BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Note: The last situation report was dated October 3, 2008.
In 2008, Sudan continues to cope with the effects of conflict, displacement, and insecurity countrywide. Since 2003, a complex emergency in Sudan's western region of Darfur has affected more than 4.7 million people, including nearly 2. million internally displaced persons (IDPs). In Darfur, fighting among armed opposition factions, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), militias, and ethnic groups is ongoing. According to the U.N., clashes have displaced approximately 270,000 to 300,000 people within Darfur and to eastern Chad since January 2008.
The former Government of Sudan and the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) continue to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) through the joint Government of National Unity (GNU). The GNU was formed in 2005, the year the parties signed the CPA and officially ended more than two decades of conflict between the north and the south. During the conflict, famine, fighting, and disease killed more than 2 million people, forced an estimated 600,000 Sudanese to seek refuge in neighboring countries, and displaced 4 million others within Sudan. The U.N. estimates that approximately 2.1 million people displaced during the conflict have returned to Southern Sudan and the Three Areas of Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei since 2005, taxing scarce resources and weak infrastructure. In eastern Sudan, the GNU and the Eastern Front opposition coalition signed the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement in 2006, but the area remains underdeveloped and slow to recover from decades of conflict.
The U.S. Government (USG) is the largest bilateral donor to Sudan and has contributed more than $3 billion for humanitarian programs in Sudan and eastern Chad since FY 2004. The USG continues to support the implementation of the CPA and joins the international community in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Darfur. On October 16, 2008, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez renewed the disaster declaration for the complex emergency in Sudan for FY 2009. The U.S. Mission in Sudan has declared disasters due to the complex emergency on an annual basis since 1987.
NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
|IDPs in Sudan||From Southern Sudan: 2.7 million In Darfur: 2.47 million In Eastern Sudan: 168,000||UNHCR(1) - November 2007 OCHA(2) -
July 2008 |
U.N. - September 2007
|Sudanese Refugees||From Darfur: 250,000
From Southern Sudan: 215,000
Returnees to Southern Sudan: 294,000
|UNHCR - June 2008 |
UNHCR - September 2008 UNHCR - September 2008
|Refugees in Sudan||From Eritrea, Chad, Ethiopia, and others: 227,664||UNHCR - August 2008|
HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE (IN FY 2008 AND FY 2009)
USAID/OFDA3 Assistance to Sudan and
Eastern Chad: $144,802,328
USAID/FFP(4) Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $116,512,456
State/PRM(5) Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $1,005,273,400
Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $1,266,588,184
CURRENT SITUATION IN DARFUR
In October, fighting between Sudanese government forces and armed opposition groups, as well as inter-ethnic conflict hampered humanitarian access to North and South Darfur and led to new displacement. In West Darfur refugee and IDP camps, unrest led to violence and caused U.N. and non-governmental organization (NGO) staff members to temporarily relocate.
In mid-October, the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Richard S. Williamson, traveled to Khartoum and Juba, Southern Sudan, to address the ongoing conflict in Darfur, the implementation of the CPA, and the
Abyei roadmap agreement. While in Sudan, the Special Envoy met with local officials and U.N. representatives, reiterating USG support for ending the conflict in Darfur and implementation of the CPA.
Security and Humanitarian Access
In October, violence and banditry continued to hamper humanitarian access to IDPs, conflict-affected populations, and host communities. On October 6, OCHA reported that in September U.N. agencies were unable to access 35 percent of the population in Darfur. According to OCHA, access in September was the lowest in 2008, primarily due to fighting between Sudanese government forces and armed opposition groups, as well as inter-ethnic violence.
In October, banditry targeting humanitarian staff and other attacks on humanitarian workers continued to hamper the provision of humanitarian relief throughout Darfur. According to the U.N., the number of attacks on humanitarians is increasing, with humanitarian staff reporting twice as many security-related incidents during the week of September 22 compared to the previous week. From January to October 2008, bandits and armed assailants killed 11 humanitarian staff members, hijacked 225 vehicles, and temporarily abducted 170 staff members, compared to 13 killed staff members, 137 hijacked vehicles, and 147 abducted staff members in all of 2007. Of the 225 hijacked vehicles, 100 were U.N. World Food Program (WFP)-contracted vehicles. According to the U.N., 41 WFP-contracted drivers remain missing.
Tensions in North Darfur remained high in October following Sudanese government attacks on villages in early September. On October 30, U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) officials reported that unknown assailants killed one UNAMID peacekeeper and wounded another. According to UNAMID, the two peacekeepers were assaulted while securing a water point near Kutum town, North Darfur. Attacks targeting UNAMID have killed 11 peacekeepers since January 1, 2008, and limited UNAMID's ability to protect IDPs and other vulnerable groups. In October, IDP camp leaders in North and South Darfur IDP camps requested an increased UNAMID presence in and around camps to ensure security and protection of civilians.
In West Darfur, unrest in Nertiti IDP and Mukjar refugee camps further constrained humanitarian access and led to violence against aid agencies. On October 9, Sudanese government forces attacked Nertiti camp, causing an unknown number of injuries, according to IDPs. According to the U.N., approximately 300 IDPs demonstrated in front of Nertiti camp, carrying sticks, clubs, and knives on October 10. The group sought UNAMID protection from Sudanese government attacks, according to an IDP leader. In addition, on October 14, the U.N. reported that approximately 50 70 armed Chadian refugee youth broke into the
UNHCR compound in Mukjar, beating and severely injuring UNHCR staff and vandalizing U.N. property. According to the U.N., the youth were protesting food ration levels in the camp. Following the incident, UNAMID helicopters relocated 18 U.N. and NGO staff from Mukjar to El Geneina, West Darfur. In response to insecurity, UNAMID Deputy Force Commander visited Nertiti camp and Mukjar and UNAMID is monitoring the security situation.
On October 26, OCHA reported that violence has displaced nearly 2.7 million people in Darfur since the conflict began, an increase from 2.5 million in July. U.N. agencies and NGOs expect the number of IDPs to increase in the coming months, following verification of new IDPs who fled Sudanese government attacks in North Darfur and inter-ethnic conflict in South Darfur. According to OCHA, armed conflict and insecurity has displaced an estimated 270,000 to 300,000 individuals in Darfur since January 1, 2008.
In October, OCHA, NGOs, and armed opposition groups reported suspected Maalia ethnic group militia attacks and inter-ethnic violence in villages near Abu Dangal village and Muhajeria town, South Darfur. According to relief agencies and initial OCHA estimates, violence killed 40 people, displaced between 12,000 and 13,000 others, and destroyed 15 villages. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the majority of displaced individuals are women and children, who have sought shelter under trees and in a nearby wadi (seasonal riverbed). ICRC expressed concern that humanitarian conditions could rapidly deteriorate with the onset of winter. Due to limited access to the area, U.N. agencies and humanitarian organizations have not yet confirmed the groups involved in the clashes, the extent of the damage, or the number of civilian casualties. In response to shelter concerns, ICRC distributed sleeping mats, clothes, and plastic sheeting to more than 4,000 conflict-affected individuals in Muhajeria.
On October 18, OCHA reported that Sudanese government clashes with armed opposition groups in early September displaced an estimated 24,000 people from Birmaza and Disa villages, North Darfur, and destroyed approximately 90 percent of farms in the area. According to OCHA, the majority of the IDPs fled to Froug, Um Mahareik, and Wadi Tubus villages, with smaller numbers seeking shelter to the north of Bakaore and Birmaza villages. The displaced population requires food, water, and emergency relief supplies, according to OCHA. However, the North Darfur State wali (governor) denied that mass displacement had occurred in North Darfur and said that North Darfur is violence free.