The major development affecting UNHCR operations in Sudan was the increase in the Security Phase (II to III in Khartoum, Blue Nile State and Eastern States, III to IV in Darfur). This led to the relocation of humanitarian personnel from Darfur and UN staff dependents from Khartoum. UNHCR was able to continue most of its work in Darfur with fewer staff by identifying and prioritising protection and assistance activities. In other parts of the country, operations continued without major disruption.
Refugee status determination interviews and counselling activities continued; 137 individuals received legal counselling and 57 refugees with specific needs received medical, financial and/or psycho-social assistance. In the refugee communities, Save the Children-UK continued the assessment on child protection issues in close collaboration with UNHCR and the government. During monitoring visits, UNHCR was made aware of 369 individuals at various detention centres around Khartoum. With the intervention of UNHCR lawyers working with the Commission for Refugees (CoR), 248 individuals were assessed as persons of concern to UNHCR and were released.
A joint UNHCR/CoR mission to the Al Waleed camp at the Iraq/Syria border took place in the context of the government's offer to relocate this group to Sudan. The camp hosts almost two thousand Palestinian refugees who were forced to flee from Baghdad in 2006, and who currently live in tents in extreme weather conditions, with temperatures below freezing in winter and up to 60 degrees Celsius in summer. Consultations are continuing between UNHCR and the government to outline the terms and modalities for those refugees wishing to avail themselves of the option of relocation to Sudan.
The Khartoum Protection Working Group (KPWG), chaired by UNHCR, completed a series of outreach sessions in several IDP sites. The UNICEF-supported Family and Children Police Unit addressed several community representatives and community-based organisations on mechanisms for the prevention and reporting of violence against children, particularly sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).