Preparations for the first round of the countrywide polio vaccination campaigns are on going in all three states. The vaccinations will take place in Darfur 10-12 January, during which the GoS, JEM, SLA and NMRD have been requested to observe a period of tranquillity to allow the safe travel of health and humanitarian personnel to conduct the campaign.
North Darfur: On 3 January Saiyah, 97 km NE of El Fasher, was the scene of a clash between a GoS convoy and SLA elements. In the insecurity that ensued, forty huts were burned, the market looted and four civilians killed, with another thirteen arrested. Reportedly, the SLA that withdrew from the village have reoccupied the town after GoS troops left towards Millet. UN Security has declared the Millet-Saiyah-Malha road as no-go for its agencies.
South Darfur: On 4 January, Arab militia attacked Juruf, killing two and wounding three civilians. It was further reported that eight women were kidnapped during the attack. There are reports that Arab militia is amassing west of Juruf, prompting concerns that the violence in the area may spill onto the main road and threaten humanitarian movements.
An INGO reported that in Selam El Naga, the SLA stopped (but did not detain their staff) on two separate occasions. Further, rebel elements demanded the INGO provide transport for two armed rebels north of the village to Abujabra - approximately ten kilometres. Rebels near Birtikuli stopped another team, where it was alleged that two villagers had been killed by Arab militia on 1 January.
The area of Muhujarija continues to be tense, and agencies have yet to re-enter areas between Labado, Ta'asha, and Muhujarija. AU monitors continue to visit the area.
West Darfur: On 3 January, two male and one female Care national staff members were arrested while walking back from the market to their office in Zallingei. They were charged with adultery, put in prison overnight with the men subsequently being physically assaulted and female staff member verbally assaulted, and released the next day. The twelve-member Care team was in Zallingei to do a food distribution at camps in the town.
AU operations in the Zallingei area have stalled as a result of logistical constraints such as the airlifting of fuel from other locations, lack of tents/accommodations for military observers and lack of water sources. This has resulted in the further delay of much-needed air and road patrols in the area.
North Darfur: On 4-5 January members of the PWG re-visited Saraf Omara for a follow up to the IDP Returns Survey conducted 27 December to 1 January. The team met with Sheikhs and local groups representing the IDPs to monitor and evaluate whether any problems had been experienced as a result of talking to the surveyors regarding issues of return. While some concerns were voiced about an increase in insecurity, it is not clear if this was a direct result of the survey carried out the week before.
West Darfur: On 2 January, a group of three IDP women were harassed & beaten by unidentified persons while fetching wood outside Zallingei town limits. The women sustained minor injuries and were brought to the hospital for treatment.
North Darfur: OCHA is encouraging two or three NGOs to start up operations in North Darfur to help fill the gaps left by the SCF-UK withdrawal.
South Darfur: As relocation efforts progress for Kalma camp, there is hope humanitarian agencies will move quickly to assess the site of Tabalia Mussa. Following discussions with the Ministry of Planning, the Government provided a letter authorising the land for use as an IDP gathering. ACF, IRC, Unicef, World Vision, Care Int'l, MDM, and IMC amongst others are interested in developing the site but only if the process is voluntary and the site is acceptable based on social and technical assessments.
West Darfur: Humanitarian agencies request regular HAC presence in Zallingei to ensure that humanitarian interventions can commence without delay.
North Darfur: ICRC completed distributions of food (three month-half rations) and NFIs for 22,800 persons in 34 villages in Kaguro and surrounding villages (south west of Jebel Si). The organisation is also planning food and NFI distributions in Saiyah (located between Mallit and Malha), and will continue to monitor the food situation in villages west of Thabit (Tarne/Dobo areas) for possible food distributions in February 05.
Gaps in food distribution in Malha, Umm Baru of Kornoi, Khazan Tungur and Korma remain uncovered due to insecurity and lack implementing partners. No INGO has assessed/accessed the Tawisha/El Liat area. Furthermore food security monitoring in North Darfur remains uncovered following the departure of SC-UK, which has offered to hand over all previous food security documentation to interested organisations. More NGOs have been requested to begin operations in North Darfur.
North Darfur: In addition to covering GoS areas for the national polio campaign, UNICEF, WHO, Malteser and MSF-B will be covering the SLA areas in North Darfur from 8-17 January. This time period exceeds the three days dedicated as national polio campaign days in Sudan in order to obtain as high a coverage-rate as possible in the state. During a meeting with humanitarian agencies on 4 January, the SLM/A showed cooperation and responsiveness to the humanitarian requests of (access and use of trained people) as well as the appeal for tranquillity and peace during the campaign. MoH will undertake the polio campaign in the remaining parts of the state, supported and facilitated by WHO and UNCEF, and the target area is also expanded to cover El Taweesha and Alliet.
During the month of January MSF-B will be expanding their operations to the area of Jebel Si. The organisation, which is already established in Korma area, will be responding to health and other selected needs in the Jebel Si area.
Based on the rapid interagency assessment of Tawilla and Dali carried out on the 3 January it is clear that there is a substantial health gap in Tawila, with the departure of SC-UK. One organisation has indicated that they are willing to take on these responsibilities in the near future.
South Darfur: Humanitarian agencies met at MoH offices to agree on an explicit list of types of assistance that areas need, with Muhajarija being identified as the location in which it was most dire. OCHA and UN/WFP Security will travel to Khor Abeche, Sheriya, and Muhujarija on 6 January to assess the security situation, address humanitarian concerns and discuss the polio campaign further with the rebel leadership to ensure that period during which the campaign is to commence will remain peaceful.
West Darfur: Medair provides medical care and water/sanitation services in Um Shalaya, which is situated in the Azoum administrative unit of Zalinjei district (85 km north-west of Zalinjei). Um Shalaya is the biggest urban centre of Azoum and the only inhabited site to date in this area as all other villages have reportedly fled to Mornei camp, 20 kms away.
Water and Sanitation
South Darfur: There is a desperate need for water in the rural communities south of Shareia for the displaced populations of Labado and Muhajariya. OCHA has requested Solidarites to keep their water and sanitation teams in the area and not to move them to Nertiti as planned.