In Darfur, the ICRC continued to promote respect for civilians, reminding parties to the conflict of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). It provided access to clean drinking water and health services and helped maintain and restore traditional livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians by providing seeds, tools and livestock vaccinations in rural and nomadic areas.
The organization maintained its capacity to respond to emergency situations. In cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), it responded, among other emergencies, to intense fighting in Omdurman (Khartoum's twin city) and Abyei (central Sudan) in May and to the heavy flooding in Aweil (Southern Sudan) in mid-September.
Across Sudan, the ICRC supported 6 physical rehabilitation centers, including a newly built and equipped modern facility in Juba.
Respect of International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
The ICRC widely promoted awareness, respect for, and implementation of IHL at all levels. It maintained its confidential dialogue with the Sudanese authorities and the different armed groups to protect civilians and prevent violations. In this regard the ICRC did the following:
- In February 2008, it signed a 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), covering 2008-2011, to help integrate IHL in their doctrine, training and operations;
- Addressed different units of the SAF, the Border Guards, and over 800 members of the Central Reserve Police (CRP) in various Darfur locations, with a specific focus on their responsibility to protect civilians during operations;
- Signed a 3-year MoU at the end of 2007- went into effect in 2008- to assist the SPLA in integrating IHL into its training curriculum, orders and doctrine;