Sudan

Sudan: UN Resident Coordinator's Support Office Weekly Report, 22 - 29 Nov 2009

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HIGHLIGHTS

SOUTHERN SUDAN

- WFP food airdrops in Jonglei State ongoing but detention of river cargo posing serious response constraints - pg. 2

- H. E. Governor of NBEGS travels to South Darfur to hold talks in preparation for the up-coming Dinka Malual - Rezeigat peace conference - pg. 3

- Fighting reported in Abienmom County, Unity State - pg. 3

TRANSITIONAL AREAS

- Increased returns to Abyei area. Basic services and potential conflicts with nomads remain a concern - pg. 1

ABYEI

Abyei remains relatively calm; most of Abyei is still on UN security level 3, requiring a mandatory armed escort for all field visits. Humanitarian assistance is being scaled up in communities of return and along migration routes. International NGOs are constantly engaged in prioritized areas of health, water and sanitation including food security and livelihood sectors particularly for returns communities and along migration routes. There are strong concerns on the lack of basic services in the target areas, the limitations of humanitarian actors to compensate for this lack and the arrival of migrating Misseriya. It is important for all concerned parts of the UN to communicate clearly the situation of the target areas to people who contemplate a return to Abyei.

Reconciliation / peaceful coexistence: CAD and UNDP are working with Migration Committees at Payam level, through training and capacity building activities. Voter registration is still ongoing within the area. A team of the Carter Center observes the process.

Nomadic pastoralists approach Abyei area: Moving Misseriya herdsmen reached locations as Totaj and Leu about 15 to 30 km north from Abyei. Allegedly, herdsmen are moving along previous migration routes without their families and with their weapons. Misseriya groups expressed frequently concerns over the impact of the PCA ruling on grazing rights and border crossing. A group of 100-150 have reportedly gathered at Um Kheir. A political dialogue at a higher level is required to forestall any potential hostility. At the same time, SPLA indicated determination to disarm Misseriya, which allegedly led to armed confrontation in Unity State (see report Unity State).

Increased organized returns: According to HAC/SSRRC recent organized returnees from Khartoum arrived at their final destination: Rumamier 403 (80HH), Marial Achar 97 (20HH), Dongob 104 (20HH), Tadach 153 (30), Lell 131 (25HH), Noong 201 (40HH), Tajalei 231 (45) and Miyan Koor 149 (30). 289 returnees heading for Makeer were dropped in Mirok instead. RCSO-RRR and HAC/SSRRC visited Mirok and found the returnees including women and children without shelter or food. HAC/SSRRC registers the returnees followed by IOM led inter-agency verification and distribution of reintegration packages (food and NFIs). Returnees are planned to be included in FAO seeds and tools distribution for next planting season. Reportedly, more Abyei IDPs have registered in Khartoum and Blue Nile with plans for transportation to Abyei within the next three weeks. Returns to Abyei have to be adapted to the capacity of basic services and situation on the ground for the safety and dignity of the returnees.