Sudan

United Nations Sudan Situation Report 7 Apr 2005

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Key Developments:

Today in Khartoum, the UN Country team for the North and the South met jointly for the second time since the signing of the CPA. Discussions focused on common policies such as return and reintegration.

SRSG Pronk, PDSRSG Zerihoun, and FC Akbar met with an SPLM delegation that is part of the advance team that has arrived in Khartoum. The same team along with the Police Commissioner also met with a GoS inter-ministerial committee charged with evaluating Security Council resolutions (1590, 1591, 1593) and reporting to the Council of Ministers. In both meetings, discussions covered the UNMIS mandate and deployment issues, SOFA and model SOFA, freedom of movement and notifications, security in critical areas, and the return of IDPs.

Security Issues:

North Darfur: On 4 Apr, Jebel Si and Dali IDP camps near Tawilla reported heavy gunfire in their areas. Reportedly one child was killed and two people were wounded. As a result of the attack, the majority of residents of both camps have scattered. AMIS is investigating.

South Darfur: Armed tribesmen reportedly attacked several villages northeast and east of Thur since 31 March. On 4 Apr., several trucks with hundreds of Thur residents were seen arriving from Thur into Kass. No reports yet received on casualties.

An INGO reported that two of its vehicles, both clearly identified, were ambushed at Teiga, between Kindiger and Manawashi, on 6 Apr. at approximately 13:00. These vehicles were exiting SLA areas, moving back to Manawashi and Nyala. There were no casualties but one vehicle was hit. SLA and nomadic tribal militias had been engaged in fighting on this road the previous day (5 Apr.).

West Darfur: On 7 Apr., a pro-government demonstration took place in front of the OCHA compound in El Geneina, protesting the SC Resolution 1593. The demonstration was attended by 200 -- 300 people with no incidents of aggression. A petition was delivered to the UN protesting the resolution.

Political/Civil Affairs:

On 5 Apr., UNMIS officials met with Emanwell Kur, the Church leader in El Fasher. The Church has 6000 members, and this year is the year of reconciliation and confidence building. The Church also has good relations with the Muslim Sufi community.

On 6 Apr., UNMIS officials held an introductory meeting in El Fahser with Muslim leaders from North Darfur, including the Director General of the Ministry of Social and Cultural Affairs. During the meeting, UNMIS explained its mandate in assisting civil society in reconciliation. All participants showed a willingness to cooperate, and scheduled further information sharing meetings for the near future.

Local Media: The local radio station in El Fasher announced that in a meeting with tribal leaders on 4 Apr., the Commissioner of El-Waha locality in El Fasher (a locality of nomadic tribes in North and part of South Darfur) rejected Security Council Resolution 1593, and proclaimed that El-Waha will be the Falluja of Sudan if any of its people are taken to the ICC.

Humanitarian Affairs:

Food/NFIs

North Darfur: FAO delivered a quantity of agricultural tools to villages around Shadad to allow them to prepare soils before the rains. This INGO COOPI is planning to deliver tools and seeds to 3000 households around Mallit and Malha. It also intends to carry out vaccinations and de-worming of animals, targeting 9000 households in Mallit, Sayeh and Malha.

Camp Planning

North Darfur: In Abu Shouk II, OCHA led a survey team composed of urban planning technicians on 6 Apr. for demarcation of land destined to host the extension of the Abu Shouk IDP camp. The Urban Planning Department has committed to endorse the use of the demarcated land in a written letter addressed to OCHA on 7 Apr. In addition, WES (with the support of UNICEF) has completed the drilling of two boreholes and the fixing of 2 hand pumps along Wadi belt. The four water sources will guarantee a sufficient amount of water for the new site.

Assessments

North Darfur: The team conducting the assessment on the Damrats in Kutum has successfully completed its assessment and met with the Al Waha (Commissioner for Nomads) on 5 April for a debriefing session.

General

South Sudan: The movement of people on the western side of the Nile River still continues. People coming from Yei on bicycles are now able to use the main road between Juba and Yei except for a small portion at 60 km where they have to go off-road to avoid land mines. However, it is difficult to identify whether these people have returned finally, or if they are visiting relatives or are business people.

In the sectoral meeting of water and sanitation this week, UNHCR pledged to fund the Swedish Free Mission to dig wells in Eastern Equatoria and other areas where there is guinea worm. However, there was a concern that the digging of bore wells in urban areas such as Juba does not provide a long-term solution given the growing population, fall in water levels and salty nature of the water.

A sectoral meeting on education took place on 5 Apr. and discussed problems facing returnee students. Among the problems were lack of classrooms and slow school registration due to change of policy. It has been reported that the President has declared free education in the Sudan. Some parents refused to pay the registration fees (SD 1,000) required by school administration. Schools are now planning to call for a meeting of parents. The representative of Ministry of Education in the meeting agreed to raise the issue of returnee and refugee students to the government.