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Displacement numbers in North Darfur expected to decline

April 14 - 2016 SORTONY / KASS
Unamid distributes water to Jebel Marra displaced in Sortony, North Darfur (Hagen Siegert/Unamid)
Unamid distributes water to Jebel Marra displaced in Sortony, North Darfur (Hagen Siegert/Unamid)

The number of displaced people from Jebel Marra who have been sheltering in Sortony in North Darfur is expected to decline in the coming weeks.

The latest registered population number in Sortony, near the base of Unamid, amounted to 68,000 people nearly two months ago. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has not been permitted to conduct registrations in the camp since 17 February.

It is likely the situation has changed in the meantime, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in its new weekly bulletin:

'Given onward and possible return movement from Sortony over the last two months, and the probable inclusion of resident communities in the Sortony area on initial registration lists, it is presumed that the working figures in Sortony will be significantly reduced in the coming weeks.'

Advocacy on access for international aid workers continues at state and federal levels, OCHA said, pointing to the continued blocking of access by authorities in Nierteti, Thur, Guldo, Golo, and more.

Humanitarian organisations estimated that at least 138,000 people from the Jebel Marra Massif were displaced as of 31 March. Aerial bombardments by the Sudanese Air Force have struck the area almost daily, in the government's attempt to crush the holdout rebel forces. Sudan reported in the beginning of March that it is in control of all areas in northern Jebel Marra and has continued the offensive in western Jebel Marra, recently capturing Sarrong from the rebels.

Central and South

According to the government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission, the number of displaced in Central Darfur remains stable at 14,439, following an influx of people into Hassahissa camp. Because of the denied access to other aid organisations, reports from community leaders of people leaving Guldo to Nierteti town caused by insecurity were not confirmed.

In Kass camp in South Darfur, 756 families have taken refuge from the fighting that displaced them in Jebel Marra, OCHA reported. WFP discovered that most of their food stocks had been either left behind, burned during the conflict or were stolen.

New arrivals in Nyala's Otash camp, where 322 families have sought refuge, said that more displaced people may arrive soon.

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