Sudan: Latest Violence in Parts of Sudan Impacts 16,500 People, UN Says

Recent fighting in parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states has displaced or affected an estimated 16,500 people, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which today detailed the aid response being offered to them through the UN and its partners.

The figure, confirmed today at UN Headquarters in New York, came from the Sudanese Government and is based on statistics gathered over the past two weeks.

In response to the additional needs, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners have already distributed one-month emergency food rations to 8,500 people.

The Sudanese Red Crescent Society - supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) - has established two emergency health clinics in Rashad, a town in northeastern South Kordofan.

In addition, the UN Children's Agency (UNICEF) and WHO supported the South Kordofan health ministry with emergency medicine and equipment, including basic health kids to cover 10,000 people for three months, nutritional supplements and water and sanitation services.

In Abyei, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Ali Al-Za'tari, expressed his concern today about the increasing number of people from South Sudan seeking refuge in Abyei, an area contested by South Sudan and Sudan.

Over the past few days, at least 3,000 people have arrived in Abyei, a UN spokesperson said. They are fleeing violence in South Sudan's Unity state, bringing the total number of South Sudanese in the area to 6,000.

Meanwhile, a peacekeeper from the African Union - UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was freed today, 54 days after being taken into custody. Sergeant Awesu Soleiman was abducted in Nyala on 9 March.

The Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, expressed the Mission's gratitude to the Government of Sudan, the Wali of South Darfur, and the Government of Nigeria "for their valuable assistance" in securing his safe release.

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