U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID)
BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Note: The last situation report was dated November 6, 1998.
Fighting began in 1983 between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) when the southern opposition movement demanded more influence in the government and protested GOS efforts to impose Islamic laws on the Christian and animist south. In 1991, fighting erupted between SPLA factions in areas of the south. The conflict continues today and civilians throughout the south and the transitional zone (i.e. southern Darfur, southern Kordofan, and southern Blue Nile area) are directly affected by GOS aerial bombings and forced relocations due to fighting. The ongoing insecurity and population displacement have not only interrupted or destroyed most of the indigenous trading and productive systems, but have also been major impediments to relief efforts. The United Nations (UN) and numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within and outside the framework of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) are delivering relief assistance by airlifts, airdrops, barges, and truck convoys. In more secure areas of southern Sudan, efforts are underway to use local agricultural surpluses for distribution in the hunger zones. About 2 million people are estimated to have died in Sudan from fighting, famine, and disease since 1983. According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees, more than 70,000 civilians died of war-related causes in the first half of 1998 alone.
AFFECTED AT A GLANCE:
Figures listed are U.N. Humanitarian Coordination Unit (UNHCU) and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): 4 million, including 2 million in Khartoum and 1.2 million in the transitional zone and southern areas
Refugees: 175,000 Sudanese refugees in Uganda, 80,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC), 58,507 in Ethiopia, 32,000 in Kenya, 35,500 in the Central African Republic, and 20,000 refugees in Chad. 147,302 Eritreans,11,889 Ethiopians, and 4,834 refugees of various origins currently in camps in Sudan.
Total FY 1999 USAID Assistance to Sudan $95,297,074*
* Note: In a previous situation report, issued on December 2, 1999, the total USAID contribution figure of $230.6 million inadvertently included a $135 million worth of assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
* Crop Conditions Favorable but Access to Food Remains Problematic. According to the USAID/Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), crop conditions are generally good, and favorable harvests are anticipated in most of southern Sudan due to abundant rainfall. Many farmers have received crop seeds and managed to plant them, easing fears of another devastating famine in southern Sudan this year. Harvesting has started in Equatoria and Lakes Regions but has been delayed in other regions. Harvest prospects in central and northern growing areas are favorable. USAID/FEWS reporting suggests that the total food production in southern Sudan during the first season of 1999 is considerably higher than 1998 cereal production. Production increases are most significant in Western Equatoria, Lakes Region, and Bor County, Upper Nile/Jonglei Region.
In addition, USAID/FEWS reports that malnutrition levels have improved since late June, when the seasonal rise in malnutrition normally occurs. Pasture conditions are reportedly satisfactory in most regions, especially in Upper Nile region, although flooding has constrained access to some areas.
However, preliminary findings from OLS Annual Needs Assessment (ANA) exercises suggest poor and erratic rainfall levels have caused crop failures in sizeable areas of Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei. In Kapoeta County, Eastern Equatoria, low crop yields have led to depleted livestock holdings. Food shortages are also expected in northern Bahr el Ghazal Region, particularly in Gogrial and Aweil East counties, as well as parts of Kordofan and Darfur regions. Food needs are reportedly great among a large number of returnees from the north in Atukuel and Panthou, Aweil East County.
Flooding has affected certain parts of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Jonglei regions and may interfere with crop development and harvesting. Preliminary findings from the 1999/2000 OLS Annual Needs Assessment (ANA) exercises in Aweil West County, Bahr el Ghazal, point to high food deficits due to heavy flooding. Initial findings of the ANA in Aweil East also indicate an upcoming food deficit for about 40 - 50% of the population due to flooding. Heavy rainfall has disrupted relief operations in Bahr el Ghazal (particularly Ajiep) and Jonglei regions since late August, rendering airstrips inoperative, delaying food aid distributions, and impeding assessments and staff movement. In recent months, floods caused by heavy rainfall have affected villages along the Nile corridor near Juba town and displaced vulnerable populations along Pibor River in Jonglei.
In addition, inter-factional fighting around the oil fields of Bentiu, western Upper Nile Region, is causing large-scale internal displacement of households and into the neighboring regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, and Jonglei. The insecurity has interrupted normal cropping cycles and prevented routine field assessment. According to the UN World Food Program (WFP), an estimated 150,000 people are at risk in western Upper Nile (Unity State). The fighting has rendered some areas inaccessible since May but subsided in Bentiu recently, allowing CARE and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) to resume limited humanitarian activities in the area. A government ban on relief flights to most airstrips in western Upper Nile could have serious humanitarian consequences. WFP is targeting over 600,000 persons in Upper Nile and Jonglei region, due to the continued threat of factional fighting.
An armyworm infestation first noted in late April has abated in most locations, following the onset of the rainy season in June. The infestation caused substantial losses of germinating crops in Pochalla, Jonglei Region, and Bor and Rumbek counties.
* Flooding affects Thousands in the North. Torrential rains have wreaked havoc in northern Sudan in recent months. On September 10, the Nile River flooded the town of Dongola in Northern State, destroying 6,000 homes. The GOS declared a state of emergency and along with local and international aid agencies sent essential supplies to help the flood victims. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) issued an appeal and supported efforts to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
During the year, floods also struck River Nile, Khartoum, Kassala, El Gezira, White Nile, North Kordofan, and South Darfur regions. According to the UN, over 1.6 million people were affected in Khartoum State and more than 60,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. The UN and GOS are discussing the need for preparedness measures in the coming months, given the increasingly devastating impact of floods in Sudan in the last decade.
* GOS Bombings of Civilian Sites Continue Despite Cease-fires. On October 12, the GOS extended a comprehensive cease-fire in all areas of the south for another three months, effective October 15. On October 13, the SPLM/A announced the extension of its humanitarian cease-fire declaration covering Bahr el Ghazal, Western Upper Nile, and Central Upper Nile for a three-month period, also effective October 15. The GOS and SPLA have observed for the most part a cease-fire in Bahr el Ghazal since the summer of 1998, facilitating the delivery of relief to affected civilians.
However, the GOS continues to conduct aerial bombings and raids of civilian and relief centers in southern Sudan, in violation of the humanitarian cease fire in place since July 1998, and its own unilateral comprehensive cease fire in place since August 1999. In May 1999, relief centers in the villages of Akak and Nyamlell, northern Bahr el Ghazal region, were bombed, resulting in one death and one serious injury. Aid agencies were forced to temporarily suspend food operations in the area. The USG condemned the GOS bombing of the two towns. The GOS also bombed Yei, located in Western Equatoria, repeatedly throughout the year. In March, GOS bombs destroyed several buildings of a hospital run by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in Yei.
The GOS dropped four bombs on Kajo Keji, Western Equatoria, in late July, two of which fell on an NGO compound and on hospital grounds. In April, two civilian relief centers in Loka and Lainya, also in Eastern Equatoria Region, were bombed by GOS aircraft. Four people were killed during the aerial raid and three children were wounded.
In late October, GOS bombings were reported in Mankien, Nhialdiu, Wicok, and Tharagana, in western Upper Nile. The bombings targeted both civilian and military sites in these towns. The UN estimates there were over 55 incidents of bombardment in southern Sudan in 1998.
* GOS and Opposition Forces Battle to Control Resources and Key Areas. On September 19, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an umbrella group of opposition groups in exile, claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a new 1,600-km pipeline linking oilfields in western Upper Nile to a shipping terminal at Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The GOS described the damage as slight, and the pipeline reportedly resumed functioning within a few days. Opposition forces have announced that they consider the pipeline and related oil facilities to be legitimate military targets.
Opposition forces have tried to seize key areas in Kassala State, located about 60 km from the Eritrean border, since May in an attempt to cut off Sudan’s oil pipelines and the highway linking Khartoum with the Port Sudan. The SPLA continues efforts to capture essential GOS-held areas in Blue Nile State and the Roseires Dam at Damazin, which provides most of Khartoum's electricity. With the end of the rainy season, both sides are likely to launch a dry season offensive in southern Sudan.
In July, heavy fighting erupted between rival pro-GOS factions in western Upper Nile Region, resulting in many casualties and affecting humanitarian access. The fighting was exacerbated by the production of oil and by shifting alliances among local factions, including the GOS-allied Southern Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) and the breakaway SSDF-United faction. In late June, pro-GOS forces recaptured the town of Akobo, Jonglei State, from the SPLA, which had occupied the town since March. The fighting caused heavy losses in lives and equipment.
* SSIM’s Kerubino Bol Reported Killed. In mid-September, Kerubino Kwanyin Bol, renegade warlord of the pro-GOS Southern Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM), was reportedly killed by a commander of a southern militia group known as the Southern Sudan United Army (SSUA). Bol was reportedly killed in an ambush near Mankien, 900 km south west of Khartoum, along with five SSUA officers. There has been no independent confirmation of Bol’s death. Bol is a Dinka commander who has changed sides several times in Sudan's civil war and wreaked humanitarian devastation in his wake.
* U.S. Policy Promoting Peace Efforts and Rehabilitation in Sudan. In July, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution condemning the GOS for conducting a genocidal war in southern Sudan, support for terrorism, and continued human rights violations. In late July, the U.S. eased sanctions against Sudan, Iran, and Libya. U.S. companies are now allowed to obtain licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department in order to sell food and medicine to these countries, previously listed as terrorist states.
On August 27, President Clinton appointed Harry Johnston as Special Envoy for Sudan. Johnston is a former Chairman of the Africa Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Johnston’s mandate includes strengthening the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace process, pressing human rights improvements, and focussing the spotlight on humanitarian conditions in Sudan.
In mid September, representatives of 13 U.S. based private voluntary organizations (PVOs) met with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to press for a more robust USG diplomatic effort in resolving the Sudanese conflict.
In late October, Secretary Albright conducted a six-nation tour of Sierra Leone, Mali, Nigeria, Guinea, Kenya, and Tanzania. In Kenya, Albright met with the Kenyan envoy for the IGAD process, Daniel Mboya, with SPLA/M chairman John Garang, and representatives of Sudanese civil society. During her visit, Albright expressed strong U.S. Government (USG) commitment to the IGAD peace process and announced a two-year extension of the USAID-funded Sudan Transitional Assistance for Rehabilitation (STAR) program and expansion to opposition-held areas in northern and eastern Sudan. The Clinton administration and U.S. Congress have recently increased pressure on foreign oil firms with investments in Sudan.
The USG has led efforts by the international donor community this year to revitalize the IGAD peace process. Enhancements to the process have included establishment of a full time secretariat, appointment of Mboya to move the process forward, and creation of technical committees for the key issues under negotiation.
* Tribal Groups Sign Local Peace Agreements. On March 7, about 300 Dinka and Nuer leaders signed a peace agreement in Wunlit, known as the Wunlit Dinka-Nuer Covenant. The Covenant called for an immediate and permanent cessation of all hostile acts between the two ethnic groups and granted amnesty for offenses prior to January 1, 1999. The Covenant also guaranteed freedom of movement across the lines of conflict and called for an expansion of the covenant to all of southern Sudan. The New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC), with funding from the STAR program, led the Wunlit peace process.
The NSCC is working to expand the Wunlit peace agreement to other communities in southern Sudan and initiated similar peace discussions among Lou Nuer leaders in Upper Nile Region in June, which culminated in the Waat Lou Nuer Covenant signed on November 6. The Lou factions agreed to cease all hostilities, identify a common agenda, and establish proper civil administration following the peace discussions.
In June, tribal leaders of African Masalit farmers and nomadic Arab cattle traders in Western Darfur State signed a comprehensive agreement to settle a blood feud that erupted in the state in early 1999 over water, grazing, and land rights.
* GOS Normalizing Relations with Former Foes. Since the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict erupted in May 1998, the two governments have moved to mend relations with the GOS. In late August, the GOS and the Ethiopian government boosted their respective diplomatic missions and economic cooperation. The GOS and Ethiopian government also met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in November to discuss bilateral relations. Bilateral relations between the two governments deteriorated after the attempted assassination in Addis Ababa in June 1995 of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Relations between the Eritrean and Sudanese governments have improved marginally following a Qatari brokered agreement signed on May 2. The accord, known as the Doha Agreement, envisaged the resumption of diplomatic relations broken off in 1994. It also provided that neither Eritrea nor Sudan should permit the use of its territory for hostile acts against the other. However, soon after signing the accord, the GOS accused Eritrean forces of shelling areas in Kassala State. The Eritrean government denied the charge and in turn accused the GOS of providing its opponents with armed support. In recent weeks, military operations near the Sudan-Eritrea border have intensified.
In June, the GOS initiated efforts to improve ties with Egypt. Relations between the countries deteriorated after Khartoum was implicated in the attempt to assassinate President Mubarak in Ethiopia. Sudan has denied involvement in the attack. Earlier in 1999, Sudan handed back land and property confiscated from Egypt in 1992.
Relations between Uganda and Sudan remain strained as each accuses the other of backing rebel movements fighting against governments in both states. In late August, a GOS aircraft reportedly flew over Gulu town in northern Uganda, but retreated when it came under Ugandan fire. In early July, a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) accused the GOS of bombing areas in the country held by opposition forces. 24 civilians were killed and 19 wounded during the bombing, according to the Congolese Liberation Movement.
The GOS is trying to improve links with the West. In November, the British Embassy in Khartoum re-opened for the first time since the August 1998 U.S. missile strike on a Khartoum pharmaceutical plant suspected of producing chemical weapons. In addition, the EU embarked on a critical dialogue with the GOS in November.
On August 27, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lifted its 1990 declaration of non-cooperation with Sudan, noting the country's commitment to a schedule of payments to the IMF and its progress in implementing economic policies. A resumption of Sudan's voting and related rights would have to await repayment of its significant arrears. Sudan is the biggest single IMF debtor in terms of overdue payments and was expelled from the organization two years ago for debts accrued since the 1970s.
* International Mediators Pushing for Peace Agreement. In August, the GOS accepted a peace plan proposed by Egyptian and Libyan mediators during an Organization for African Unity summit meeting in Libya. The plan includes a permanent cease-fire and the holding of a national peace conference. From October 19-21, Sudanese opposition leaders from the NDA met in Cairo, Egypt, to establish a common framework for future negotiations with the GOS, with the help of Egyptian and Libyan mediators. The meeting ended with the postponement of the formation of an NDA team to sit on a preparatory committee for a national reconciliation conference with the GOS. The SPLA subsequently rejected Egyptian-Libyan mediation efforts, stating it prefers to follow the mediation process conducted by the IGAD.
NDA representatives, including the SPLA, have held talks in Asmara, Eritrea, and Kampala, Uganda, on the IGAD peace process and the future of Sudan.
In September, Sudanese Islamic leader Hassan al-Turabi reclaimed the leadership of the National Congress (NC, formerly known as the National Islamic Front) party away from Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir. The Sudanese parliament recently passed a motion amending the constitution to reduce Beshir’s role as president. In late June, the GOS celebrated the tenth anniversary of the coup d’etat that brought the NC to power.
* Agencies Push Sudan to Promote Human Rights. In March, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report urging warring parties in Sudan to end looting and attacks on civilian locations and to punish those guilty of such abuses. HRW supports deployment of UN human rights monitors for Sudan, either inside the country or on its borders. Also in March, UNICEF presented the GOS, upon the GOS’s request, a plan of action to combat slavery in Sudan, following widespread reports that NGOs, such as the Swiss-based Christian Solidarity International, were redeeming from captivity thousands of slaves.
In early November, Leonardo Franco, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Sudan, reported some progress in the country's human rights record but warned that all warring parties are violating human rights and the principle of humanitarian law. Franco condemned the GOS for bombings, restricted press, slavery, forced displacements, kidnappings, forced labor, and the obstruction of humanitarian aid in a report to the UN General Assembly on November 5. According to Franco, the human rights situation is reportedly worsening in western Upper Nile, due to strategies employed by the GOS in its efforts to control the oil rich areas. In the report, Franco encouraged the GOS to cease forced abductions of civilians and allow a permanent UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) office to be established in Sudan. Franco’s report was based on his April and October visits to Sudan. In late September, the UN Freedom of Opinion and Expression Rapporteur Abid Hussein arrived in Sudan to examine issues such as the closure of newspapers, the summons of opponents by security authorities, and bans on political activities.
* Food Deliveries Benefit Thousands in Sudan Despite Constraints. Since January 1999, WFP has provided 69,858 MT of food commodities in non-GOS held areas of southern Sudan. On average, WFP delivered 85% of planned distributions and about 7,000 MT of food commodities per month during this period. The commodities have benefited over 884,000 people in the south, including about 622,000 people in Bahr el Ghazal Region. Between January and August, OLS also delivered 29,000 MT of food to 2.8 million people in the northern sector. Total deliveries in this period amount to 88,271 MT, of which 64% were distributed by air (mostly to southern sector locations), 23% by road, and 13% by barge.
In recent months, insecurity linked to the actual or perceived threat of militia raids by pro-GOS forces disrupted relief operations along the rail corridor in Bahr el Ghazal. Food distributions in Aweil West, Aweil East, Gogrial, and Wau counties have been particularly affected.
In addition to insecurity, GOS-imposed flight bans have affected humanitarian access and OLS operations in various locations of Upper Nile/Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria in recent months. On July 14, the GOS banned humanitarian flights to Western Upper Nile, citing security concerns. The ban primarily affected Ganyiel and Nyal and forced the withdrawal of relief personnel assisting an estimated 150,000 people. The USG strongly condemned the ban, stating there were no security concerns in the area. The flight ban was subsequently lifted in August in three locations, but the GOS continued to prohibit air access to Ganyiel and Nyal, again citing security concerns. The GOS continues to deny flight access to areas south of the Kapoeta, Torit, Juba, and Yei zone, as well as numerous locations in western Upper Nile.
As in previous years, heavy seasonal flooding continue to affect planned interventions in the south, particularly in Bahr el Ghazal. Overflowing rivers have prevented air deliveries and hampered beneficiaries from reaching some distribution sites in Bahr el Ghazal.
Despite these constraints, current food needs are being met and conditions have improved since the last harvest in December. An OLS post distribution assessment conducted for the period of January to August 1999 revealed that beneficiary communities view relief food as a major factor contributing to household food security. Food aid has encouraged some IDPs to return to their homes and begin rehabilitation activities. The assessment revealed that the bulk of food aid interventions in 1999 were timed to coincide with greater food requirements. A review of OLS supplementary feeding programs conducted in GOS areas around Wau town in late September has identified the need for NGOs to discontinue on-site feeding programs as the nutritional status has improved since 1998. A recent UNICEF nutritional survey in Bahr el Ghazal indicates that global malnutrition levels among both IDP and host populations are below 10%. The survey attributes the improvement to food aid, as most IDPs’ coping mechanisms continue to be severely restricted by insecurity.
OLS has completed the 1999/2000 Annual Needs Assessment (ANA) in the northern and southern sectors and will use the findings to identify the level of relief aid needed and areas of potential seed and food surplus. The ANA will seek to recommend interventions and will form the basis of the 1999/2000 UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan. In late July, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) revised a $200 million interagency appeal launched in February 1999, which targeted four million war and drought affected people in Sudan. The annual UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, which forms a basis of the appeal, has completed its field work in the southern sector and is finalizing assessments in the north. WFP is currently developing contingency plans for southern Sudan in coordination with other food aid agencies.
* Assailants Directly Target Relief Workers. Direct attacks on humanitarian workers continue to be reported in southern Sudan and to negatively affect relief efforts. In early April, a Sudan Red Crescent (SRC) employee and three GOS officials were allegedly killed while under the custody of the SPLA near Pariang, western Upper Nile. The four were among a group of seven people captured by the SPLA/M in February while accompanying the ICRC on an agricultural assessment mission north of Bentiu. Two Swiss delegates were released in March, and one SRC personnel reportedly escaped from custody.
In May, unidentified assailants attacked a WFP river barge convoy in the Adok area of western Upper Nile between Malakal and Juba. The barge’s co-pilot was killed and three WFP members were injured. The UN workers, including three UNICEF staff, were airlifted from Malakal to Khartoum where they received medical attention. WFP investigated the incident and resumed barge deliveries in late August following written pledges by the SPLA (which denied involvement in the attack) guaranteeing the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and property in areas under its control. However, a second barge convoy to Juba was subsequently forced to return to Kosti, after the security situation in western Upper Nile prevented it from proceeding upstream. The second convoy, which arrived in Malakal from Kosti on September 21, was carrying food for more than 300,000 beneficiaries in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Equatoria regions. Due to insecurity, no barges have reached Juba since May. WFP is airlifting limited quantities of food to Juba as needed and is pre-positioning food in Malakal to assist vulnerable persons in and around the town.
* Implementation Problems Pose Difficulties for Relief Efforts. OLS continues to face problems with implementation of relief distributions in Sudan due to poor dropzone security, delays, insufficient porters, and petty theft, particularly in Bahr el Ghazal. In early October, WFP temporarily suspended air deliveries in Western Upper Nile, until the problem of poor security at the drop zone was resolved. Lack of porters affected air deliveries in Mayen Abun, Twic County, as well as other areas, in September. In early September, WFP food commodities were stolen from two locations in Twic and Aweil East counties, forcing WFP to halt deliveries to those locations until the stolen items were returned.
In addition, insufficient collaboration from local counterparts has delayed delivery of relief items in Gogrial County. WFP is working with counterparts to address these implementation issues and, in cases where such problems are impeding distribution, is suspending deliveries until the problems are resolved.
* Road Rehabilitation and Delivery Efforts Ongoing. WFP is currently supporting ongoing road repairs with partial funding from USAID/OFDA and the USAID/Office of Food for Peace (FFP). The repairs have assisted relief operations by reducing transport costs and improving convoy turn around time. WFP rates for road transportation in the southern sector have reportedly dropped from $0.6 to $0.5/MT/km as a result of the road repairs. WFP expects to gain all-year access into Bahr el Ghazal by rehabilitating stretches of road north of Rumbek town through Tonj, Thiet, and Lunyaker towns. In Eastern Equatoria, WFP plans to repair roads up to Chukudum (from Lokichokkio, northern Kenya), thereby allowing all-year access into Kapoeta and Torit counties. With recent road improvements, WFP may increase local procurement of surplus food in Western Equatoria, currently estimated at 20,000 MT, to meet some of the relief needs in northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes regions.
Overall, OLS road deliveries have increased by more than 70% since 1998 in southern Sudan. However, since August, road deliveries from Koboko, Uganda, and Lokichokkio have continued at lower levels than planned due to the closure of the Koboko corridor by OLS security, insecurity in Eastern Equatoria, and lack of access to locations north of Rumbek town, Bahr el Ghazal. Road repairs between Narus and Natinga were suspended in early November due to an ambush attack on local relief staff in which two people were killed. Food aid deliveries were suspended in and around Chukudum on October 7 due to clashes between ethnic Dinkas and Didingas, and local and international aid agencies evacuated the area. The clashes began in early 1999 after an SPLA member was killed by a Didinga tribesman. According to UNHCR, renewed fighting between Dinka and Didinga tribesman forced over 600 people to flee to Uganda and Kenya in mid November.
Diversion incidents and problems with local authorities in the border town of Nadepal wanting to impose taxes have also hampered WFP road repairs and deliveries to Narus and Natinga IDP camps, in Kapoeta County. Discussions between OLS and SPLA/M officials are ongoing to resolve these problems. In addition, heavy rains have delayed OLS road rehabilitation and delivery efforts, particularly in the western road corridor of Western Equatoria. Transportation of food by road is likely to remain at decreased levels in the last months of 1999 due to anticipated lower food needs in locations accessible by road in Bahr el Ghazal after the upcoming harvests.
* Health Agencies Attempt to Control Disease Outbreaks. In May, IFRC initiated a meningitis prevention and control campaign to vaccinate 2.5 million people in Sudan in response to a severe outbreak first reported in December 1998. IFRC estimates that more than 30,000 people, mainly children, have contracted the disease, which has caused over 2,000 deaths. To date, 17 states, including Upper Nile Region and some states in the north, have been affected by the outbreak, which reached its peak between the end of April and beginning of May. Meningitis is endemic in Sudan and normally peaks during the dry months of May and June.
Aid agencies in Sudan continue to focus on the prevention of other endemic diseases such as guinea worm and onchocerciasis. Various NGOs are treating other illnesses with high prevalence, such as upper tract respiratory infections and skin diseases. The UN and GOS recently completed a border polio vaccination campaign that covered the country's 10 border states. The campaign, led by the UN World Health Organization and UNICEF, targeted 750,000 children below five years.
However, UNICEF recently reported that ongoing fighting has prevented a mass measles vaccination campaign from reaching 50,000 children in Upper Nile region. The fighting interrupted an active campaign targeting 10,000 children in Mankien in July. According to UNICEF, Medecins sans Frontieries (MSF)/Belgium was forced to evacuate Akobo repeatedly in recent months, interrupting a cholera control program. UNICEF reports aid agencies are currently responding to an outbreak of anthrax in livestock in Marial Lou and Panthou in Bahr el Ghazal.
* UN Team Visits the Nuba Mountains. In late September, two humanitarian teams completed an inter-agency assessment of humanitarian needs in the Nuba Mountains, Southern Kordofan State. The teams comprised experts from WFP, FAO, WHO, UN Development Program, and UN OCHA, as well as CARE and SCF/UK. The assessment findings, released on November 11, predict a food deficit from May – September 2000, as well as a chronic lack of agricultural inputs and depleted livestock assets. The mission report indicated a need for continued food assistance to IDP families, particularly in urban areas. Immunization coverage was extremely limited in the areas visited, and health centers lacked basic supplies and access to clean water. The September mission followed an assessment by a team of high-level UN officials in June, which was the first UN humanitarian mission to the area since the war started.
Based on the assessment’s findings, the UN plans to implement a $10 million assistance program to rehabilitate both GOS and SPLA held areas in the Nuba Mountains. The program will include, for the first time, multi-sectoral assistance for populations in the Nuba Mountains and will be included in the 1999/2000 UN Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for the Sudan. CARE is reportedly planning to airlift relief supplies to the Nuba Mountain region soon.
Recent UN reports indicate that torrential rains have negatively affected over 18,000 people in Kadugli town, the state capital. The GOS has recommended provision of food aid and may distribute shelter materials to displaced populations. Hundreds of new IDPs also continue to be displaced from the Nuba Mountains due to fighting, according to WFP, and require urgent assistance. In late May, WFP distributed food in Kadugli villages under GOS control for the first time since June 1998, when unknown assailants killed two WFP local staff.
* Khartoum Forced Relocations Continue. The GOS continues to forcibly relocate IDPs in the Khartoum area, leaving vulnerable populations dependent upon humanitarian relief for basic survival. In late June, about 10,000 IDPs were again displaced from four Khartoum squatter areas after GOS forces demolished their shelters. The GOS plans to relocate a total of 230,000 IDPs in the Khartoum area in the near future as part of a re-planning effort for Greater Khartoum. The plan involves moving IDPs from the four main camps of Jebel Aulia, Mayo Farms, Wad el Bashir, and El Salaam to areas further east. UN agencies and international NGOs are urging the GOS to provide adequate basic amenities before relocations are carried out in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis. WFP, in collaboration with NGOs, is providing food to beneficiaries in IDP camps and squatter areas in the Greater Khartoum area.
Humanitarian access to IDPs in Khartoum camps remains limited. Access to affected populations in northern sector locations in Kassala and Juba towns also is limited. In Kassala, travel restrictions imposed by the GOS have particularly hindered humanitarian activities in Hamashkoreib province. Aid agencies are assisting a total of about 55,000 IDPs in three camps in the northern and southern parts of Kassala.
* UNHCR Assisting Refugees in Sudan and in the Region. UNHCR, the GOS, and the Eritrean Government continue discussions for the voluntary repatriation of Eritrean refugees in Sudan. Agreements to repatriate these refugees have been delayed by the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict and the state of relations between Sudan and Eritrea. There are currently 147,302 Eritrean refugees in UNHCR camps and settlements in eastern Sudan, many of whom want to return home. UNHCR assisted in the repatriation of 24,449 Eritrean refugees in 1994 – 1995 and a total of 72,327 Ethiopian refugees since 1993. In the coming months, OLS plans to initiate a major reintegration effort led by the SPLA to repatriate the majority of 165,000 Bor Dinka IDPs now located in Sudanese camps along the Uganda border. USAID/OFDA expects to support the Bor resettlement effort.
The Government of Chad and the GOS recently reached agreements on border security and the return of 20,000 Sudanese refugees, according to UNHCR.
USG ASSISTANCE TO SUDAN
The USG has been providing humanitarian assistance to Sudan since 1988. On November 8, 1999, U.S. Embassy/Khartoum Charge d’Affaires Donald G. Teitelbaum, who is based in Embassy/Nairobi, renewed the complex emergency disaster declaration for Sudan for FY 2000 and requested continued USG assistance to Sudan in FY 2000. Currently, the USG's humanitarian response to the emergency in Sudan is provided through USAID/OFDA, USAID/FFP, the USAID's Bureau for Africa (USAID/AFR), and the State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugee, and Migration (State/PRM). In FY 1999, USAID provided more than $95 million to Sudan, including $25 million provided by USAID/OFDA. The USAID/AFR-funded STAR program also provided $2.1 million to support capacity-building efforts in opposition-held areas, including approximately $1 million in sub-grants to Sudanese groups involved in milling, transport, and cooperative shops. Achievements under the STAR program include the Wunlit peace process and a conference on lessons learned from the 1998 famine in Bahr el Ghazal. STAR will be extended through FY 2002 and an additional $6 million will be added to the life of program for a new total of $13 million over the five-year period.
USAID staff in Washington work with the USAID/Regional Economic Development Services Offices and the USAID/OFDA’s Africa Regional Office in Nairobi to plan and monitor relief and rehabilitation activities in southern Sudan and, in collaboration with USAID/Khartoum staff, to monitor activities in northern Sudan and GOS-controlled areas of the south.
* USAID/OFDA Assistance
USAID/OFDA supported the following activities in FY 1999:
Action Contre la Faim (ACF) emergency health, nutrition and water program in the Juba area..$973,485
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) food distribution and therapeutic feeding project in Khartoum ..$1,542,548
ADRA primary health care project in Upper Nile ..$797,186
Airlifts of relief supplies and other operational Costs ..$43,175
ACROSS primary health care and water project in Bor County $442,076
American Refugee Committee health and water/sanitation project in Kajo Keji to benefit IDPs .$865,000
CARE agriculture and road rehabilitation program in Tambura and Bahr el Ghazal ..$1,280,317
CARE food security program in Bor County .$851,857
CARE health project for Khartoum IDPs and response to meningitis outbreak .$1,700,000
CARE food security project in En Nahud camp in West Kordofan $247,000
CARE/International Medical Corps sleeping sickness project in Western Equatoria .$300,000
Catholic Relief Services emergency operations project, water/sanitation and PHC activities ..$2,392,698
Christian Mission Aid primary health project in Upper Nile $600,000
CONCERN supplementary and therapeutic feeding program in south Sudan .$750,335
CONCERN seeds, tools, and fishing equipment distribution program in Aweil West $660,000
CONCERN seeds, tools, and fishing equipment distribution program in Nuba Mountains $165,430
CONCERN local capacity building program in Yirol County $326,351
GOAL primary health care project in Twic County, Bahr el Ghazal $400,000
International Aid Sweden water drilling project in Bahr el Ghazal .$250,000
International Rescue Committee (IRC) basic primary health care in Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal .$1,647,185
IRC emergency water and sanitation project in Malakal ..$450,100
MEDAIR food security project in northern Upper Nile .$321,100
NPA food and agriculture rehabilitation program for IDPs and returnees in Equatoria .$1,704,512
Replenishment of OFDA stocks dispatched to Sudan for floods ..$254,325
Save the Children/U.S. program to benefit IDPs in northern Sudan $857,657
SCF/UK seeds and tools project in Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile .$400,000
WFP/Medic road repair program $700,000
World Vision (WV) emergency kit distribution in Bahr el Ghazal . $645,677
WV emergency seeds and tools program in Tonj and Gogrial counties $459,087
UNICEF food security project and OLS operations support $2,866,068
UNICEF northern sector program in Wau, Bahr el Ghazal ..$318,605
Veterinaries sans Frontieres/Belgium livestock program in Upper Nile .$305,000
Total FY 99 USAID/OFDA Assistance = $25,516,774
* USAID/FFP Assistance
In FY 1999, USAID/FFP contributed 67,330 MT of PL 480 Title II emergency food commodities valued at more than $67 million for distribution by ADRA, CRS, Lutheran World Relief (LWR), NPA, WFP, and WV to war and drought affected vulnerable persons. This assistance included 9,380 MT of food commodities valued at approximately $3.8 million to support WFP refugee operations in Sudan.
Total FY 99 USAID/FFP Assistance = $67,587,300
* USAID/AFR Assistance
In FY 1999, USAID/AFR granted more than $2.1 million to CRS and UNICEF to support capacity-building efforts for indigenous organizations in opposition-held areas in southern Sudan.
Total FY 99 USAID/AFR Assistance = $2,193,000
* U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Assistance
In FY 1999, the USDA provided 111,930 MT of food valued at $135 million through WFP to Sudan.
Total FY 99 USDA Assistance = $135,300,000
* State/PRM Assistance
In FY 1999, State/PRM provided more than $92.4 million to the UNHCR and ICRC Africa-wide appeals, portions of which were used for refugee assistance programs in Sudan and for Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries. State/PRM also provided over $5.4 million to WFP for refugee feeding programs in Africa. State/PRM provided an additional $2.6 million to IRC and LWF to benefit mostly Sudanese refugees in Kenya and Uganda.
Total FY 99 State/PRM Assistance = $100,515,636*
*State/PRM funding to Sudan is regional and, therefore, cannot be included in total USG assistance figures in Sudan.
USAID/OFDA FY 1999 Assistance $25,516,774
USAID/FFP FY 1999 Assistance $67,587,300
USAID/AFR FY 1999 Assistance $2,193,000
USAID FY 1999 Assistance $95,297,074