Sudanese, foreign aid reaches new displaced in West Darfur
Sudanese in various parts of the country have launched support campaigns in solidarity with the people affected by the attacks in West Darfur’s El Geneina locality in end December last year. UN agencies and aid organisations are providing assistance. The new displaced say they dare not return until security is ensured.
Various convoys with relief items arrived from Murnei in West Darfur and Zalingei in Central Darfur on Wednesday, to help the more than 40,000 newly displaced who are currently sheltering in schools and government institutions.
They fled widespread attacks by militants on camps for the displaced and villages near the West Darfur capital of El Geneina, as well as a number of districts of the town in end December, that claimed dozens of lives.
Central Darfur activist Abdelkhalig El Shafee told Radio Dabanga that the people of Zalingei themselves arranged the charity campaign. The convoy, led by Damangawi Sese, brought various food items, sheep, clothes, blankets and plastic sheets to El Geneina.
On Thursday, more aid arrived to El Geneina by a convoy carrying food, clothes, and mattresses. The relief items were collected by residents of the Murnei camps for the displaced. Sheikh Adam Abdelrahman, the head of the Murnei camps accompanied the convoy.
The resistance committees in the districts of Nyala, capital of South Darfur, are collecting funds as well to assist the new displaced in En Geneina.
Ashraf Abdelrahman, a member of a Nyala resistance committee told Radio Dabanga that they opened “donation centres” near the Bank of Sudan, at the Popular Market, El Geneina Market, and the public transportation station.
In Khartoum, journalist Madiha Abdallah expressed her joy seeing “the material and moral solidarity campaigns taking place in the country’s capital, describing them as “unprecedented and reflecting the spirit of the Sudanese revolution.
The broad solidarity with the West Darfur victims embodies the revolution slogan ‘You arrogant racist, the whole country is Darfur’ - journalist Madiha Abdallah
She pointed to a large number of in-kind donation campaigns in various districts of Khartoum in support of the victims in El Geneina. “Youth and women form the most active and responsive groups,” she said in an interview with Radio Dabanga.
“People in Khartoum are donating blood for the injured, they are visiting the injured who were transferred to Khartoum hospitals, as well as providing accommodation for the relatives of the patients.
Abdallah said she considers the broad solidarity with the West Darfur victims the embodiment of the revolution slogan ‘You arrogant racist, the whole country is Darfur’, pointing to the widespread racism towards Sudanese living in the peripheries of the country, and which was one of the pillars of the now defunct regime of Omar Al Bashir.
She affirmed that the uprising “brought about a major transformation in terms of concepts and practices, and called for “institutional work in the social, political and media field to invest and develop this positive spirit and enhance the national cohesion”.
“Reaching peace with the participation of the real stakeholders forms the essential basis for social solidarity and peaceful coexistence,” she added.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest Flash Update on the situation in El Geneina that since Wednesday more free movement was reported between the places of displacement and the original camp sites, however many people still feel unsafe to return.
Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and partners estimate that about 40,000 people have been displaced. 32,000 of them come from three camps for the displaced near El Geneina.
In addition, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that at least 5,488 people fled to Chad, seeking refuge in villages near the border.
Humanitarian partners reported that displaced community leaders raised concerns with local authorities about the security situation in the camps, saying they would not return until security is ensured.
The authorities informed humanitarian partners they have established security points and deployed security forces in the camps. According to UNHCR, HAC has set up a temporary office for registering and providing assistance to displaced in the camp. Health facilities and water points will also be assessed.
UNHCR advised HAC that the return process should be voluntary, based on the informed decision of the displaced.
“We have to provide urgent humanitarian assistance, with the first priority on protection services, to the most vulnerable population” - Gwi-Yeop Son, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan
Assistance being provided by UN agencies and partners includes food, health, non-food items, nutrition, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and protection services.
The World Food Programme delivered food and nutrition assistance in 22 locations where the displaced people are currently taking shelter. A total of 111 metric tons of mixed food has been delivered, which is enough to feed 24,454 people for 15 days.
This assistance also includes emergency blanket supplementary feeding supplies for 6,847 children under 5 years and pregnant and nursing mothers. Partners are working to fill gaps and complete distribution to all gathering sites based on the rapid assessment.
The UNHCR reported on Wednesday that an inter-agency response through the Non-Food Item Pipeline is rushing relief items to some 40,000 displaced men, women and children in West Darfur. The International Committee of the Red Cross distributed essential household items to 7,800 people affected by the attacks.
A joint UN-Sudanese government delegation visited the area on January 5-6. “We have to provide urgent humanitarian assistance, with the first priority on protection services, to the most vulnerable population, particularly children, women and persons with disabilities,” the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, stated after their return on Wednesday.
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