Sudan

Bombing continues as Sudan’s Ministries discuss aid for Darfur displaced

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On Tuesday, Second Vice-President Hassabo Abdelrahman headed a meeting in Khartoum on the humanitarian situation of the Jebel Marra displaced. That same morning, the Sudanese Air Force bombed the area north of Fanga in eastern Jebel Marra.

“An Antonov aircraft dropped two barrel bombs on the area of Dolo, north of Fanga,” a resident of Fanga told Radio Dabanga. “A number of cattle were killed. The explosions ignited fires in the area.

“On behalf of the population of Jebel Marra, we appeal to the UN Security Council and the international community to pressure the Sudanese government to stop the ongoing indiscriminate aerial bombardments on civilians in the area,” he said.

‘Support, security, services’

In a meeting on the humanitarian situation of the Jebel Marra displaced at the presidential palace on Tuesday, Second Vice-President Hassabo Abdelrahman instructed “the continuation of support for the newly displaced from Jebel Marra, the enhancement of security in the region so that they can return to their villages, and the improvement of services in the affected areas”.

The Minister for Welfare and Social Security, Mashayir El Dawalab, told reporters after the meeting that the attendants discussed the provision of humanitarian support to the new displaced, and the protection of children and women by the Sudanese Ministries and relevant agencies.

The Minister said that Central and North Darfur, where most of the displaced fled to, are coordinating the provision of water and health services.

She added that the authorities now intend to provide aid to the villages, in cooperation with the state governments.

According to the latest figures released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, more than 96,000 people have fled their villages in Jebel Marra since the government started its major offensive against rebel strongholds in the region in mid-January.

No access

Most of them have fled to North Darfur, where relief organisations have provided initial assistance. In Central Darfur, however, the authorities are still withholding access to the new displaced.

OCHA reported last week that the UN continues to advocate with the government Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) to allow inter-agency missions to identify humanitarian needs in the Central Darfur locations where the newly displaced people are being reported.

Four requests by UN and partners for inter-agency needs assessment missions were rejected by the authorities since 24 January, one request is pending, and one mission to a camp in the Central Darfur capital of Zalingei was approved.

Thousands of people are reportedly still hiding in caves and valleys up in Mount Marra.