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No-go for aid workers in Central Darfur temporary: state Minister

February 22 - 2016 TUR / KHARTOUM
Photo sent via Whatsapp of a bombardment in western Jebel Marra, received on 5 February 2016 (date unknown)
Photo sent via Whatsapp of a bombardment in western Jebel Marra, received on 5 February 2016 (date unknown)

The Sudanese Air Force has continued its bombardment of the western part of Jebel Marra. In response to the resulting humanitarian crisis, the state’s Foreign Minister insists that the barring of humanitarian access to Central Darfur is ‘a temporary measure’ “imposed by the ongoing military operations”.

“An Antonov dropped seven barrel bombs on the area of Baladong and Faree El Khalwa this morning,” a community leader told Radio Dabanga from Tur.

“We saw clouds of smoke coming from these areas but cannot say if there were casualties.”

He said that people who fled the violence in Jebel Marra continue to arrive to Nierteti and Tur. “We are trying to help them, but there are just too many.”

Temporary measure’

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its weekly bulletin of last week that “aid organisations have been unable to verify reported displacement, or ascertain and respond to humanitarian needs in Central Darfur.

The coordinator for the Central Darfur camps for the displaced told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the authorities refuse to provide aid to the new displaced, “even the children”, and did not grant access to humanitarian organisations either.

 In response, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamaleldin Ismail told reporters in Khartoum on Sunday that the barring of access by humanitarian organisation in Central Darfur is “a temporary measure imposed by the ongoing military operations in Jebel Marra.

“This a safety measure, aiming to protect aid workers and their belongings,” Minister Ismail asserted.

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