‘Situation in El Sareif Beni Hussein deteriorating’: North Darfur youth

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The humanitarian situation in El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in North Darfur is deteriorating fast. Since more than one month, the main roads to the locality are blocked by militias. Food prices are soaring, health care is almost non-existent.

“About 17,000 displaced families, consisting of 72,000 people, are living in abominable economic and health conditions,” El Sadig Daoud, member of an El Sareif youth group told Radio Dabanga. “They have not received any aid since October last year, when the government refused to grant permission to relief organisations to enter the locality.”

“Since more than a month the Kabkabiya-El Sareif and Saraf Umra-El Sareif roads are besieged by militiamen. No commodities reach the locality anymore.”

Daoud stressed to Radio Dabanga the “dire need of the displaced for food, clothing, medicines, and shelter”. He demanded from the government of North Darfur to allow organisations to access El Sareif Beni Hussein locality, and “rescue the life of thousands of civilians”.

No clean drinking water

Suleiman Ibrahim, another member of the youth group, described the health situation in the locality as “very critical”. “Health care has become almost non-existent. The services at El Sareif hospital are deteriorating, as there are almost no doctors and medication anymore.”

“Diseases like malaria and tonsillitis are spreading fast among the children, as other major diseases are spreading. Many women suffer from inflammation of their breasts.”

“Yet even more scaring is the lack of clean drinking water. The number of people in El Sareif Beni Hussein complaining about kidney stones and urinary tract infections is growing fast.”

Soaring prices

“The locality is also witnessing an unprecedented rise in food prices, and increasing costs of grinding grains,” youth group member El Nur Musa Fadul told Radio Dabanga. “The road closures prevent the lorries from Omdurman to reach El Sareif. They are not going further anymore than El Fasher.”

Fadul expressed his hope that “relief organisations will be able to intervene soon, in particular the UN World Food Programme, to help out the poor families and displaced in the locality”.

Mohamed Ibrahim El Tari, a fourth youth group member, said that “certain political groups” are behind the road blocks. “They want to create new frictions between Beni Hussein and Rizeigat tribesmen.” He emphasised that both tribes have been committed to the peace and reconciliation agreements signed, and called on both parties to keep to the agreements.

“We are look forward to engage in a real peace process for the whole of Darfur, for the sake of the region and the future.”