Sudan Flash Update Issue No. 2 – 23 January 2020

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 23 Jan 2020


Inter-tribal clashes force 13,400 additional refugees to flee from Central African Republic to Sudan Humanitarian agencies are rushing relief items such as blankets, kitchen sets and mosquito nets to refugees who have walked for weeks to flee conflict areas in the Central African Republic (CAR) for Darfur in Sudan. Voluntary relocation of CAR refugees to safer locations further from the border has started, led by UNHCR with the Commissioner for Refugees (COR).

Inter-tribal clashes in CAR have been ongoing since September 2019, and led to nearly 13,400 refugees from CAR fleeing to safety in South and Central Darfur States in West Sudan between September and December 2019. Overall, the total new arrivals to both States in 2019 were nearly 17,000 individuals, amounting to a total of nearly 26,000 CAR refugees living in Darfur.

Refugees are arriving in poor health conditions after walking many weeks to cross into Sudan, and have little to no personal belongings with them. The majority of new arrivals are women with young children and are in urgent need of protection, food, health and nutrition.

The situation along the CAR-Sudan border remains tense and volatile. A ceasefire brokered in December 2019 between the Kara and Ronga tribes ended on 15 January 2020. There have been reports of new clashes in Birao town in CAR on 19 January, which could force more refugees into Darfur in the coming weeks.

As a result, UNHCR has revised its 2020 planning figure for CAR refugee arrivals to 20,000 individuals by June.

Overall, nearly 46,000 CAR refugees are anticipated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in South and Central Darfur by the end of 2020.

In October, UNHCR and COR in partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) conducted initial distributions of core relief items (including blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and plastic sheets) to new arrivals in Um Dafoug and Um Dukhun as well as of medicines supplied by the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and hygiene kits from UNFPA. UNICEF distributed nutrition items and non-food items (NFIs) such as jerry cans, soap and buckets. The inter-agency response saw Triangle Génération Humanitaire and Relief International assist with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. CRS and RI provided health assistance to the refugees. WFP with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are currently providing emergency food assistance.

UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, UNFPA, IOM, World Vision International, Care International Switzerland, NCA and Global Aid Hand are committed to supporting a full-scale emergency response for new arrivals in Um Dafoug in 2020 when additional funding becomes available. UNHCR, Save the Children International, Sudanese Organization for Relief and Recovery and WFP will extend their activities in Um Shalaya Camp to address the needs of newly relocated CAR refugees from Um Dukhun.