BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Note: The last situation report was dated November 16, 2007.
In 2007, Sudan continued to cope with the effects of conflict, displacement, and insecurity countrywide. In Sudan's western region of Darfur, fighting among armed opposition factions, Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), militias, and ethnic groups persisted in 2007, displacing approximately 280,000 people, according to the U.N. Since 2003, the Darfur complex emergency has affected 4.2 million people, including 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The former Government of Sudan (GOS) 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, when the parties signed the CPA and officially ended more than two decades of conflict between the North and the South. During the conflict, fighting, famine, and disease killed more than 2 million people, forced an estimated 600,000 to seek refuge in neighboring countries, and displaced 4 million others within Sudan. The U.N. estimates that approximately 1.6 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 Sudan Front coalition signed a peace agreement in 2006 to prevent simmering tensions from erupting into conflict.
The U.S. Government (USG) is the leading international donor to Sudan and has contributed nearly $2.9 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 11, 2007, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez renewed the disaster declaration for the complex emergency in Sudan for FY 2008.
|NUMBERS AT A GLANCE||SOURCE|
|IDPs in Sudan||From Southern Sudan: 2.7 million
In Darfur: 2.2 million
In Eastern Sudan: 70,000
|UNHCR(1) - November 2007
OCHA(2) - August 2007
U.N. - December 2006
|Sudanese Refugees||From Darfur: 234,500
From Southern Sudan: 255,000
|UNHCR - November2007
UNHCR - December 2007
|Refugees in Sudan||From Eritrea, Chad, Ethiopia, and others: 215,630||UNHCR - December2007|
FY 2007 AND FY 2008 HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
USAID/OFDA(3) Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $174,246,621
USAID/FFP(4) Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $644,959,900
USAID/OTI(5) Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $28,342,159
State/PRM(6) Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $91,731,117
Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Sudan and Eastern Chad: $939,279,297
CURRENT SITUATION IN DARFUR
In November and December, insecurity continued to displace civilians and inhibit the delivery of humanitarian assistance. In November, USAID Administrator and Director of Foreign Assistance Henrietta H. Fore, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez, Assistant Administrator for USAID's Bureau for Africa Katherine Almquist, and USAID/Sudan Mission Director Patrick Fleuret traveled to El Fasher, North Darfur, and Juba, Central Equatoria State, to review the current situation. In addition, Chargé d'Affaires Fernandez and USAID/Sudan Mission Director Fleuret traveled to Nyala, South Darfur, in December to discuss GNU plans to remove weapons from Kalma IDP camp and resettle IDPs in the state.
Security and Humanitarian Access
Rampant banditry and attacks targeting humanitarian staff continued to hinder operations in November and December. In all three Darfur states, road travel is restricted to major towns. To date in 2007, 128 humanitarian vehicles have been hijacked, 74 convoys attacked, 58 humanitarian personnel arrested or detained, 59 staff physically or sexually assaulted, 131 personnel kidnapped, 18 staff injured, and 12 staff killed, according to OCHA.
The international community is awaiting the GNU's renewal of the humanitarian moratorium, which expires on January 31, 2008. The moratorium eases requirements for visas, travel permits, and importation of relief commodities for NGOs working in Darfur, which would otherwise be subject to provisions of Sudan's Voluntary and Humanitarian Work Act of 2006. A failure to renew the moratorium in the coming weeks would bring NGO operations to a halt.
In December, the African Union Mission in Sudan, U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur, and GNU agreed to develop a plan to remove weapons from Kalma IDP camp near Nyala, in compliance with international principles and Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) provisions. The decision followed an announcement in late November that the GNU would disarm Kalma camp if IDPs did not voluntarily surrender weapons by November 30. Many in the humanitarian community were concerned that government-sponsored forced disarmament could yield further violence and displacement from Kalma camp. In October, approximately 10,000 of 90,000 IDPs fled Kalma after Sudanese government security forces entered the camp in response to politically motivated interethnic fighting.
Due to increased insecurity, USAID partners have reported worsening access to program sites in northern South Darfur since October. USAID's main health partner in the area now travels to Mershing and Menawashi only by helicopter and has no access to Duma, located between Nyala and Menawashi on the road to El Fasher. Referrals from clinics to hospitals have decreased for patients requiring advanced care outside these towns, as NGOs previously transported referrals by road to Nyala. Patients who need advanced care in Nyala now must use public transport, if available.
Between January 1 and December 11, OCHA reported that 279,875 people were displaced in Darfur, including 33,771 in North Darfur, 72,950 in West Darfur, and 173,154 in South Darfur. To date in November and December, more than 5,600 people have been displaced, representing lower monthly totals than previous months.
South Darfur experienced the majority of displacement in November and December. Fighting between the Salamat and Habaniya ethnic groups in Buram locality caused more than 5,000 people to flee to Khor Omer camp and El Ferdous town in Ed Daein locality, Tulus locality, and Al Salam camp in Nyala. Intermittent fighting between Tarjem and Abbala militias near Bulbul Abu Jazo, south of Kass, continued to displace local residents to nearby areas such as Kass town, which has received 27,000 new IDPs in 2007.
On December 10 and 11, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Fernandez, USAID/Sudan Mission Director Fleuret, and USAID and U.S. Embassy staff traveled to South Darfur. The team visited Sekele, a GNU-sponsored resettlement site. Sekele hosts 542 households who settled in Nyala town after fleeing Kalma camp in October, but were forcibly relocated to Sekele by the Sudanese government between October 26 and 28. The team observed that living conditions at Sekele are below international humanitarian standards. Agencies expressed concern that despite the lack of services, people were remaining at Sekele due to insecurity in Kalma and the GNU's promise of assistance and land, including the distribution of 2,200 plots. Approximately half of the households in Sekele have received 300 square meter plots of land. It remains unclear whether resettled IDPs will be able to reclaim land in their areas of origin in the future or continue to be eligible for humanitarian assistance as IDPs. USAID staff report that the GNU plans to create at least five more resettlement sites around Nyala town.
Throughout Darfur, it is becoming more difficult to find agencies willing to coordinate humanitarian aid in IDP camps. UNHCR, the global U.N. cluster lead in camp coordination, has not yet expanded its operations into North and South Darfur.
USAID staff report impending gaps in camp coordination from December through February in the three largest IDP camps in North Darfur, which host more than 150,000 IDPs and are located close to urban El Fasher. Spanish Red Cross will cease camp coordination in Abu Shouk and Zam Zam camps in the coming months following the Sudanese Red Crescent Society's decision not to renew the Spanish Red Cross's contract in Darfur. In As Salaam IDP camp, the International Rescue Committee will officially end camp coordination on December 31. Incoming coordinator CHF International will not take over until February 1, leaving the camp without a coordinator for one month.
In South Darfur, Kalma camp has been without a coordinator for more than one year. During that time, aid agencies have reported increased insecurity and in deteriorating conditions in the camp. Gereida, Darfur's largest IDP camp with more than 120,000 residents, has never had an agency dedicated solely to coordinating assistance in the camp, which is located in southern South Darfur.
(1) Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(2) U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(3) USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
(4) USAID's Office of Food for Peace
(5) USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives
(6) U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration