Sudan

Sudan: Khartoum Unrest - Information Bulletin n° 2

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Information Bulletin No. 2/2005 is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance at this time.

The Situation

Following the death of the Sudanese first vice president Dr. John Garang in a helicopter crash near the remote and mountainous border region of Sudan and Uganda on Monday 1 August 2005, riots continued to rock Khartoum and other capitals of Sudan states. The flare-up extended to Gazira, White Nile, Red Sea and Malakal areas while major towns of Omdurman (Elswg Elshabi), Khartoum North and Afra remained tense. Anti-riot police were deployed in several areas of Sudan's capital, Khartoum, and a state of emergency declared by the Khartoum State government. The Army and police have been deployed in the streets, with the earlier 18:00hrs to 06:00hrs curfew period readjusted to 23:00hrs to 06:00hrs.

The Sudanese Red Crescent reported the situation in the southern town of Juba as critical. Due to poor communication from the ground, there were no exact figures on the number of people injured or dead. Media reports indicate that at least 19 people have been killed in Juba and six in Malakal. The Sudanese Red Crescent's director of disaster management reported that as of Thursday 4 August 2005, at least 130 people had lost their lives - with around 350 who sustained minor and serious injuries being treated in various hospitals.

Hundreds of people, mainly supporters of the Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM), have been throwing stones, burning shops and markets, and have set at least 100 cars on fire. Though the SPLM leaders and the Khartoum government have appealed for calm, flare-up continued unabated through the third day. Revenge attacks have become more apparent, with reports of attacks between Northerners and Southerners in Bangadeed hospital in Khartoum North. Garang is set to be buried on Saturday 6 August 2005 and there are fears that his burial might spark further unrest. The Sudanese Red Crescent's action teams are on alert state and are ready to respond to the looming nationwide riots.

The peace agreement appears to be holding up as the new leader of the SPLM, Gen. Salva Kirr Mayardit, and Sudanese president, Hassan Omar Al-Bashir, vowed to maintain it. Garang's widow, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior Garang, was quoted by BBC urging people to remain calm and saying that Garang's vision will live on. World leaders, including the United Nations secretary general, offered their condolences and maintained that they will support both sides in maintaining the peace accord.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Sudanese Red Crescent's Khartoum branch has responded effectively by mobilising and sending 104 volunteers and five vehicles to the field, following a recommendation from the emergency committee. The volunteers administered first aid and transported more than 200 injured, as well as 15 dead, to Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North hospitals.

Though some of the national society's volunteers have been restricted from moving by police and rioters, those deployed in all areas of Khartoum are continuously strategising on covering more ground. After visiting Omdurman, the Sudanese Red Crescent's president and secretary general indicated that the situation is about 70% normal. The national society's staff presence at the headquarters reduced to 30%. Though the unrest has subsided, the Sudanese Red Crescent continues to monitor developments and give continuous updates on the unfolding events.

Coordination

At the Sudanese Red Crescent headquarters, updates have been released and a security advisory issued to all Federation and partner national societies (PNS) delegates. The national society arranged a transport convoy for all Federation and PNS delegates to their residences. ICRC provided one vehicle which was used as an ambulance. All delegates are reportedly safe.

Though telecommunication between Khartoum and Nairobi continues to be sporadic, the Federation's regional delegation in Nairobi is closely monitoring the developments and issuing regular updates.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Sudan: Mahmoud Omar Osman, Secretary General, Sudanese Red Crescent, Khartoum; Email: omer.osman@srcs-sudan.org; Phone: + 249.11.78.48.89; Fax: + 249.11.77.28.77

In Kenya: Anitta Underlin, Head of Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email: ifrcke03@ifrc.org; Phone: +254.20.283.51.24; Fax: +254.20.271.84.15.

In Kenya: Reidar Schaanning, Federation Regional Programme Coordinator, East Africa Region, Nairobi; Email ifrcke69@ifrc.org; Phone+ 254.20.283.51.25; Fax +254.20.271.84.15.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org