Sudan + 1 more

Humanitarian Action, Recovery, and Development in Southern Sudan Weekly Bulletin - 04 to 10 Jun 2007

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Summary

- Inter-tribal conflict between Dinka in Lakes State and the Agar in Warrap State.

- Tensions in Rumbek over non-payment of teacher salaries.

- Insecurity increasing in Eastern Equatoria.

- Population movement from Ethiopia to Southern Sudan still a concern.

- Organized or assisted repatriation of refugees to Sudan, reaches over 64,400 individuals.

Current issue

The movement of the Lou Nuer from Ethiopia to Southern Sudan is still of concern. The returnees have recently made claims of being harassed and intimidated by authorities in Tiergol forcing them to return to Southern Sudan. There are no confirmations of physical force being used, however there is need to closely monitor the situation and report on rights' violations. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)'s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) unit working on a planning figure of 5,000 returnees, is currently following-up on the assessment recommendations of immediate humanitarian needs. So far, PACT have indicated that they are planning to build two early warning posts in the area, one to the south of Akobo (near Nyandith) and one to the north (near Denjok), both will include boreholes. Those who have returned are currently either seeking shelter with relatives or in public spaces/buildings such as churches. The returnees expressed their wish to postpone their return until the next dry season. The registration exercise started this week, so far 700 returnees have been registered - the exercise is ongoing.

OCHA Ethiopia has sent in a team from Gambella town on 10 June to Tiergol to meet with representatives of both Lou and Jikany Nuer as part of the peace dialogue. It is important that humanitarian assistance be equally divided between these two communities, on both sides of the border to ensure long-term peace.

The UN Steering Committee on Returns - the highest UN body addressing returns and chaired by the SRSG - met recently in Khartoum as part of a stock taking exercise of this returns season and to begin planning for the next. So far, 70,000 people have been assisted to return in 2007 - this is double those assisted in 2005 and 2006 combined. As part of the current conceptual framework for operations during the wet season, the UN/IOM targets for returns have been revised and are approximately 64,000 from 83,000. This revision is due to the late start of operations and the low numbers of returnees registering to return. UNHCR will keep their initial target of 102,000 refugees to be repatriated. Refugee repatriation from the DRC and CAR has now officially closed, while movements from Ethiopia have been suspended due to the rainy season. Operations from Uganda and Kenya will continue, though at a slower pace. The next returns season will place more emphasis on the reintegration effort. Overall security has been recognized as being essential to successful return though pockets of insecurity still exist, but these are being addressed as in Eastern Equatoria.

Population movements and returns

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) (1)

Another group of Mbororo are currently in the Maridi and Mundri areas of Western Equatoria and have requested assistance as they move. An earlier group were assisted in early 2007. This new group has requested veterinary and medical assistance and intend to follow the same route as the previous group to Blue Nile State. RRR unit is following-up on this by visiting the area to assess the situation.

State organized returns have now largely slowed down, though Northern Bahr el Ghazal (NBeG) remains an area of concern as one of the States receiving the largest numbers of returns. So far 30,000 returnees have arrived in NBeG State - half supported through the UN organized process and the other by the State authorities themselves with the assistance of church organizations. These un-coordinated movements have provided below standard assistance which has caused humanitarian concerns in some areas of the State.

In Western Bahr el Ghazal, an additional 453 IDPs have arrived in Boro Medina. This brings the total to 1,918 people. The current group of people are said to have arrived due to ongoing insecurity between Radom and Buram.

Refugees (2)

This week 324 Sudanese refugees were assisted to return. 276 returnees were supported as part of the organised voluntary repatriation programme from Uganda to Central Equatoria State and 48 returnees under the assisted voluntary self-repatriation. By 9 June 2007 repatriation of Sudanese refugees reached a cumulative total of 154,986. Of this number, 56,208 returned through organized movements, 8,262 through the assisted self-repatriation scheme and 90,516 spontaneously.

Needs and response by sector

Common Services and Coordination

OCHA EP&R unit has developed a contingency plan strategy for all the 10 States of Southern Sudan. The final draft is expected to be in place next week. Once approved implementation will start in early July. Eastern Equatoria State has been identified as a priority State following a number of humanitarian emergencies and insecurity related issues particularly the recent conflict between the Didinga and Toposa.

In Yambio, Western Equatoria, mobilization of NFI stocks to support vulnerable children and families is being finalized with the Directorate of Child Welfare and with the State Director for HIV-AIDS.

Health and Nutrition

Three rounds of Extended Programme of Immunisation (EPI) campaigns started last week in three Counties of Lakes State, (Rumbek Centre, Rumbek East and Wulu). UNICEF supplied 15 bicycles and two motor-cycles to the MoH to support the EPI campaign and future routine activities and also contracted vehicles to distribute the vaccines to the respective Counties.

A team of experts from UNFPA headquarters are currently visiting Juba (from 9 to 12 June) as part of the campaign to end Fistula in the Sudan. The mission will review the performance of the fistula unit at the Juba Teaching hospital in Central Equatoria established by UNFPA. The mission will also visit Yei to assess whether a similar unit can be established at the Yei hospital and to explore community mechanisms to support fistula programming. A second team is also in Juba (12 to 15 June) to assess the support and requirements for a comprehensive Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS) programme in Sudan. Frequent shortages and lack of appropriate supplies have been severely limiting the ability of the MoH GOSS and other partners to make progress towards universal access to reproductive health.

Disease Outbreaks

Reports of disease outbreaks across the 10 States of Southern Sudan have decreased. Agencies are now focusing on preparedness and planning.

WASH

Three new boreholes have been drilled at Mangar Primary School and Kuajok Catholic Primary School both in Gogriel Country and one in Gogrial town, Warrap State. The boreholes will benefit approximately 1,500 people who will have access to safe water.

The Rural Water Department, Warrap State with support from UNICEF have completed 164 community household latrines in various counties of the State. These households (approximately 2,000 people, mainly women and children) were reached with sanitation and hygiene awareness messages.

DDR

The north south DDR committee has agreed on a pilot DDR project for Southern Kordofan involving 14,000 combatants and the plans for this will be shared soon. This does not impact on the south but could provide useful lessons learnt. Meanwhile, the SPLA have submitted names of 25,100 combatants to be demobilized. The registration exercise is ongoing but the team is now analyzing where the ex-combatants will be resettled and how they will be reintegrated peacefully.

Mine Action

An assessment of Akobo town, Jonglei State was conducted and three dangerous areas were identified. Routes between Magwi and Pageri, and from Magwi - Palataka - Labone have been verified and cleared, while the road from Magwi to Sirsin was assessed with no dangerous areas uncovered. A manual mine clearance of the extension to Kapoeta airstrip has been completed. In Gogrial, Warrap State four of the seven UXO stockpiles have been destroyed. Meanwhile an assessment and clearance of a 8Km corridor from Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal to Warrap has been completed and cleared up to Farashika, 50km from Wau. In Central Equatoria, route survey and clearance from Limbe to Kajo Keji is ongoing. Work is complete up to Kaya River and will now continue in the direction of Kajo Keji. Meanwhile clearance of the Juba-Mundri road has been completed.

Child Protection

There are concerns particularly in Lakes State regarding the increasing number of children in detention and their reported mistreatment. Relevant agencies are awaiting the endorsement by the GoSS of the Child Bill Act, which when sanctioned will guide child protection work. UNICEF will use radio Miraya and other mass media to raise awareness for the bill and its importance in child protection.

Notes:

(1) Four types of organized IDP movements are planned for 2007 in Southern Sudan: (1) from northern Sudan to Southern Sudan; (2) from South Darfur to Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State; (3) from Wau County (Western Bahr el-Ghazal State) to Warrap State and possibly to Lakes State; and (4) from the Equatoria states to other locations in the Equatoria states and to Jonglei State.

(2) Organized repatriation of refugees in 2007 is due to happen mainly from five countries: CAR, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.

If you have inputs for the next edition, or questions and comments on this one, please contact:

Mona Duale, Reports Officer, OCHA, Juba, Sudan, Email: duale@un.org, Telephone: +4724137816

Melissa Phillips, Coordination and Information Officer, United Nations, Juba, Sudan, Email: phillipsm@un.org, Telephone: +249-91-2501652

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.