Sudan Humanitarian Update - 2nd Quarter 2012

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 15 Jul 2012

Highlights in the 2nd quarter

  • The invasion by South Sudan of the oil-rich area of Higlig in early April led to further displacement of civilians and a serious deterioration in relations between the two countries. ƒƒ

  • Fighting between the SAF and SPLM-N continued to affect civilians and cause large-scale displacement, with 205,000 Sudanese refugees now in camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia. ƒƒ

  • On 27 June the Government of Sudan accepted the tripartite AU/LAS/UN initiative on delivering assistance to conflict-affected people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

  • Seven international NGOs were ordered to cease their operations in eastern Sudan, with concerns that similar measures might follow in other parts of the country. ƒƒ

  • IOM airlifted to South Sudan 12,000 people of South Sudanese origin who had been stranded at the Kosti waystation for several months. ƒƒ

  • Food security in parts of Darfur is a major concern following rising food prices and a poor harvest season.

More people flee as fighting continues

Armed clashes in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan, and the invasion by South Sudanese armed forces of the Higlig oil fields in early April, led to the displacement of thousands of people and a serious deterioration in the relations between the two countries. Armed conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) also continued in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, affecting hundreds of thousands of civilians and leading more people to take refuge in neighbouring South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Escalating tensions between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan reached a crisis point on 9 April when South Sudan’s armed forces entered Sudanese territory in the border area of Higlig in South Kordofan and occupied Sudanese oil production facilities, some of which were later destroyed. The armed clashes in the Higlig area forced more than 4,000 people to flee their homes. Sudan regained control of the territory some ten days later following significant international pressure on South Sudan to withdraw.

Meanwhile, armed clashes between the SAF and SPLM-N in parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan continued to affect civilians and led to further displacement. In total, over 665,000 people are estimated to be either internally displaced or severely affected in the two states. In addition, by the end of the first half of 2012, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that the total number of refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile had reached 205,000, including 168,000 in South Sudan and 37,000 in Ethiopia.

While there was no progress in getting Government approval to take humanitarian supplies to conflict-affected civilians in SPLM-N-controlled areas, there was progress in Governmentcontrolled areas in South Kordofan, where WFP was able to verify needs and distribute food in multiple locations, using both national and international staff. On 27 June, the Government formally accepted the tripartite AU/LAS/UN initiative on delivering humanitarian assistance to conflictaffected population in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, but implementation modalities had not yet been agreed upon.

Elsewhere in Sudan, the Government of Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) ordered seven international NGOs to terminate the implementation of several projects and to close their offices in eastern Sudan. The seven INGOs were running programmes that were serving more than 600,000 people in the region.

In early June, the Government introduced a range of austerity measures, including the gradual removal of subsidies on fuel and sugar as well as cuts in Government budgets, to tackle the US$2.4 billion budget deficit. The measures came at a time of high inflation and rising food prices due to the loss of oil revenues following the secession of South Sudan. The measures sparked public protests and demonstrations in many towns in Sudan, including the capital Khartoum. The austerity measures are likely to affect poor households the most.

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