On 11 Mar., the Secretary-General released his February report to the Security Council on the situation in the Darfur states. The report cautions that, while the overall number of reported clashes lessened during the month as compared to previous months, the security situation in the region remains fragile and that civilians continue to be targets of violence. The report also provides updated information on, inter alia, humanitarian, human rights and protection issues. For more details, please see the Security Council webpage at www.un.org.
West Darfur: Humanitarian agencies, including UN and INGO partners working in areas west of the Wadi Azom continue to restrict their movements to El Geneina town due to security concerns and high levels of tension in the surrounding areas.
In the meantime, banditry incidents on the Habilla-Kernik-El Geneina route have increased in the past week with the latest incident involving a humanitarian convoy reported on 10 Mar. where a UN vehicle and an INGO convoy were stopped by bandits who looted personal items including some cash, a satellite phone and two laptops. The police are following up on the incident and have reported that they have captured three of the five perpetrators (no further details available).
Fighting was reported northeast of Nertiti in the Jebel Marra area on 7 Mar. AU monitors are investigating these incidents and monitoring the situation in the area.
The Nyala-Zaleingi route was cleared for UN movement on 9 Mar. but UN agencies have to travel with a three-car convoy instead of the usual requirement of two cars per convoy as an additional precautionary measure.
South Darfur: GoS authorities have indicated they plan to return some of the IDPs in Kalma camp and Nyala town to the Wadi Saleh area despite continuing security concerns in these areas. IOM is following up on this issue.
West Darfur: An interagency group consisting of SC-US, UNHCR, CONCERN, and Triangle/Terres des Hommes is discussing interventions to address the issue of unaccompanied children in Geneina town. A Children's Centre to house and protect these children is being constructed in Al Riyad camp in El Geneina and six staff members are receiving training to commence work at the Centre after the opening on 13 Mar.
The Sub-JIM on human rights and protection held its third meeting on 10 Mar. It was co-chaired, from the UN side by DSRSG Aranda da Silva and Dr. Taha for GoS. Unlike previous meetings, this session dealt with a number of substantive matters. Key issues discussed were: the issue of effective dissemination of Ministry of Justice guidelines to state actors in Darfur on the treatment of victims of rape; the facts surrounding the murder of 100 people, mainly women and children in the area of Hamada, South Darfur, on 12 -- 15 Jan.; the arbitrary detention of Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam (whose release was announced the day before) and Mr. Saleh Mohamed Abdelrahman (who remains detained); and, the issue of involuntary /inappropriate returns of IDPs through Government action. The next meeting of the Sub-JIM is planned for April.
North Darfur: An interagency assessment team that was scheduled to travel to SLA-held areas on 13 Mar. had to be rescheduled to 19 Mar. due to the absence of SLA leadership to carry out the necessary notification procedures.
WFP reports that fuel shortages in South Darfur have affected its air support operations. The agency plans to alter some flight schedules until the fuel situation improves.
South Darfur: NRC reports that it plans to repair the road from Nyala to Kalma to facilitate humanitarian operations in the camp during the upcoming rainy season.
North Darfur: Following the abandonment of Bisharia as a potential site for the relocation of some of the Abu Shouk IDPs due to the poor water quality on the site, agencies are reconsidering the initial site, Sawalinga, for the relocation. As the lack of water was the primary reason for the initial rejection of Sawalinga, agencies are now attempting to resolve the issue by installing pipes and pumps to transport the water from the wadi serving Abu Shouk. Although this is a costly alternative, agencies agree that the relocation of some extra 25,000 IDPs in Abu Shouk is of utmost urgency as humanitarian services at the camp are currently overstretched with the current caseload of about 89,000 IDPs. Food distribution to the IDPs in Abu Shouk was completed on 11 Mar.
The arrival of twenty-eight families in Zam Zam camp was reported on 12 Mar. The new arrivals are reportedly from areas northeast of Shangil Tobayi and have indicated that lack of security and food shortages were primary reasons for their displacement.
North Darfur: WHO is investigating a reported increase of diarrhoea cases in Zam Zam camp.
South Darfur: A measles vaccination campaign was completed in Thur on 12 Mar. (no further details available).