Kadugli — Authorities in South Kordofan have reported that the number of people arriving from areas held by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to government-controlled areas is increasing.
Since the start of the year, about 600 people monthly arrive in government-controlled areas from rebel-controlled Abu Safifa, Dalami and other places outside Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan. It is estimated that about 3,000 people have arrived this year so far. This is an increase from the average of 100 people per month reported in 2016, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan stated in its bulletin last week.
The increase coincides with reports of increased food insecurity in SPLM-N areas. According to FEWS NET, food insecurity among displaced and poorer residents in these areas -already at crisis levels- is likely to deteriorate to emergency level between May/June and September, because of displacement, restrictions on population movements and trade, and lack of access to livelihoods activities.
In response to reports about new displacements, a joint rapid inter-agency needs assessment was carried out in the three locations of Murta, Kulba and Tillo in Kadugli, where Nuba displaced have arrived this year. The area of Murta has the highest number of new arrivals in 2017 and there are major gaps in humanitarian assistance as it is a newly established settlement that has almost no basic services in place, the OCHA bulletin reads. The displaced arriving in Murta, mostly women and children, cited poor conditions including food insecurity as the reasons for fleeing their homes in the SPLM-N areas.
Medical attention is not being provided upon arrival and some pregnant women did not receive medical attention for almost a week following their arrival. There are no sanitation facilities and no access to clean drinking water in Murta.
Some of the displaced intended to proceed to Khartoum, while others intend to stay in the area if more assistance is provided.
The Tillo and Kulba areas are better established, with displaced having settled there since 2013, OCHA states. As of 2015, UNHCR and the Japan International Volunteer Centre built 350 shelters in Tillo - of which 60 have since collapsed. All latrines in Tillo have also collapsed.
Humanitarian access to SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile has been cut off since 2011, owing to lack of agreement between the SPLM-N and the Government of Sudan on humanitarian access modalities. According to the 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview, there are 354,500 people in need of humanitarian assistance in government-controlled areas in South Kordofan. This includes 184,000 displaced, 34,500 refugees, 12,700 returnees, and 154,400 residents.