rahad and this is posing a significant public health problem following the large influx of people," said the report.

A week ago, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), which includes the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), along with several Darfur rebel groups, launched a major offensive most notably in Um Rawaba, the second-largest town in North Kordofan state and Abu Kershola in South Kordofan, during coordinated attacks on several nearby areas.

OCHA's report said that tribal fighting between the Beni Halba and Gimir tribes is ongoing and resulted in the killing of 7 people while tensions are growing in Kateela locality despite a reconciliation conference which was held in Nyala, adding that additional forces have been deployed to prevent further tensions.

According to government-linked Humanitarian aid commission (HAC) the violence has led to the displacement of 2,000 people from the Gimir and Assignor tribes into Bulbul Timbisko town which is located 25 km west of Nyala.

The report warned that 34,000 displaced people in North Darfur's town of Saraf Omra who were displaced from Khoran village who requested security personnel, shelter, schools, water points and healthcare facilities so they could return before the rainy season.

OCHA noted that 3,700 people who were displaced from areas of Abu Shikan, Tega, Kerat, Gilea, Amar Jadeed, Hashaba, Satil and Shatat Teram are not planning to return to their homes due to lack of security.

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