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West Darfur violence leaves 47,000 people displaced

January 5 - 2020 EL GENEINA
Destruction following recent violence in El Geneina (File photo RD)
Destruction following recent violence in El Geneina (File photo RD)

Volunteers have reported from El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, that the number of people who have been forcefully displaced by the recent violence in the area has reached 47,000. They are living in dire humanitarian conditions. The US House of Representatives urged the government for swift investigation regarding the violence on Sunday and Monday.

The volunteers reported on Friday that the newly displaced, including 15.000 women and 20,000 children, who fled to the city have been allocated in 19 temporary shelter centres such as schools, mosques, and government institutions.

They confirmed that despite the local efforts in providing basic needs for the displaced people, there remains a huge gap in humanitarian assistance. “Those people urgently need temporary latrines, life-saving medicines, soap, as well as blankets, and clothing,” they added.

Access

On Wednesday, the chairman of the US House of Representatives Law Committee, James McGovern made a strong statement in response to the violence that erupted in El Geneina. He urged the interim government to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.

““A positive first act in the new year would be for the interim government to allow immediate, unimpeded access both to humanitarian groups and independent investigators on reports of attacks against villagers in West Darfur by militias, including the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Those responsible for killings and violence must be held accountable,” he said.

He added, “I applaud the Sudanese people for their tremendous courage and commitment to creating a democratic nation, one that respects the basic human rights of all its people. Great strides were taken in 2019 and I support all efforts to consolidate civilian rule in 2020”.

'Assistance needed'

The Sheikh of the Riyadh camp for the displaced in the neighbourhood, El Nour Mohamed, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the newly displaced people are living in a very difficult situation due to the lack of basic needs such as food, shelter, and medicines.

Mohamed Haroun, one of the sheikhs of Kerending camp, told Radio Dabanga that since their arrival to El Geneina, they have not received any assistance from the government or humanitarian organisations, except the Sudanese Red Crescent Society that has provided some health assistance. He appealed to the central and state government as well as humanitarian organisations to speed up the provision of aid.

A delegation of the Forces for Freedom and Change, headed by the chairman of the Sudanese Congress Party, Omar El Degeir, visited the people displaced from the Kerending camp on Friday, and assessed the extent of the damage that occurred.

El Degeir stated that thousands of victims are in urgent need of food, medicine, clothing, and shelter, and appealed to political parties, national and international NGOs to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of El Geneina as soon as possible.

On Friday, the UN Secretary-General condemned the violence that erupted last week in El Geneina. He emphasised the necessity of peaceful and durable solutions to the situation in Darfur, solutions that can address the root causes of conflict in that region. Also, he urged the government to investigate the incidents and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

He further reaffirmed his strong support to the ongoing negotiations in the framework of the Sudanese peace process.

Aircraft crash

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Gwi-Yeop Son issued a statement yesterday saying that she is “profoundly saddened by the tragic loss of life as a result of an aircraft crash in El Geneina.

Son expressed her “sincere condolences to the families and friends of the air crew, the government officials and the civilians who died, including a World Food Programme colleague, his wife and children. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator extends a hand of comfort at this most difficult time to the Transitional Government and the World Food Programme family”.

The statement said that Son is also very concerned about the crisis in El Geneina and plans to visit the area to obtain first-hand information about the situation.

 


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