I. Affected Population – trends and analysis
1. The trend of high levels of violence that has characterized 2008 continued during the last quarter of the year. Armed confrontations between Government of Sudan (GoS) forces and opposition groups and inter-tribal fighting caused further new population displacements, although numbers of displaced in camps remained largely stable with respect to the previous report of 1 October. In 2008, some 317,000 people were newly displaced, often for the second or third time since the conflict started in early 2003. By 1 January 2009, there were nearly 2.7 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Darfur. An additional two million residents continued to be directly affected by the conflict. Targeted violence against humanitarian workers and their assets continued at alarmingly high levels, further constraining humanitarian access.
CHART 1. Estimated Number of IDPs and Total Affected Population
(UN estimates since April 2004)
II. Humanitarian Access
2. Humanitarian access in Darfur is primarily determined by a combination of three factors:
- The degree of general insecurity, which may require the United Nations and other humanitarian partners to suspend or limit operations in certain unsafe areas for a certain amount of time;
- The continued harassment of humanitarian organizations and workers, including blanket denial of humanitarian access, bureaucratic obstacles, detention and intimidation of national staff, bullying and temporary denial of access to affected areas and IDP camps.
- Targeted attacks on humanitarians and their assets, including hijacking of cars and abduction of personnel, physical violence directed towards humanitarian workers, road ambushes, destruction of NGO assets and armed break-ins in humanitarian compounds/centres.